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Apple Cider Gravy

Photo by David Loftus

Photo by David Loftus

Recipe by Julia Turshen from her new cookbook Now & Again. Enjoy 20% off of the book and free shipping with the code ‘Imperfect2018’!

For the record, gravy doesn’t need to be made last minute. I think it’s an anxiety-inducing myth that has made many people scared of hosting Thanksgiving. Make it ahead! This is a relatively thin gravy, which is how I’ve always preferred it. If you like superthick gravy, simply double the flour.


  • ½ c unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh sage

  • 1½ tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • ¼ c all-purpose flour

  • 2 c chicken stock (or turkey stock made from the neck and other parts)

  • 2 c apple cider


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

  2. Add the onion, garlic, sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring now and then, until the aromatics are just softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.

  3. Add the flour and stir well to combine. Let the mixture cook, stirring quite a bit, until it turns the color of a milky cup of coffee, a solid 5 minutes.

  4. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the stock and the cider. It will seem very loose at first but trust in the power of flour.

  5. Bring the mixture just to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, stirring now and then, until thickened and the flavor is nice and rich, about 10 minutes.

  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can keep the gravy warm over the lowest heat for up to an hour, or you can make it ahead, refrigerate it, and then just warm it over low heat. You can also add drippings from your roasted turkey and/or roasted turkey breast and let the gravy reduce until it’s the consistency you like.

For a more refined, smooth gravy, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve before serving (I don’t ever bother doing this, but then again I’m not super refined).