The fresher the cheese curds, the better they'll be. If you can't find local, fresh curds, order them from Ellsworth Co-op Creamery at ellsworthcheesecurds.com, or substitute kasseri cheese cubes. Kasseri, a salty Greek cheese, comes close to imitating the texture of curds. (Cheddar will work but won't add texture like the curds.) Oven-frying the potatoes in duck fat adds a rich, meaty flavor and gives them a gorgeously crisp texture. Look for duck fat in specialty markets, or order from amazon.com.
8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup fries, 3 tablespoons gravy, and 1 tablespoon cheese curds)
1. Place a small roasting pan in the oven. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Melt fat in pan; add potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss. Bake at 450° for 45 minutes or until golden, turning once after 30 minutes.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Combine butter and flour, stirring until smooth. Add butter mixture to sausage; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add broth to pan, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon gravy over fries; top with cheese curds. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.