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    Don’t you give up so soon

    I’ve just discovered that, when making pan gravy while bopping around the kitchen to Taylor Dayne, it helps to pay more attention to the gravy than to the music. I had a good quarter-cup of drippings–and this week, there were lots of gorgeous little crackly bits, too. You just never know what the quality of the deglazings is going to be until you go ahead and bake your chicken parts, so I was very excited that I won the jackpot this time. Perhaps a bit too excited, because before I thought of it, I scooped up about twice as much flour as I had fat in the pan and threw it in. 1 second, 2 seconds…realization! Dammit! Of course, if I’d had the presence of mind, I would have just scooped some of the dry flour out of the pan and thrown it away. But my mind was elsewhere, so in my moronic haze, I figured I’d put in enough more butter to make the paste the usual consistency. I’m from Pennsylvania Dutch country, after all. “Add more butter” is stored somewhere in my brain near “Look both ways before you cross the street.”

    Well, suffice it to say, I had enough thickener for a good quart of gravy by the time all was said and done, but I decided to brazen it out with just 3-odd cups of milk. You can see the results here:


    Note the eggshell finish, not the usual meat-juice shimmer, on the gravy. That’s courtesy of flour overload, though of course I had the sense to keep cooking it until it didn’t taste raw anymore. It stood up like soft whipped cream, too, rather than running lasciviously down the chicken and potatoes the way gravy’s supposed to. Tasty, though. You can’t beat butter, chicken fat, and crackly bits. Of course, even after I flooded the extra chicken leg with as much as seemed defensible before putting it away, I had a good cup of gravy left. I have this feeling that when it’s chilled, I’ll be able to slice it and eat it like aspic. Maybe on a baked potato?

    Added 15 minutes later: I know what you’re thinking. You’re panicking and saying to yourself, Does he realize that that extra butter has cost him some of his discretionary calories?! Rest assured that I’m not about to contravene the wisdom of our bureaucratic betters and have allotted myself exactly three-eighths of a Hydrox cookie for dessert.

    4 Responses to “Don’t you give up so soon”

    1. Kris says:

      I was LOVING this post, until I got to the picture. While I knew intellectually that we had an identical Thai urn/vase in our homes, seeing it in a picture with chicken and that…godforsaken…‘gravy’ just made my blood run cold.
      What do you keep in it, anyway? Contextual clues tell me it’s something food related…

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, of course, we have the same one. Actually, we (from Japan) went to a wedding in Bangkok after the meeting in 1999, so I think I have three of them. This one, I use as a candy dish (It’s on the coffee table–hence the casual, high-low arrangement of candles, Thai pottery, and mini-Etch-A-Sketch. I ate in front of the television the night I took the picture). The one in the toilet has…I think soap balls? Something I haven’t used since I plunked it there. Heaven knows what the third one is doing. I’m pretty sure it’s got collar stays and cuff links and things rattling around in it, but I’d have to go look. If there’s one thing this household does not suffer from, it’s porcelain deficiency.

    3. Toren says:

      Mmm…gravy with crackly bits. Can I come over for dinner next time I’m in Japan?

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      You’ll just have to remind me (politely, please) to use a measuring cup, but sure.