Chicago's foremost Southern chef reveals his secrets to Thanksgiving gravy

For our final episode of Good Gravy! we turn to Darnell Reed, chef and owner of the acclaimed Luella’s Southern Kitchen in Chicago. Reed’s gravy is a versatile brown gravy ideal over turkey, mashed potatoes, pretty much any savory dish on the Thanksgiving table. Bonus tip: Reed suggests that if you’re making stock from scratch, throw in some smoked turkey wings for a smokey twist on Thanksgiving gravy.

Darnell Reed’s turkey gravy

1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups chilled turkey stock (if not available, Better than Bouillon chicken stock mix)
1 bay leaves
Hot sauce
Salt + pepper to taste


Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour, and whisk until the roux turns a light brown and there’s no more lump. Turn up to medium heat, and slowly add chilled turkey stock, whisking until incorporated. Add bay leaf and let simmer for about five minutes, whisking regularly. Add a few dashes of hot sauce, then salt and pepper to taste.

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.

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God, Luella’s makes some great food. The shrimp and grits with a Blenheim extra hot ginger ale is on a shortlist of the best things I’ve ever eaten.