Gravy, real gravy, has to be one of the best foods on earth. It makes everything taste better (rice and gravy, potatoes and gravy, stuffing and gravy, bread and gravy, gravy and gravy…yum!). Gourmet machinations just mess it up. It’s got to be simple, pure, heavenly gravy. I know some people make it in a saucepan with broth and giblets. I’ve never quite understood the appeal of that. Adding any sort of alcohol ruins it completely. I’ve only made gravy one way, and it’s the way my mother made it before me, and the way my kids are already making it after me. Why mess with perfection?
Step one: Start by roasting a chicken or turkey in a high-sided (3 inches will do) pan that can also be used to cook on top of the stove. THIS IS KEY.
Step two: When the bird is done, take it out of the oven and transfer the bird (try to tilt it so its juices run into the pan) to a platter for carving or serving or whatever. Put the roasting pan on top of the stove.
Step three: In a glass or cup, mix about ½ cup of flour to 1 cup of water. Stir the flour mixture with a fork until there are no lumps (unless you want lumps).
Step four: Turn on the heat under the roasting pan. When the brothy grease is boiling, add the flour and water mixture, and stir. Make sure you scrape all the brown crispy stuff off the edges and bottom of the pan until it all melts into the mixture and it thickens into a golden, bubbly, delicious, and thick GRAVY. This step should only take a few minutes. If it seems too thick you can always add more water.
Step five: Add salt and pepper. Pour off excess fat if you want to. Put it into a gravy boat and serve it with a ladle.
Truly good, clean gravy is the secret to many things—good food, a happy marriage (as much because it makes me happy), and children who love to eat. It makes good leftovers, too. The next day, make some toast, add some leftover chicken or turkey. Put gravy on top and microwave it until the gravy is hot and melted. Heaven!