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FRIED CHICKEN and SWISS CHARD SALAD
with Pine Nuts and Lemon
I can’t remember the first time I met Art Smith, but I can vividly recall the first time I tasted the
fried chicken at his Chicago restaurant, Table 52. Each bite was incredibly crunchy due to a long
fry at a low temperature, and from that night on I vowed to schedule my trips to the Windy City to
coincide with the nights he fried chicken at his restaurant. One taste of his chicken and lemony
Swiss chard salad, and you’ll see why Oprah kept him all to herself—as her personal chef—for all
those years. When Art makes his annual visit to my summer home, there’s only one caveat: he must
make a fried chicken dinner before he leaves. That annual beachside meal never fails to be
anything short of spectacular.
FOR THE SPICE MIX
MAKE THE SPICE MIX: In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, smoked
paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Set aside.
BRINE THE CHICKEN: In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of the salt,
and 2 tablespoons of the spice mix. Place all the chicken pieces in an airtight container or Ziploc
bag. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken, seal, and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
FRY THE CHICKEN: In a large, high-sided skillet, slowly heat the oil to 325°F. Place the flour
in a large bowl and stir in the remaining spice mix and the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Set a
wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk
brine and dredge in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess, then dredge again in the flour to
form a double crust. Working in batches, gently place the chicken into the hot oil; the temperature
will drop to 265°F to 275°F. Fry the chicken until deep brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes for the
first side and 10 to 12 minutes for the other side. Transfer the fried pieces to the rack and let rest for
5 to 10 minutes before serving.
SWISS CHARD SALAD WITH PINE NUTS AND LEMON
8 large Swiss chard leaves (about ¾ pound), trimmed and thinly shredded crosswise
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or more to taste
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, toss the chard, oil, and lemon juice. Add the cheese and pine nuts and toss to
incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.