This Thanksgiving Side Dish Is A Must For Andrew Zimmern

If you ask someone what they think are the side dishes that MUST make an appearance on the Thanksgiving table, you'll find that feelings run hot on this topic as people yearn for the favorite foods they experienced growing up while celebrating the holiday with loved ones. Insider ranked the most popular side dishes, the ones that folks say are crucial to making it feel like a true Thanksgiving. Not surprisingly, savory stuffing and fluffy mashed potatoes topped their list. Others, the article mentioned, are more regional favorites, like corn pudding for Southerners, Parker house rolls for those in chilly New England, or a hot pan of creamy, green bean casserole for Thanksgiving guests in the Midwest. More universally beloved sides in the Insider rankings included cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato casserole.

There was one side dish that was conspicuously missing from this round-up, although according to the Penn State University blog, part of the reason might be that many do not consider it a side dish at all. Whatever you call it, Chef Andrew Zimmern shared on Instagram that it just isn't Thanksgiving unless there's plenty of this on the table — and that is gravy. 

Andrew Zimmern has an incredible recipe for this Thanksgiving side

"Bizarre Foods" host, chef, and author Andrew Zimmern recently shared on his Instagram page that gravy is his "essential" side for the Thanksgiving holiday feast — but also for meals throughout the year. In his video post, Zimmern explains that he always prepares extra gravy after roasting poultry and then freezes the leftovers in large containers. "That way I can accent lots of meals," he writes, "from pork chops to roast chicken or my turkey roll-ups." Turkey roll-ups, you say? We're intrigued! Zimmern describes the dish as thick slices of roast turkey rolled up with a filling of stuffing. And of course, homemade gravy gets poured over the top. What a delicious way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers!

On his official website, the celebrity chef also shares his Pan Gravy recipe. It begins with a rich and potent homemade stock made by slowly roasting poultry bones with vegetables in the oven. Broth is then added and the mixture gets a long, low simmer in a stockpot. This stock is added to with butter and flour, and it's whisked to make a batch of rich gravy. The time invested here is more than worth it: Zimmern says this recipe creates two quarts of intensely-flavored stock that can be frozen and saved for "a hundred uses in the kitchen." Just make sure that one of those uses is to make plenty of homemade gravy for Thanksgiving and all the days of leftovers that will follow!