Skip to main content

How to Make Southern Giblet Gravy

A giblet gravy served in a gravy boat beside a plate of turkey-based dish.
Photo Credit: Parker Feierbach/Delish Image used with permission by copyright holder

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many Americans will be looking forward to a whole roast turkey with all the fixings. For that classic Thanksgiving turkey feast, nothing completes it like a hearty, savory gravy, covering both turkey and the sides dishes.

While you can make gravy from a packet, the depth of flavor simply doesn’t compare to gravy made from scratch. While there are many types of turkey gravy, a great option is Southern-style giblet gravy. Giblet is the culinary term for the edible innards of a bird. This usually means the gizzards, heart, and liver. Conveniently, these giblets actually come in that mysterious bag that’s stuffed in the cavity of a whole turkey. When properly made, giblet gravy is a delicious way to utilize every part of the turkey, leaving nothing to waste.

Related Guides

Giblet Gravy Tips and Tricks

A giblet gravy in a gravy boat on a table cloth.
Photo Credit: Andrew Purcell/Parade Andrew Purcell / Parade

To start, a great gravy requires an excellent broth or stock. This ingredient needs to be high-quality since it forms the foundation of the gravy’s flavor. If you can, try making a homemade chicken or turkey stock. While it’s time-consuming, the result is worth the effort. However, if time is an issue, a good quality store-bought chicken broth, preferably one without too many flavor additives is a suitable option. Another great way to boost the flavor of the gravy is to incorporate the drippings from the roasted turkey.

There are actually many variations to giblet gravy using different ingredients and methods (some classic recipes call for the addition of chopped hardboiled eggs mixed directly into the gravy). For those who like a thicker gravy, simply cook it longer. On the opposite end, if your gravy is too thick, add a bit of stock to thin out the consistency. The great thing about giblet gravy is that it can be stored in the freezer (up to six months) for future use.

Many people also look forward to the classic leftover Thanksgiving sandwich, which tastes great with a healthy serving of giblet gravy. But besides a sandwich, giblet gravy is also great for a Thanksgiving hash made from potatoes, onions, and leftover turkey. For a creative recipe, ladle giblet gravy on top of french fries for a Southern take on Canadian Poutine.

Spicy Giblet Gravy

Giblet gravy being poured on turkey slices.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(By Chef Duval Warner of Ranch 45, Solana Beach, CA.)

This interesting, spicy Southern giblet gravy recipe comes from Ranch 45, a restaurant, coffee shop, and butcher shop that specializes in all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free meat. More than just a restaurant, Ranch 45 also offers cooking demonstrations and classes. This recipe is courtesy of their executive chef, Duval Warner. Originally from southern Virginia, Warner is a fan of highlighting his southern roots through his food. This is Warner’s family recipe for giblet gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag giblets
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce

Method:

  1. Remove the giblet package from turkey.
  2. Rinse under cold water then pat dry.
  3. Place canola oil in a Dutch oven over high heat, then add giblets and cook until the outsides are crisp.
  4. Remove giblets from pan, dice and return to the pan, reduce to medium heat.
  5. Add diced onions and jalapeno slices. Cook until translucent onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add flour and stock into a medium-size bowl, stir until combined.
  7. Raise heat to high, add stock mixture and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  8. Reduce heat to simmer, then cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.
  10. Add a few shakes of Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Hunter Lu
Hunter Lu is a New York-based food and features writer, editor, and NYU graduate. His fiction has appeared in The Line…
Step back in time and learn how to make authentic Turkish coffee
You can have Turkish coffee any time, let us show you how
Making Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee is a concentrated, rich, and somewhat bitter drink made of unfiltered coffee. It's also one of the oldest methods of preparing coffee, dating back to 1555. Unlike a traditional cup of joe, Turkish coffee is made with super-fine grounds brewed in water versus drip style, where water is poured over coffee beans and filtered. Because of this variation, Turkish coffee is incredibly concentrated and perfect if you like your coffee or espresso strong. (Like we do.)

We went to Ciragan Palace Kempinski, a luxury hotel in Turkey that occupies a former Ottoman palace, to learn how to brew traditional Turkish coffee. Burak, the hotel's Gazebo Lounge barista, told us while coffee was discovered during the 11th century in Ethiopia, its brewing history dates back to 1555.

Read more
How to make a crowd-pleasing shrimp scampi
Have a restaurant-style meal right at home
Shrimp Scampi with Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

 

Garlicky and buttery, shrimp scampi is equally delicious by itself or with pasta. An Italian American creation, versions of shrimp scampi can be found in many seafood restaurants. But shrimp scampi is actually quite easy to make at home -- the key is good quality shrimp and fresh ingredients. Keep reading our guide and find out how to make shrimp scampi right at home in your own kitchen.
What is scampi?

Read more
A brief history of the whiskey sour cocktail (and how to make different versions)
Learn to make all these recipes of this historical drink
George Dickel Whiskey Sour

What is a whisky sour? The whiskey sour cocktail officially dates back to the 1860s, but sailors in the British Navy had been drinking something very similar long before that. On long sea journeys, water was not always dependable, so to combat that, spirits were often used. Scurvy, too, was another danger on these journeys, so lemons and limes were consumed to help prevent the disease (incidentally, this is also one of the reasons why British folk are called ‘Limeys’).

Finally, sugar and water were added for taste. At this point, the drink is probably starting to sound familiar. (Grog, the rum-based favorite of pirates across the seven seas, is made from the same components, substituting whiskey for the sugarcane-based spirit.)

Read more