Do you ever wish you had more turkey leftovers? Or do you not have any because you ate your meal at someone else’s house? Perhaps you would simply like to create this classic meal another time of the year. This foolproof, slow cooker recipe is incredibly easy and produces a delightful gravy. It even makes your kitchen smell just as good as it does on Thanksgiving day!
I have made this recipe and transferred the insert of my slow cooker to the refrigerator overnight to see how much fat rises to the top of the gravy. Surprisingly, there is very little — to the point that I barely skimmed any off the top. I also use olive oil instead of the traditional butter to make the roux which serves as the thickener.
One of my favorite ways to serve any leftover turkey is to remove it from the bone, add to the leftover gravy and refrigerate. Overnight, the turkey will marinate in the gravy and become even more tender and delicious the second time around. (Delicious served over mashed potatoes or egg noodles…even in a puff pastry!) Of course, turkey sandwiches and my favorite Turkey Tetrazzini with Mushrooms and Kale (that recipe coming after Thanksgiving) are rather tasty, too!
Making stock with the leftover turkey carcass is a great way to have luscious, wholesome broth on hand for your favorite recipes. Start saving those veggie odds and ends in a bag in the refrigerator and click here to see my favorite way to make stock. This recipe works beautifully with chicken and turkey.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 whole bone-in, skin-on turkey breast (mine was 5 1/2 pounds)
- Kosher salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook until the veggies have softened and the onion is beginning to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook for two minutes. Add one cup of broth, scraping up any brown bits and smoothing out any lumps.
At this point, transfer the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker. If you have a slow cooker with a sauté option, this can all be done right in your cooker.
Stir in the remaining broth, water, thyme and bay leaves. Add the the turkey, skin side up, and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees, or about 5 hours. If your turkey breast is larger, this may take a bit longer.
Remove the turkey to a platter to rest for 15-20 minutes, tenting lightly with foil to keep warm.
Strain the broth mixture into a saucepan, discarding the solids, and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Carve turkey and serve with gravy.