Tag Archives: gravy

PotLikker

Curious? We certainly were. Let me put your mind at ease. Potlikker, or Pot Liquor, a Southern tradition, is the brothy liquid gold left behind after boiling greens and beans. However, here potlikker is made from scratch and used as an ultra-concentrated broth—often the first step in imbuing a dish with layers of meaty flavor. The potlikker is made with dry-cured country ham, but if you can’t find it, get smoked ham hocks which will bring similar intensity.

The juicy seared pork chops get smothered in a rich brown gravy made with the savory Country Ham Potlikker for layer upon layer of Southern comfort. Making the broth is a crucial first step, so be sure to read through the recipe before you begin to make the Smothered Pork Chops dinner. We actually made the potlikker the day before, which saved a lot of time on dinner day.

We served our chops over hot buttered egg noodles with a wedge of braised cabbage.

*After the simmering was done, we deemed the sauce too thin. The pork chops were removed to a platter and covered with foil, while we reduced the sauce by boiling it over medium-high heat for an extra 10 minutes. When ready, remove the foil from the meat and pour the thicker sauce over the chops, sprinkle with thyme leaves and serve.

The meal was outstanding! We practically became plate-lickers of the potlikker sauce left on the dinnerware… The Bon Appétit article had a few more potlikker broths and companion recipes, so I’m sure this won’t be the last. For instance, Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives and Herbs to go with a smoked paprika and sun-dried tomato potlikker… my mouth is watering already…

Country Ham Potlikker Gravy

  • Servings: Yields 2 1⁄2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1½-oz. piece country ham or one 12-oz. smoked ham hock
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt

Directions

  1. Bring ham, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and 1 quart water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming foam from surface as needed, 1 hour.
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium heatproof bowl. Pick out ham and reserve for another use; discard remaining solids.

Do Ahead: Potlikker can be made 5 days ahead. Let cool. Transfer to an airtight container and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Smothered Pork Chops in Potlikker Gravy

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (or more) Country Ham Potlikker
  • 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 1″–1½”-thick bone-in pork chops
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6–8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped marjoram
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 1½ tsp. finely chopped thyme, plus leaves for serving

Directions

  1. Whisk together potlikker, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, allspice, molasses, and 1 cup water in a medium bowl; set potlikker mixture aside.
  2. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Pat pork chops dry; season with salt and pepper. Dredge chops in flour, shaking off excess, and transfer to a platter. Set remaining flour in bowl aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook pork chops until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring, until onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle reserved flour evenly over; cook, stirring often and scraping up any browned bits, until onions are beginning to brown, 6–8 minutes.
  5. Add reserved potlikker mixture; whisk until incorporated and lump-free. Bring to a boil, then add marjoram, rosemary, and 1½ tsp. thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pork chops and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover and simmer until pork chops are tender, 70–80 minutes. If gravy looks too thick, thin with more potlikker or water. (*If it’s too thick, reduce the sauce, see above.) Taste gravy and season with more salt as needed.
  6. Transfer pork chops to a platter; top with thyme leaves.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe by Carla Hall for Bon Appétit

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken

Let’s be honest, 2020 has been the most trying year overall—on so many levels. So when it comes to food, it makes sense to throw in a couple of comfort meals to soothe the soul and bring back memories of simpler times. One of my favorite comfort-inducing dinners is crispy-skinned roast chicken with homemade gravy, creamy mashed potatoes and a side veg.

And simple in the fact that you use just one pan, a large cast-iron skillet. The poultry, the vegetables and the gravy all do their magic in the same pan. Of course if you add some garlicky, creamy mashed potatoes, you’re on your own there. We had leftovers from another meal and just reheated them, making a perfect vehicle in which to ladle the gravy.

Not able to purchase a 5-pound chicken we went with the biggest we could get our hands on weighing in at just over 4 pounds. We thought the smaller size might mean less cooking time, but in the end, it took just as long as the recipe indicates for a 5-pounder: 1 hour, 25 minutes.

Don’t be afraid to season the chicken generously. Salt and pepper not only makes the chicken taste good; they help render the fat, yielding a crispy, crackly crust—and who doesn’t love that? Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and outside the chicken for the best flavor. And for even more flavor, stuff the chicken with aromatics such as citrus, garlic, and/or herbs.

