Marcia Gagliardi's Thanksgiving Essential: Giblet Gravy
Tablehopper editor Marcia Gagliardi spends her days and nights roaming the city, chatting up restaurateurs and tasting all there is to be tasted. But when it comes to this holiday, she's a homer.
Gagliardi: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I'm so lucky because my parents are in San Mateo and my sister lives a block and a half from me. Thanksgiving is always an intimate family gathering at my mom's. We usually bring an orphan with us, an adopted diner or two. We hang out during the day, drinking wine and cooking. I was talking to my grandmother last year, and she said, "Your mother is such a good cook! These are the best Thanksgivings I've ever eaten."
Without a doubt, the essential Thanksgiving dish for me is giblet gravy. The recipe has been in our family for over a hundred years ― my grandmother remembers her grandmother making it. It's basically a white gravy with cream. My mother stars with the neck, gizzard, and heart, and adds wings because the necks aren't as big and fatty as they used to be. When I was young, liver showed up in there, but it tasted too strong, so our family decided to leave it out.
She'll cook the giblets down until the meat comes off the bone, and the stock is really rich. Then she uses the fat to make a roux, and she mixes it with cream. At the end, she adds in a sliced hard-boiled egg, so there are chunks of yolk and white scattered throughout the gravy.
The gravy is so incredible on top of our family's bread stuffing. We make a brown gravy as well, but the giblet gravy is the special stuff. My grandmother remembers when they'd serve the leftover giblet gravy the next day with biscuits and fried chicken. Oh, my family! I think my grandmother's palate skipped a generation ― my mother is so health conscious, but biscuits with fried chicken and giblet gravy sound like heaven.
Other Thanksgiving essentials in this series:
-Jonathan Kauffman's Brussels sprouts with prosciutto
-Jun Belen's stuffing balls
-John Birdsall's braised turkey legs with polenta
-Roger Feely's relleno negro
James Freeman's wonky turkey roasting with lots of coffee