Place the butter in a med-large saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 15 minutes, until the onion becomes nice and brown.
Stir in the flour and continue to cook for one minute.
Add the chicken stock, brandy, sage leaves, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon of pepper and continue to stir (don't add salt yet because you want to see how salty your drippings are). Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the gravy base from the heat and allow it to cool for one hour. Strain the cooled mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and set it aside or in the refrigerator if making it ahead of time.
If you are making the base ahead of time, cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming, and refrigerate until you are ready to use
Dripping and Finishing Steps
After your turkey has roasted, remove it from the roasting pan and allow it to rest. Pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a large saucepan. Use a spoon to scrape off as much of the cooked-on bits as you can (this is where the flavor is!) and also put them in the saucepan. Add the wine and stir over medium-high heat.
Pour the prepared base into the saucepan and stir until nice and thick. Taste to see if it needs any salt and pepper. Pour the gravy into a fat separator and allow the liquid to separate before putting it into a serving dish. This takes just a few minutes as it cools.
Place the gravy in a serving bowl or gravy dish and enjoy!
Store leftover gravy in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
You can make the base of the gravy ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to go. I found this wasn't necessary because I had just the right amount of time to make everything while my turkey was resting.
Get as much of those burnt-on, black drippings off the bottom of your roasting pan as you can. Trust me, this is where the flavor is and once you stir it all up, all you will have is tasty gravy.
If you don't have sage or bay leaves, you can use other herbs. Try fresh thyme or parsley instead.
The alcohol in the brandy and wine cooks out of the gravy before serving However if you do not want to use one or both, you can leave them out. For the wine, just add another cup of stock instead.
If you are looking to cut down on sodium, you can use low-sodium stock and watch the added salt.
Don't worry if your gravy is a different color than you were expecting. The color depends on the herbs and spices you used when roasting your turkey.
A fat separator is a lifesaver. But, if you don't have one, let the liquid sit for a few minutes and allow the fat to separate and rise to the top. Take a baster and suck the top layer off. If you don't have a baster, use a spoon.