Food & Drink

A Salad for All Seasons

At the Garden & Gun Club, refreshing greens and buttermilk fried chicken provide the foundation for a dish you can make all year long

Photo: Chris Boek

Amy Sinclair

For chef Ann Kim of the Garden & Gun Club at the Battery Atlanta, fried chicken pairs just as well with fresh, crisp greens as it does with classic Southern sides like macaroni and cheese. She added this buttermilk fried chicken salad to the restaurant’s menu this summer, at the height of tomato season. Their acidity paired perfectly with the kick and crunch of Old Bay-seasoned chicken. But it’s a flexible recipe that can carry through the fall and winter, too. Start with the same basic canvas of baby spinach, arugula, and Romaine, then experiment. “The possibilities are endless,” Kim says. “You can use shaved parmesan for a nuttier flavor versus the tang of goat cheese. Cherries could get rehydrated in red wine for extra flavor, nuts could be candied or spiced and roasted in the oven. And when tomatoes are finally gone, use fruit that’s in season, like apples or oranges instead.”



    • 2 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning

    • 1 tsp. paprika

    • 1 tsp. garlic powder

    • 1 tsp. onion powder

    • 1 tsp. salt

    • ½ tsp. black pepper

    • 2 tbsp. Crystal hot sauce

    • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

    • 2 cups buttermilk

    • Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil for frying


    • 4 cups all-purpose flour

    • ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning


    • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

    • ¼ cup champagne vinegar

    • 1½ tsp. honey

    • ½ tsp. salt

    • ¼ tsp. black pepper

    • ¼ cup olive oil

    • ¾ cup vegetable oil


    • ¼ cup mayonnaise

    • ¼ cup sour cream

    • ¼ cup cream cheese

    • ⅓ cup buttermilk

    • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

    • 1 tsp. Worcestershire

    • 1 tsp. Crystal hot sauce

    • ½ tsp. garlic

    • 1 tbsp. dill, chopped

    • 1½ tsp. lemon juice

    • ½ bundle chives, sliced thin


    • 1 bag mixed greens

    • ¼ cup dried cherries

    • Tomato, cored and sliced into wedges

    • ¼ cup pecans, chopped, and toasted

    • ¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Combine Old Bay, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce, in a bowl, and rub into chicken breast pieces. Place chicken in a casserole dish, add buttermilk, refrigerate, and marinate for at least an hour.

  2. For the dredge: Mix flour and Old Bay well. Coat chicken with flour mixture and shake off access. Pour about ½-inch oil into a skillet and fry at 350°F oil until fully cooked (about 5-7 minutes).

  3. For the mustard vinaigrette: Add Dijon, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper to blender. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oils to emulsify. Hand mix chives at the end.

  4. For the buttermilk dressing: Add all ingredients to blender. Once fully mixed, add sliced chives and mix in by hand.

  5. For the salad: While chicken is being fried, assemble salad. In a large mixing bowl add mixed greens, dried cherries, pecans, and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in mustard vinaigrette and toss salad. Plate on a platter. Garnish with tomato wedges or other fruit. Top with fried chicken and drizzle with buttermilk dressing.


  6. For 1 bag of salad mix, use about ⅓ cup of mustard vinaigrette. For the buttermilk dressing, use about ¼ cup to drizzle over chicken. Store extra dressing in airtight containers. (Mustard vinaigrette will last up to 2 months, while buttermilk dressing will last up to 10 days in the refrigerator.)