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Mama’s Country Fried Chicken White Gravy

Mama’s Classic Fried Chicken White Gravy

• 1 stick salted butter (yes one whole stick, and yes salted)
• 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk (cream)
• 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour (APF)
• 1/2 cup ice cold water
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Fried Chicken or Pork Chops (it MUST be FRIED)
• Rice or mash potatoes
• Corn on the Cob with a generous slathering of melted butter and seasoned salt ‘n pepper (or outta’ the can for jiffy service)

Note: any basic or country style fried chicken will work great. Use your favorite recipe or restaurant/deli/store-bought stuff. My grandma’s recipe was simply chicken thighs and/or drumsticks seasoned with salt and pepper, then dredged in all-purpose flour and fried. It doesn’t really matter, as the white gravy makes the dish here. Note, this white gravy also goes great with pan-fried pork chops.

To make the gravy, on medium heat in a sauce pot, melt the whole stick of butter on low heat, then pour in entire can of evaporated milk. Fill the empty evaporated milk can halfway with water (6 oz.) and add to pot with butter and cream. You can dilute the cream with more water than that if you want, but the richer it is, the better it tastes! Stir with whisk to incorporate, keeping on medium heat (reduce heat slightly if it begins to boil).

In the empty can of evaporated milk, add the 2 tablespoons flour and 1/2 cup ice cold water to make a slurry. Whisk/stir thoroughly until the flour is completely incorporated into the water to the texture of a non-lumpy, runny white paste.

Add the flour/water slurry mixture slowly into the butter and cream in sauce pan and continue to whisk, increasing heat just below the boiling point to cook the flour slurry which will thicken the butter and cream, which will now transform it into a “white” gravy.

TIP! Mama’s secret to her white gravy was to take some of the cooking oil from the fried chicken or fat drippings from the pork chops and whisk it into the white gravy right before serving, which would boost its “umami” factor. Winnahz, laddat!

The finished White Gravy should be just a little thinner than Ketchup. If needed, add more flour~water slurry to tighten it. Once it reaches a good thickness, finish it by seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste. This final seasoning part is important, so be generous with the salt and pepper to taste, as that’s what “kicks up” this sauce, by punching out the combination of the butter and cream foundation its made with.

Serve the fried chicken on a plate with hot steamed white rice either underneath it or on the side and corn on the side. Finally, generously pour that decadently-delicious white gravy over the chicken AND the rice and enjoy!

Growing up, my late grandmother did most of the domestic work around around our home while my parents were busy working. From watching me as a toddler, to cleaning, to, of course, COOKING. Which like most folks fondly remember of grandma’s cooking, she always made DA’ BEST comfort foods.

My grandma – who we fondly remember calling her “Mama” – was all about dishes that were simple in preparation, yet packed with flavor. Which now that I recall, was like that because they were very rich. Again, because they were VERY RICH.

Her stick-to-your-ribs white gravy she’d serve with fried chicken and pork chops was no certainly no exception, being so broke da’ mout’ ono, that I want to share it with you here today.

WARNING! Note once again, this recipe is RICH beyond all limits.If you’re on any diet restrictions, or get queasy at the very thought of deep-fried chicken smothered in a gravy made primarily of butter and heavy cream, please change the channel now.

My sister came up with a modified version of Mama’s White Gravy recipe, where she lightened it up a bit, while still preserving its deliciousness by using non-hydrogenated margarine vs. butter, 2% lowfat milk vs. cream, chicken stock vs. water for the flour slurry and seasoning it with garlic salt vs. regular salt and pepper. I have yet to try that, but it sounds like a winner!

~ Pomai

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