Rating: 4.5 stars
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

Put this recipe at the top of your Thanksgiving to-do list. A make-ahead labor of love, it yields a rich sauce to serve with your Thanksgiving turkey, as well as stock and richly seasoned turkey fat for upgrading your side dishes (not to mention a killer next-day sandwich). Don’t worry about crowding the sheet pan when roasting the turkey pieces and vegetables; this helps the carrots, onion, and celery steam and cook gently in the flavorful turkey juices.

November 2020


Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Recipe Summary

12 hrs 20 mins
35 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 475°F. Grease a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil, using cut sides of garlic heads to help distribute the oil. Arrange garlic, onion, carrots, and celery in an even layer on baking sheet. Toss together turkey parts and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl, and arrange in an even layer over vegetable mixture. Roast in preheated oven until turkey begins to brown, about 20 minutes.

  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Roast, without stirring, until wings are deep golden brown, 50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes, checking vegetables every 20 minutes and adding up to 1/2 cup cold water and gently shaking baking sheet to prevent scorching.

  • Transfer baking sheet to stovetop. Place turkey parts in a 6-quart Dutch oven; add parsley sprigs and bay leaves. Pour wine over vegetables on baking sheet, and heat baking sheet over 2 burners over medium-low. Using a flat wooden spatula or spoon, scrape up any browned bits on baking sheet. Push garlic halves around mixture to help scrape up more of the browned bits, and gently smash garlic and vegetables while wine reduces. Cook, stirring often, until wine mixture has reduced to about 1/4 cup and is thick, opaque, and sticky, 10 to 12 minutes. Scrape vegetables and wine mixture into Dutch oven with turkey parts. Return baking sheet to 2 burners on stovetop over medium-high, and pour 1 cup cold water onto baking sheet. Cook, scraping up any stubborn browned bits, until baking sheet is mostly clean and water has reduced slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture from baking sheet into Dutch oven. 

  • Add 7 cups cold water to Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, until liquid has reduced by about half and turkey begins to fall apart, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours, pressing down turkey parts often so they remain submerged. Set a fine wire-mesh strainer over a medium-size heatproof bowl. Working in batches, pour mixture in Dutch oven through strainer, mashing turkey parts and vegetables with the back of a spoon to extract as much of their juices as possible; reserve liquid (the jus) and solids separately.

  • Let turkey jus cool at room temperature 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until congealed, at least 8 hours or up to 4 days. Meanwhile, return strained turkey parts and vegetables to Dutch oven; add 8 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced to about 4 cups, about 1 hour. Strain turkey stock as with turkey jus in step 4; discard solids. Let turkey stock cool at room temperature 30 minutes. Cover and store in refrigerator up to 5 days, reserving for another use (like dressing or mashed potatoes).

  • Remove turkey jus from refrigerator. Scrape congealed turkey fat off top of jus; reserve for another use, such as frying potatoes. Transfer jus to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium. Boil until reduced to about 3 cups, 8 to 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

  • Whisk together cornstarch and remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small heatproof bowl until well dissolved. Whisk 1/3 cup hot jus into cornstarch mixture. While constantly whisking the boiling jus in saucepan, gradually add about half of cornstarch mixture. Bring to a full boil over medium, whisking constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute. For a thicker jus, continue adding cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly, until desired consistency is reached, ensuring jus comes to a full boil after each addition. Serve hot.

Make Ahead

Turkey stock can be refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen up to 2 months. Freeze turkey jus after step 5. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and proceed with step 6.