Make Gravy; Make Love

Ever since the release of my book, Gravy Wars: South Philly Foods, Feuds & Attytudes (2009 Folger Ross Publications), I’ve noticed a trend in competitive TV food shows. Now, I’m not suggesting Gravy Wars spawned the likes of Food Wars (March 2010), Cupcake Wars (2010), or Food Court Wars (July 2013) despite preceding them, but I doubt the subsequent “Wars” were mere coincidence.

The popularity of TV cooking shows over the past decade and the proclivity for food related social media posts is indicative of the passion our society has for food. Just when I thought the debate had simmered regarding the terms gravy and sauce, my Facebook friends took staunch positions about whether to include oregano in spaghetti sauce.

It appears that in most circles food topics prompt greater debate than politics.

The single most important ingredient about which passionate cooks of all walks of life will agree, however, is love. When you are in your element—the kitchen—passionately preparing food, love pours from your soul and infuses your meal.

Whether you are making a full course dinner or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, love is the secret ingredient. So, make gravy or a roast, soup, cake, parfait, etc., and make love!

If you’d like to give a bit of love and a lot of humor this holiday season, please contact me about wholesale purchases of Gravy Wars: South Philly Feuds, Foods & Attytudes, a hilarious account of Americana told from an Italian perspective, complete with about 70 family recipes.

Here’s a gravy recipe you won’t find in my book. In fact, this is the first time my “Chicken Gravy” recipe is being published.

Disclaimer: I measure nothing. Use your imagination and good taste.

Chicken Gravy


  • Chicken
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley


  • Prepare your oven stuffer roaster by first cleaning and rinsing it with sea salt. Rub the salt over the skin to be sure there are no traces of feathers.
  • Place pats of butter beneath the skin without tearing too much of the skin away from the meat.
  • Shake a bit of salt and pepper (to taste) in the bird’s cavity.
  • Place rosemary and chopped parsley (to taste) on top of the chicken.
  • Stuff the bird with your favorite stuffing, or not.
  • Place the bird in a roasting pan and bake it for 20minutes per pound at 325°. Keep the lid off for the first 45 minutes to get it crisp.
  • After about 90 minutes, begin to baste the chicken liberally.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest in the roasting pan with the lid on for at least a half hour.
  • Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and pour the drippings through a strainer into a saucepan. Add to the juices these spices to taste: salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary, and parsley.
  • Place the saucepan with chicken drippings over medium heat.
  • Add to the saucepan about a tablespoon of flour for each cup of liquid. You might have to guess at this. Err on the side of caution by adding flour slowly.
  • Using a wire whisk, stir the mixture, adding more paprika for color if desired.
  • Continually stir the mixture until you reach your desired thickness.

Mangia & Enjoy!


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