Cody Stone’s Nostalgic Turkey Gravy

Chef Cody Stone from Proof on Main, restaurant located inside the flagship 21c Museum, Hotel in Louisville, KY share one of his favorite holiday recipes chock full of flavor and nostalgia. This turkey gravy was a recipe inherited from his mother, although she never technically ‘taught’ Cody how to make it: he learned by watching (and tasting) plenty of times over the years.  

“The recipe takes time and patience but is worth the effort. It is also done best a day or two ahead of time, for peace of mind.” 


Turkey Gravy (yields approx. 2 quarts) 


Ingredient  Amount 
Turkey leg quarters  1 pack 
Turkey bones   3 lbs 
Celery – diced (not peeled)  4 stalks 
Carrots – cut into 3” sections  4 
Yellow onions – quartered from root to top (not peeled)  4 
Thyme sprigs  4-5 
Bay leaves  2 
Black peppercorns  1 tbsp 
Bulb of garlic, cut in half horizontally  1 whole bulb 
Cold water  12 cups 
Small bottle white wine  187 ml 


Equipment needs –  

Large crockpot 

Baking tray 

Fine mesh strainer 


  • Set oven to 400 and roast bones until golden, around 35 minutes give or take. 
  • Once the bones are golden, while baking tray is still hot, place bones in large crockpot. Once removed, pour white wine over tray and use a spatula to scrape off all the good bits stuck to the surface and add to crockpot as well.  
  • Add the cut veggies and aromatics (garlic, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns) to the crockpot. Add cold water and set to “low.” Once stock comes to a simmer, add the turkey leg quarters and let cook until very tender (around 4 hours depending on size).  
  • After 4 hours, pull leg quarters out to cool. Once cool to the touch, discard the skin and shred the meat. Store in refrigerator until you are ready to make the gravy. Bones can be added back into the crockpot to cook with the stock. 
  • Continue to let the stock cook overnight. You want approx. 24-hours cook time to extract the most flavor.  
  • Once the stock has cooked for 24 hours, strain through a fine mesh strainer and let cool overnight in the refrigerator.  



Ingredient  Amount 
Turkey stock  8 cups 
Shredded turkey  Remaining from stock recipe 
Butter  1 cup 
All-purpose flour  1.5 cups 
Lemons  2 whole, cut in half to juice 
Black pepper  To taste 
Salt  To taste, recommend ¼ cup  


Equipment needs –  


  • Place a pot on the stove over medium heat and allow it to warm up. Add butter and melt.  
  • Once butter is melted, add flour and start whisking. Maintain a nice, steady range of motion with the goal of achieving a smooth paste-like roux. Allow roux to cook until golden brown, around 4-5 minutes.  
  • When roux hits nice rich color, add 1 cup of cold stock and start whisking. Bring to a boil, and let it thicken up nicely. Add 2 more cups of stock and start whisking, bringing up to a boil again. At this point, add remaining stock. Once boiling again, bring back down to a simmer. 
  • Add shredded turkey and allow to continue simmer, adding salt, lemon, and black pepper, little by little, until seasoned to taste.  



Place it in crockpot and turn on high, allowing approx. 1-hour for temperature to raise. Turn crockpot back to low until ready to serve. If needed, add a small amount of water to thin.  

Alternatively, you can warm using a pot on the stove. Use low heat, and stir frequently.