There are very few things that everyone can agree upon. This holds true for practically everything, from favorite Thanksgiving pies to people’s vastly differing views on the Serial podcast. But, I think one thing that most all of us can agree upon: gravy is the most boring and least glamorous part of the Thanksgiving table. (Did I really just tie in my public radio obsession with gravy? Yes, yes I did.)

Even though gravy is decidedly unsexy, it is a staple that most people will be pouring all over their plate. It needs to be done right. I used to pass on gravy myself until I found this recipe. I love the combination of flavors here – the majority of it comes from turkey pan drippings, as it should be. Sautéed shallots, thyme and cider round things out for probably the most elegant and perfectly seasonal version of gravy I’ve ever had. Maybe gravy is upping the ante after all.

(Side note: Seriously though, back to Serial, this is a sadly accurate depiction of my reality right now.)


  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • Pan juices from roast turkey
  • About 4½-5 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • Salt and pepper


  • 01

    Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, thyme and garlic to the pan and sauté until the shallots are beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.

  • 02

    Measure the pan juices from the turkey and add enough stock to total 5 cups. (I usually end up with around 2 cups of pan drippings.) Gradually add the stock mixture into the pan with the butter mixture, whisking in each small addition before adding more. Once all of the liquid is incorporated, bring the mixture to a boil. Add in the cider and continue to boil until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.