This is a great plate of food, but you need not make every component if you don't want to. I have instructions for the corn and the Brussels sprouts above, and I'll detail the duck and gravy here. You can of course use any meat you can pound flat for this recipe.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: duck, fried foods
Author: Hank Shaw
1fatty slice country ham(optional)
1/4cupoil or lard for frying
8 to 12skinless teal breasts, about 1 1/2 pounds total
2tablespoonsseasoning, such as Cajun, Cavender's or whatever you like
1egg, lightly beaten
1cupstrong black coffee
1/2cupduck or chicken stock(optional)
1tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and black pepper
To make a real red-eye gravy you need ham and ham drippings. So fry the slice of country ham in 1 tablespoon of the oil until crispy on both sides. You can serve the ham with the duck or eat it as a cook's treat.
To prep the duck breasts, set each one between two pieces of plastic wrap, or better yet, a freezer bag cut open. Pound them with a mallet or empty wine bottle until the thick end of the breast is the thickness of the thin end of the breast. If you have a jaccard, run it over the pounded breast so it's full of little lacerations; this helps the batter stick to the meat. Salt the duck breasts well.
Mix the flour, seasoning, salt, baking powder and soda together in a bowl. Mix the buttermilk and the beaten egg together in another bowl. Put the duck breasts in the buttermilk. You can leave them there for a few hours if you need to, in the fridge.
Set a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and put this in the oven. Set the oven to "warm."
Get the whole 1/4 cup of oil hot, to about 350F if you are checking. When it's hot, coat the duck in the flour mixture well, pressing it into the meat. Fry in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes or so. Set the finished duck on the cooling rack in the oven.
When the duck is all done, pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the flour and cook this a couple minutes, stirring almost constantly so it doesn't burn.
Add the coffee, stock if you're using it, and the tomato paste and stir it all to combine. Bring it to a boil and let this cook a few minutes, until it's thickened to your liking. Add salt if you need it. Serve the hot gravy over the chicken fried duck at once.
NOTE:If you have self-rising flour, use that and skip the baking soda and baking powder.