Rice Rice n Gravy

I can’t tell you how much I love gravy

Especially over rice

Rice rice n gravy

Last year during a trial an expert witness compared the critical path for a construction case to making Thanksgiving dinner

“You know, you have to think about when to start the mashed potatoes in conjunction with the turkey being ready”

It being a Charleston courtroom with a lot of locals, there were many sotto voce “mashed potatoes” “we eat rice” “what is he talking about”

Even the Judge said, “Sir, you might want to change that to rice and gravy”. The Courtroom erupted with laughter

The expert witness was from off

I would eat rice and gravy every night. Like every.

It is so not mid

And for Thanksgiving, I make the gravy weeks ahead

Here’s the way I do it

About a month before Thanksgiving, I roast a chicken. Roasted yard bird is the true mark of a cook. Salt and pepper and a little thyme in the cavity with half a lemon.

Then, I take that bird’s carcass and throw it in a pot with some onion, celery, pepper, and cover with water and boil it for a couple of hours. I strain and place the stock in deli containers in the freezer

Two weeks before the big day I cut a couple of onions, with their skin on them, and place them on a baking sheet. I throw four turkey necks on the sheet and salt and pepper them and spray them with Pam®. Then into a 400 degree oven for an hour.

After an hour, I remove the baking sheet and add a cup of water. I scrape up all that browned goodness and strain into a pot with one of those frozen quarts of chicken broth and some other things I’ll explain below

I then freeze the turkey stock and make the gravy on the day before Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day, I add giblets and drippings and go from there. I also add boiled eggs, because I’m stuck in 1901.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Rice and Gravy

Make Ahead Gravy

1 quart chicken broth – homemade or store bought. See, broth, supra

4 turkey necks

Salt and pepper

Pam® cooking spray – trust me

2 onions

1 stalk celery

1 carrot

1 green onion or half small yellow onion

1 tbsp thyme (dried or fresh)

5 pepper corns

1 cup water

1 stick butter

3/4 cup flour

Any turkey drippings from the bird on the day of Thanksgiving

Giblets – liver, heart, gizzard, boiled in a little water on the same day

3 boiled eggs, sliced thinly

Two weeks before the big day, it’s time to start

Preheat (or as we say “cut on”) the oven to 400

Cut the onions with their skin on and place on a baking sheet. The onion skins help with the drippings being a great dark color. Place turkey necks on the same sheet and salt and pepper the necks and the onions. Spray with Pam. Roast at 400 for an hour

While the necks and onions are roasting, place the celery, carrot, onion, thyme, pepper corns, and broth into at least a 6 quart pot or Dutch oven

After the necks have roasted with the onions, remove from the oven and put the necks in the pot with the broth. Leave the onions and add a cup of water and scrape up all the onions and browned bits. I use a whisk. Strain through a mesh strainer into the pot with the necks and broth. Bring to a boil and boil for an hour until the broth has reduced some and turns that golden brown.

Let the broth cool on the stove for an hour or two and then put overnight in the fridge and skim off any fat

Place the broth into quart containers or plastic bags and freeze

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, thaw the turkey broth by leaving it on the counter overnight.

On the day before, melt the butter in a 4 -6 quart pot. When it foams, add the flour and whisk until it smells like toasted nuts after about 2- 3 minutes. Then add a cup of the turkey broth. Whisk all the time. Add the rest of the broth. Whisk until the desired gravy consistency. Flour and fat and liquid only thicken when boiling. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. I usually don’t add salt since Thanksgiving is basically a salt lick

On the big day, after the bird is roasted, put any drippings into a fat separator and add the drippings that aren’t fat. (You’ll add a little fat because those fat separators always have a bit of fat in the neck. And fat is our friend it turns out) Also add the giblets which you have boiled in a little water and chopped into tiny mince. Also add the eggs

This is SO many steps, but it’s SO worth it instead of sweating

and whisking and doing all those steps as the bird rests

as Aunt So and So asks “what can I do to help?” while you secretly think to yourself, “Oh, dear heart, too late”

as your nephew announces he’s now a vegan

as your father-in-law says he needs a refill on his Bloody Mary, which of course he does not

as your dog is sniffing round that resting bird

as your divorced cousin says he’s sorry he’s late and “Do you remember [name of current girlfriend]?”

as your mother asks if these are her table linens because she doesn’t remember giving hers to you and, no, ma’am, they aren’t because Gen X expects nothing

as your brother-in-law wants to bring up politics and says to you in the kitchen as you put out dishes, “Did you read [fill in the blank slanted news source]?”

as your neighbor asks if they can put their casseroles in your oven because theirs just went on the fritz five minutes before you gather your people to give thanks in prayer while the biscuits/rolls/bread heat in that turned off oven

as your being silently judged by your children for not having the meal ready yet

as you’re rifling through the serving pieces realizing you didn’t polish the cold meat fork

Or perhaps that’s just what happens round here

I really love gravy

And, this does sound like insanity in terms of steps and critical paths, but it does make Thanksgiving so easy.

And thanks be to God for all of our families’ crazy

Because that is for what we are truly thankful

And all that gravy

8 thoughts on “Rice Rice n Gravy

  1. Ok..this is a best from you..we love gravy and rice..love, love. Thanks for this one..it is brilliant.💥

    Sent from my iPad



  2. Greetings from Savannah! I am the designated family gravy maker this year, and can’t wait to use your recipe. As far as I can tell, this will yield a scant quart of gravy, after all is said and done. We need more than that for our crew, so do I double everything and carry on? Will appreciate your wisdom, at your convenience. Thanks so much, Beth Watson

    Sent from my iPad



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