This classic sage gravy has all the flavors of Thanksgiving but works for any meal

Southern Kitchen
A tiny amount of apple cider vinegar helps give this sage gravy all the flavors associated with Thanksgiving.

About the recipe

While this gravy has flavors that are most commonly associated with Thanksgiving, you could serve this with poultry throughout the fall and winter.

Starting with hot chicken or turkey stock will help prevent the gravy from becoming too lumpy. Storebought chicken broth is fine to use, but homemade chicken stock — or even turkey stock — is better.

Note: The cider vinegar plays an important part in the gravy. Adding a tiny amount of acidity once the sauce has finished cooking will brighten and enhance its flavors.

Serves: 12

Hands On Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 stalk celery, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)

2 cups hot chicken or turkey stock (see note)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is foamy, add the onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is foamy and lightened in color, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the bourbon, if using, and cook for 15 seconds. Gradually whisk in the hot chicken or turkey stock, increase the heat to medium-high and, while stirring constantly, bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the gravy has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the gravy through a wire mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Stir in the sage and apple cider vinegar, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot.