Which also happens to be my 43rd birthday today.
To celebrate the occasion, my beloved husband made fried chicken, baked potatoes, gravy, and a salad. The man can fry. He used his grandmother’s cast-iron Dutch oven, every drop of oil in the house, and an organic chicken he cut up his own self, without noticeable injury. He soaks the chicken in butter and insists on removing the skin, which I normally would consider sacrilige. But he may have won me over.
I had been worried about the gravy based on the following conversation:
Me: “Fried chicken would make a wonderful birthday dinner! I’d just like to request gravy to go along with it. I can make it if you need me to.”
Fred: “Oh, that wouldn’t be too hard. You just add milk to the grease in the skillet, right?”
I am stunned into speechlessness.
Words return. “No, that just would give you warm, greasy milk. There’s one thing you left out.”
Luckily, Fred consulted Mrs. S. R. Dull’s Southern Cooking before going further. He apparently added a splash of red wine to her recipe, which is not an inventive touch I normally would condone, but I was blissfully out of the kitchen.
Mrs. Dull’s recipe tells you to spoon the chicken grease into a pan and add butter. Add your two tablespoons or so of flour, then a cup of milk and a cup of water, and salt and pepper. I would have used all milk and no butter, and certainly no red wine, but this was still a nice, rich gravy, browner than what my grandmother made. And it was good.
It was a wonderful birthday.