The Springdell chicken is the gift that keeps on giving. After last night’s chicken roast-and-post, I didn’t want to leave y’all hanging on what happened with the remains of Chicken D. Licious, Esquire. This is an epic saga, no morsel goes unloved.
Last night before I prepped the chicken for roasting, I started a down and dirty giblet gravy, which was done when it was time to eat. I didn’t put it out with Sunday dinner though, the chicken was great without it.
Please don’t let the lack of any ingredients sway you from making a gravy, extra ingredients add a complexity to the flavor, but if you’re starting with a good chicken, the flavor can stand on its own. All you really need is the giblets and a thickener such as flour.
I fly by the seat of my pants when making gravy, hence the “down and dirty” namesake. Those versed in the ways of gravy may balk at this recipe, and if you have the time and patience, I encourage you to seek an authentic gravy recipe elsewhere. For those of you that are just looking to trade some culinary correctness for time and simplicity, below is how I happen to roll when riding the gravy train.
Down and Dirty Giblet Gravy
-oil or butter, just enough to coat the pan (I used olive oil but whatever works)
-flour (or corn starch/potato starch for the gluten-free crowd)
-water and/or broth
-a clove of garlic
-a coarsely chopped carrot
-a coarsely chopped hunk of onion
-a coarsely chopped stalk of celery (or a frozen stalk-no chopping necessary)
-a bay leaf
Have on hand
-a chicken that’s roasting (to collect pan drippings for the gravy)
-a gravy separator or Ziploc bag
-a non-pan-scratching spoon (as there is scraping the bottom of pans involved).
1. Pour a little oil into a small/medium fry pan and turn on medium heat.
2. Toss in the giblets and start to brown them just a little.
3. While browning the giblets, toss other other non-liquid ingredients in the pan and toss around for a minute or two.
4. Pour in enough water (and broth if you so choose) to cover the giblets, gently scraping any browned bits from the pan bottom (with a non-pan-scratching spoon).
4. Bring to a boil then turn down to a low simmer for 1 1/2-ish hours.
5. When your bird is done, scrape the roasting pan drippings and bits into your simmer pan and stir. (If the bits are stuck to the roasting pan, add a little water and heat the whole roasting pan on the stovetop while gently scraping the bits away from the pan (with a wooden/non-pan-scratching spoon).
6. Turn off the heat and go enjoy your dinner while the ingredients rest and cool a bit
7. After dinner, pour the mixture through a fine sieve (set aside solids) and collect the liquid into a gravy separator (if you own one of these, please ignore my primitive recipe as you already know what you are doing) or plastic Ziploc bag (for those still with me, I LOVE this trick), holding the bag as shown and letting the liquid separate for about 10 minutes.
8. Once the Ziploc bag contents is settled, simply snip a small hole in the bottom bag corner, let the dark liquid drip out of the hole and back into your original pan and then the light liquid (fat) into a storage bowl (we can save and use this liquid gold in place of butter for roasting veggies).
If you desire giblets in your gravy, pick off the neck meat and chop it before adding to the pan with the dark liquid. (I instead chose to give my dog a little treat tonight, he is a lucky little dog!)
9. Whisk the dark liquid at a simmer and slowly add flour or starch (I add about a tbsp, then a tsp at a time) until the desired consistency is reached. Keep it a little more watery than you think it should be, as it will thicken as it cools!
10. Enjoy with the chicken, or refrigerate it to embellish your leftovers.
After my Sunday dinner guests left, I picked the rest of the substantial meat off the carcass, popped the meat in the fridge, and started making a chicken stock in the slow cooker. I woke up in the morning and – voilà! I had a stock that tasted like I sat next to a hot simmering stove for hours.
As with the gravy, please don’t let the lack of any ingredients sway you from making this stock. While the extra ingredients add a complexity to the flavor, you have a Springdell chicken on your hands and the flavor can stand on its own.
- one chicken carcass
- garlic (I scooped the pulp out of the bulb that just roasted in the cavity)
- one roughly chopped onion
- one stalk of celery chopped (I used Frozen Springdell Celery)
- one roughly chopped carrot
- one bay leaf
- Break up carcass so it fits relatively flat in your slow cooker. Add the other ingredients, then add enough water to just cover the carcass. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Wake up and strain the contents of the cooler through a fine sieve.
Unless you are making use of the stock over the next day or two, you can freeze the stock for later use. I use small recycled takeout containers and measure the stock into one-cup portions. Once frozen, I pop them out of the containers and keep the “bricks” of stock in a bag in the freezer. I am ready to go when I need liquid for soup, the slow cooker, the pressure cooker, etc… This stuff is liquid gold!
Stay tuned as we continue on with our chicken adventure tomorrow!