Check the chicken temperature about one hour in, the bird probably won’t be done yet, but you can turn the onions and carrots so that they get moisture all over and won’t dry out.

The Hubs realized the proportion to make the roux was incorrect so we changed the amount of flour from one tablespoon to two. His formula for every one cup of liquid, you need one tablespoon of fat and one tablespoon of flour. Therefore with two cups of chicken broth, we needed two tablespoons each of fat and flour.

Oh and don’t toss the luscious onions and garlic. Simply serve the onions mixed with the carrots; then squeeze some of those roasted garlic cloves right into the gravy which will also help thicken the sauce and add a touch of comfort-food goodness. We even went so far as to squeeze some onto our plates and mash it around to drag the chicken through.

Next time we make this, I’m going to switch out the citrus and herbs for orange and rosemary.

Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • Zested lemon cut in quarters for cavity
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (5-lb.) whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 (16-oz.) package carrots, peeled and cut into 5-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion, root-end intact, cut into wedges
  • 1 head garlic, tips cut off, plus more cloves for cavity
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for cavity
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine zest and 2 teaspoons salt. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Gently loosen skin from chicken, keeping skin intact. Rub salt mixture under skin and all over chicken. Place lemon halves, thyme and a few extra garlic cloves inside chicken cavity. Tie legs with kitchen twine. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Place carrots, onion wedges, garlic head, and thyme in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Place chicken on top of vegetables. Rub chicken with oil, and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
  4. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°, about 1 hour and 25 minutes, covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken, carrots, onions and garlic from skillet; whisk in flour. Pour in broth, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Stir in pepper. Serve gravy with chicken. Garnish with thyme, if desired.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe found on southerncastiron.com

Simple Iron Skillet Roast Chicken and Gravy

There’s something about roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy that screams comfort food to me. And I’ve made many a dinner highlighting these ingredients over the decades. The basis of this recipe hails from Mark Bittman of the NY Times Cooking site. With an ingredient list just four items long (chicken, olive oil, salt, pepper), the genius of this bare-bones roast chicken is in its technique.

To make it, thoroughly preheat a cast-iron skillet before placing a seasoned bird, breast side up, in it. In under an hour you’ll get a stunner of a chicken, with moist, tender white meat, crisp, salty chicken skin, and juicy dark meat all done to perfection. Your mouth watering yet?

If you don’t already have a cast-iron skillet large enough to hold a whole chicken, this recipe is a good enough reason to invest in one.

Mark Bittman

We, of course, had to kick it up a notch. Knowing we wanted to have garlicky mashed potatoes on the side, gravy is a must for the spuds. In order to get more depth of flavor, we stuffed the cavity of the chicken with a Meyer lemon, shallot, and fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and sage). Not only did the additional ingredients subtly permeate the meat, but they added an amazing amount of flavor to the pan sauce.

So we’ve taken Mark’s simple recipe and expanded the directions to include our flavor enhancers and gravy. Our chicken—at less than 3 pounds—was probably the tiniest one I’ve ever cooked, so it came to temperature on the quicker side.

Honestly, after just one bite, we oooohed and aaahed all the way through dinner. You can always skip the additional cavity-stuffing ingredients and gravy to simplify things, but with very little additional effort, why would you? Plus we got the bonus of saving the carcass, stuffing and all, for future homemade stock…

The meal also included a side of roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic cloves.

Simple Iron Skillet Roast Chicken and Gravy

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
  • Fresh herbs: a few sprigs each of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme and sage
  • 1 or 2 shallots, peeled and slice in half lengthwise
  • 1 Meyer lemon or orange, sliced in half or quartered
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, make a slurry with 1/4 cup cool water

Directions

  1. Put a cast-iron skillet on a low rack in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Insert your stuffing ingredients such as fresh herbs, shallots and citrus. Truss the legs with kitchen twine.
  3. Rub the chicken all over with the oil and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.
  4. When the oven and skillet are hot, carefully put the chicken in the skillet, breast side up. Roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Continue to roast until the bird is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh reads 155 to 165 degrees.
  6. Tip the pan to let the juices flow from the chicken’s cavity into the pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
  7. While the chicken is resting, add the stock to the skillet and bring to a rolling simmer. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and continue a rolling simmer for a few minutes to let the gravy thicken.
  8. Return any accumulated juices from the chicken into the gravy. Carve the bird and serve.

http://www.lynnandruss.com