Christian Petroni’s Chicken-Fried Eggplant with Creamy Red-Eye Gravy, as seen on Guy's Ranch Kitchen Season 5.
Recipe courtesy of Christian Petroni

Chicken-Fried Eggplant with Creamy Red-Eye Gravy

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min (includes sit time)
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 servings





Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. For the eggplant: Lay the eggplant slices out on a paper or kitchen towel-lined cutting board and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. (This will pull the moisture out.)
  2. Heat 1 inch oil in a 14-inch cast-iron pan to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet tray or workstation with kitchen towels or paper towels.
  3. Sprinkle the flour with salt and pepper in a bowl. Pat the eggplant dry with more paper or kitchen towels, then dip each slice in the buttermilk followed by the seasoned flour. Repeat 1 more time. Fry the eggplant in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and drain on the prepared workstation.
  4. For the gravy: Add the ham to a large cast-iron pan over medium heat and let the fat begin to render and get crispy, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the strong coffee and add the butter, stirring constantly, to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  5. Shingle the eggplant pieces in a large shallow dish. Top with the gravy and more pieces of ham. Serve.