Make-ahead gravy

Make-ahead gravy

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(4 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins


Serves 8
Prepare this traditional accompaniment to roast dinner before the main event - use off-cuts and plenty of onion to add flavour and colour

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal166
  • fat6g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre2g
  • protein11g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 1kg chicken wing, halved with kitchen scissors
  • the turkey neck, if you have it, cut into pieces



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 3 large carrots, chopped into chunks



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 onions, unpeeled and chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 celery sticks, chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • small handful thyme sprigs


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • 1 vegetable stock cube


  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the chicken wings into a roomy roasting tin with the turkey neck (if using), carrots, onions, celery and thyme. Scatter over the sugar, toss in the oil and roast for 50 mins until brown and lightly charred.

  2. Get the kettle on. Put the roasting tin on a low heat, stir in the tomato purée and flour, and cook until sticky. Splash in the balsamic vinegar, then pour over 1.5 litres water to just cover all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Crumble in the stock cube and use a potato masher to mash all the ingredients together to release the flavour.

  3. Simmer everything for 20 mins until you have a tasty thickened gravy, then strain it through a sieve, pushing down hard on all the mushy veg. Cool and chill for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

  4. Heat the gravy to serve, adding roasting juices from your turkey, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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21st Dec, 2018
I've made this for the last 3 years and we all love it!
4th Dec, 2016
Good easy and stress free way of having a good gravy for Xmas dinner...but needs a little kick of alcohol to bring out the flavours...tried a good glug of cider that I had been saving, really bought out that flavour of the chicken...bagged up and in the freezer ready for Xmas dinner nom nom
SproutLover's picture
27th Sep, 2015
Very bland, even with wine.
d1zzyd1's picture
8th Dec, 2013
I've just made this ready for Christmas. Having read previous comments I also added a splash of wine. It's really lovely light gravy, perfect for chicken/turkey. I had to roast for longer, but that's because, as I've now just discovered, I forgot the oil!!
30th Dec, 2012
Agree with comments above. Made before Xmas and froze, which was great help on Xmas day. Added turkey juices; in hindsight should have added some red currant jelly or wine as well.
26th Dec, 2012
good base for xmas gravy. i added turkey juices and some port. was very good and made less work on xmas eve
19th Dec, 2012
Easy to make but a bit lacking in flavour so I added some white wine and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. It's in the freezer now, ready for Christmas!
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