Ok, isn’t fried or roasted chicken really all about the gravy? I mean truly, what is chicken, or life for that matter, without a little sauce to smooth out the rough edges. And I’m telling you, this gravy can fix any boo boo, can lift any spirits that need lifting, or can turn your day from mundane to magnificent in just a few minutes time. All it takes are a few simple ingredients and a little patience. Well that, and of course some pan drippings. So go forth and fry or bake yourself up a whole chicken or some various chicken parts. Set them aside while you prepare your gravy, have a lovely sip or two of wine, and prepare to forget the cares of the world. Oh, and change into slippers too, that always helps!
- pan drippings from roasted or fried chicken
- chicken stock
- heavy cream or milk
- ½-1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 chicken gravy mixes (just in case)
- 1-2 tsp. cognac, opt.
Place the roasting or frying pan on the stove after the chicken has been removed. Turn the heat to very low and begin making your gravy immediately. (Good gravy flavor and consistency require time to develop.) Do not remove any fat from the pan, do not strain the liquid, do not do any of the things most cook book writers tell you to do to make good gravy (except me, that is!)
Whisk in enough flour to absorb the fat. Let burble for a couple of minutes. (This process takes time, so be patient.) Slowly whisk in equal parts chicken stock and cream (or any combination you prefer) until you reach the desired thickness you like. Add the Kitchen Bouquet (gives the gravy great color) and some freshly ground black pepper. No salt yet! Taste the gravy. If you think it needs more depth of flavor, begin by adding one of the gravy mixes and a small amount of stock. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes and taste again. Add salt at this time if needed.
Turn heat as low as possible and let the gravy simmer away for the next 10 minutes or so, whisking periodically. (You will probably need to add more stock during this time.) Also, after the chicken is plated, don’t forget to add the juices that have accumulated to the gravy.
Just before serving (and gravy should be the last item plated), taste the gravy and make any final adjustments to the seasoning. Stir in the cognac and serve piping hot.