I over-purchased food for my little granddaughter’s visit and never got around to the frozen things we thought she might want, the breaded chicken tenders and the frozen waffles, so I decided to put them together and have a chicken and waffles dinner. Of course, it would have been better to be making both from scratch, but I figured I could add some homemade cream gravy to pump it up a little. I mean, really, gravy makes just about anything better. The best I could do with the frozen waffles was to use real butter and real maple syrup—or the chicken and gravy could have gone over the waffles in more of an Amish chicken and waffles.
Cream gravy is so, so easy, but you do have to stand there and stir it until thickened to prevent lumps, so choose a time to make it when your hands are not needed elsewhere.
4 tablespoons bacon fat (or butter or vegetable oil)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk (I used 1 1/2 cups half and half and 1/2 cup milk)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper—you have to see the black flecks of pepper in this sauce
- Heat the bacon fat until melted in a saucepan over medium heat, then stir in the flour, stirring until all the lumps are gone. Keep stirring for a few minutes to cook out the rawness of the flour. If you are using butter or oil, you want the roux to turn a light golden color without burning. My bacon fat had been strained before storing, so there were no bits of bacon left in it, but that would have been okay.
- Slowly stir in the milk, stirring continuously. I do not scald my milk first unless I’m using butter, but some people like to do that. Continue slowly stirring for a few more minutes with a large spoon or whisk until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
- Remove from heat and pour over just about any dinner food, from meat to vegetables to rice or potatoes. Or I guess you could eat it with that large spoon.