Food & Drink

Chef Ann Kim’s Country Fried Pork Chops

The Garden & Gun Club specialty is Southern comfort food at its best—and a hearty dish for chilly nights

Photo: Farrah Power

For chef Ann Kim, fall presents the perfect excuse to lean into decadence. “If you want something to warm you up on a cold night, this is the dish,” she says of her country fried pork chops, which occasionally appear on the menu at the Garden & Gun Club in Atlanta. “It may not be great for diets—it’s essentially fat on fat—but we all need to indulge sometimes.” 

When coating and frying the pork chops, Kim says it’s not an exact science. “The brine and dredge are very flexible, and you can use whatever spices you have on hand,” she says. “Just make sure your oil is hot before dropping in the pork chops.” For an easy check, drop a pinch of the flour mixture into the pot; if the oil is hot enough, the mixture should start to sizzle immediately. “To be safe, I always try to start my oil at a higher temperature than what’s recommended,” Kim notes. 

Beyond the crispy pork base, the gravy ties the dish together. “It’s such an important element because it touches everything on the plate,” Kim says. In lieu of a traditional pepper or sausage gravy, the chef infuses her recipe with bacon. “I like to take things up a level. Adding the bacon gives the dish a nice smokiness you wouldn’t have otherwise.” As far as sides, anything goes: “From mashed potatoes and collard greens to a bed of rice, whatever you pair it with will be great because it’ll get slathered in that gravy.” 


  • Gravy

    • 8 oz. bacon, sliced into ½-inch pieces

    • ½ yellow onion, diced

    • ½ tsp. garlic, minced

    • 4 sprigs thyme

    • 2 bay leaves

    • 2 oz. butter

    • ¼ cup flour

    • 1 pint half and half

    • ½ tsp. salt

    • Black pepper to taste

  • Pork Chops

    • ¼ cup salt

    • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

    • 2 bay leaves

    • 1 tbsp. peppercorns

    • 2 quarts cold water

    • 4 pork chops, 3-4 oz. each (the thinner the better—if pork chops are on the thicker side, pound with a mallet or a pan)

    • 2 cups buttermilk

    • 2 tbsp. hot sauce

    • 1 lemon, zested

    • 4 cups flour

    • ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning

    • Oil (any vegetable, corn, soybean, rice, or peanut oil will work)

    • Scallions or chives, for garnish


  1. Make the gravy: In a saucepan, cook bacon until all of the fat has become crispy. 

  2. Add onions and cook with bacon until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. 

  3. Add thyme and bay leaves and cook until the herbs become fragrant. Add butter and stir until smooth, and then stir in flour and cook for one minute to make a roux. Add half and half, pouring slowly in two or three batches to prevent lumps. 

  4. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

  5. Make the pork chops: Mix salt, brown sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cold water in a container and add pork chops to brine. Allow pork chops to brine for at least 2 hours. 

  6. In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, hot sauce, and lemon zest. Remove pork chops from brine and dip in the buttermilk mixture to coat.

  7. In a separate bowl, mix flour and Old Bay seasoning. Dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture, place back in buttermilk, then coat one more time in the flour mixture. (The double dredge will result in a heartier crust.) 

  8. Fill a large, high-sided skillet halfway with oil and heat to 350 degrees. