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From "True Grits . . . Tall Tales and Recipes from the New South," published in cooperation with your Daily InBox newsletter.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 duck breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, julienned
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces port
  • 1 cup duck or veal stock
  • Chopped fresh basil to taste
  • 1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives

TO PREPARE:

*  Rinse the duck and pat dry.  Season with the salt and pepper.

*  Coat the sliced eggplant lightly with the flour.  Fry in the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet until cooked through; drain.  Remove to a platter; keep warm.

*  Combine the red peppers, onions and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan.  Cook, covered, over low heat until the vegetables are tender but not brown.  Remove from heat; keep warm.

*  Saute the duck skin side down in a skillet until crispy; turn the duck.  Saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until the duck is cooked through.  Remove the duck to a platter.  Drain the pan drippings from the skillet.  Add the port, stirring to deglaze the skillet.  Stir in the stock.

*  Cook until the liquid is reduced to 1/2, stirring constantly.

*  Strain the sauce into a bowl; stir in the basil and olives.

*  Cut the duck into thin slices.  Arrange the eggplant in the centers of 4 plates.  Spoon the red pepper mixture over the eggplant.  Fan the sliced duck over the top.  Drizzle the olive and basil sauce around the outer edge of the plates.

SERVES: 4

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