Smoked Turkey Gravy

This is my year-after-year go-to technique for making gravy for turkey. Smoked turkey wings make an absolutely delightful turkey broth that, with just a few more ingredients added, makes a gravy that is perfect for Thanksgiving turkey. Or turkey any time. Making this gravy takes a little effort, but it is very much worth the time.
If you want to skip the trouble of making smoked turkey broth, you can make a gravy using roasted turkey wings instead. In a pinch you can use store-bought turkey broth instead, but it truly won’t be as magical. Using smoked turkey to make the broth really adds a tremendous flavor to the gravy. It is something I look forward to all year long.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Turkey Gravy
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 quarts
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of smoked turkey broth
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, more or less (start with 2 tablespoons and add more if needed)
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until golden in color.
  3. Slowly pour in 2-3 cups of the stock, a little at a time, whisking constantly.
  4. Add the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Whisk in some of the milk. Taste and add more if you wish, but don't make the gravy too thin. Let simmer until the desired thickness is achieved. Add more milk if it gets too thick

Smoked Turkey Broth

This is my year-after-year go-to technique for making turkey broth. Smoked turkey wings make an absolutely delightful turkey broth that, with just a few more ingredients added, makes a gravy that is perfect for Thanksgiving turkey. It is also a great substitute for chicken broth in soups. It adds the perfect lightly-smoky flavor, all in a very rich broth. You could just eat it out of a bowl by itself.
You’ll get about 8 cups of smoked turkey broth when you are done. You can find turkey wings that already smoked in some grocery stores. You can use them instead of smoking your own, but you may want to get more than 4 of them. They tend to be smaller. As you can tell from the picture above I grabbed the largest fresh turkey wings I could find. Smoking them at home is so easy and well, cool looking, that I rarely buy the ones that are already smoked.

If you prefer to roast your turkey wings instead and use them to make a broth, check out my holiday make-ahead gravy recipe.

5 from 1 reviews
Smoked Turkey Broth
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 quarts
 
You'll end up with much more broth than is required to make 3 cups of gravy. Freeze the leftover broth or double or triple the gravy recipe if you desire.
Ingredients
For the smoked turkey wings
  • 4 large fresh turkey wings
For the stock
  • 8 ribs of celery
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, cloves removed but not peeled
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 quarts of water (more or less)
Instructions
For the smoked turkey wings
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 250 F. Use a wood such as hickory. You'll want plenty of smoke.
  2. Place the wings onto the smoker. No need to season them.
  3. Smoke for approximately 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  4. Remove from the smoker and make the stock.
For the broth
  1. Place all of the ingredients along with the wings into a large stock pot.
  2. Add enough water to just cover everything.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for at least an hour, up to 4 hours, until the turkey meat is falling off the bone. Add more water if needed.
  4. Let cool completely then filter the broth through a sieve.
  5. You can use the broth immediately but I prefer to refrigerate it overnight first. This lets all of the fat coagulate on top, making it easy to remove before using the broth.