Friday, February 17, 2012

ode to gravy


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. With a chicken or turkey dinner
2. Poutine
3. hot turkey or chicken sandwiches
4. ???

Well, that's three ways anyway. Somehow I thought it would be more. I do love gravy!

Everyone should learn how to make homemade gravy. Why?

1. It is easy to make!
2. It is cheap to make!
3. It is fast to make!
4. It makes everything taste better!
5. Gravy is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things to make homemade. Any store bought gravy is just not as good tasting. Even most restaurant gravies are not up to par.

About this time you should be asking SO HOW DO I MAKE ME SOME GRAVY?? Well here is my recipe:

Homemade Gravy
makes about 2 cups or so

-- 1 pan with roasted chicken or turkey drippings, or chicken bullion, or you can be all avant garde like my mom and use a combo of beef and chicken bullion cubes -- basically we are looking for any combo of meaty liquids that equals about 2 cups.
-- 2 T. flour
-- 1 cup water
-- salt and pepper
-- gravy darkener, or instant coffee grounds (optional if you want darker gravy)

1. PREPARE YOUR LIQUID -- take your pan drippings, if you are using them, and strain them to get any gross fatty chunks out. If you can make the gravy IN the roasting pan itself that is the best because you can scrape up the roasty brown chunks which are what make gravy the most delicious. You can let the drippings settle and then pour off the fat if you want a lower-fat gravy, it still tastes just as delicious. One thing is that if you have brined your chicken or turkey, you may not be able to use the drippings as is because they can be too salty. When that happens, I usually just add water to the drippings until the salt content is fine. If you don't have that much liquid, add bullion cubes and water so your total liquid equals about 2 cups. OR you can always just use 2 cups worth of bullion and water and forget the drippings altogether, but your gravy will be not quite as delicious.

2. BOIL THE LIQUID -- put the liquid in a pan over med-high heat and boil.

3. MAKE FLOUR/WATER SLURRY -- Anytime you get to make a slurry is a good time. Just saying the word is fun. Slurry. Slurry. Slurry. Yeah. Get about 1 cup of cold water. Add 2 Tablespoons of flour to the water, and mix it up super well with a fork or whisk. You want to make sure there are NO LUMPS IN THIS so mix well.

4. WHISK WHISK WHISK -- Whisk the boiling liquid in the pan. Mix the slurry one more time and pour in a thin stream right into where you are whisking to make sure to get it super whisked into the hot broth BEFORE it starts to cook. Lazy whisking is what causes LUMPY GRAVY which is a misdemeanor in some states, so tell your children to step away and GO CRAZY with the whisk. Keep whisking ask the mixture comes back to a boil, and you will notice as the gravy boils it thickens up very quickly. Make sure the gravy is as thick as it is going to get before you stop whisking.

5. CHECK CONSISTENCY -- Depending on how thick or thin you like your gravy, either thin it out with water, or add more slurry until your gravy becomes as thick as you like. I tend to make it thin because it thickens up as it sits.

6. CHECK FLAVORINGS -- Taste your gravy. Does it need salt and pepper? If so, add some. My mom always used to use the commercial gravy darkeners to make her gravies look better. Sometimes I just throw in a little instant coffee and it does the same thing.

Enjoy! And soon you will be writing your own Ode to Gravy!

1 comment:

Krys said...

4 - mashed potatoes!
5 - biscuits!

I love gravy, too!