Have I told you recently how much I love you? I would hate to think that you are walking through this world with no conception of how deeply I feel for you. You are the meat juice light of my life and I have yet to encounter a meal which could not be made better by your presence. For example, while eating chicken & waffles this morning with Tita Sue, I was delivered the requisite fried chicken and waffles but you were strangely absent. My heart nearly broke there this morning at Pies & Thighs as I consider you in combination with maple syrup to be an essential element of a satisfying chicken & waffles experience.
Fortunately, I know how to bring you into my life directly. After roasting my delightful little chicken in my cast iron skillet with a rub of salt, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper, I was left with what people affectionately refer to as “drippings,” i.e., the cooked off fat and love. Sensible (read: stupid) people would just dispose of this wonderful collected juice, but those of us who understand the value of fat and cooked on bits of chicken know the best thing to do: make gravy. A bit of chicken stock and a smidge of flour and whisking the burnt on bits of wonder over heat results in life’s most magnificent liquid.
While sitting at my kitchen table enjoying my dinner, the glass of you sat next to my plate and I considered taking a great big swig of it directly, but I reconsidered for two reasons. First, I would have felt very bad about myself on an emotional, if not physical, level. There’s something slightly disheartening about drinking a glass of reduced fat and chicken bits. As a sauce, I love you; as a beverage I am not so sure. Second, I would have been left with no leftover gravy to enjoy as I consume the remainder of the chicken over the next week. If there is any leftover when the chicken is gone, I will dump it into the soup I intend to make with the carcass. Waste not, want not, gravy. That’s what I always (never) say.
Growing up in an essentially gravy-less childhood was a hardship, gravy. You are gravy, so you can never understand what it’s like to grow up without you. Imagine, for my sake, what your Thanksgiving turkey would be like without the luscious brown magic you provide. Imagine, if you will, what roast beef would be like if you never kissed it with your salty grace. Imagine, for the love of God and all that is holy, what my sausage smoothie would have been like if you were not there to provide such savory redemption from the depths of bland banality. Gravy, I love you. Thank you for being so versatile and easy to prepare. You are my life.
The Black Laser.
PS – I am not referring to your poor relations that come in a can. They will need to stay outside. Thanks for understanding that we just can’t allow their kind in here.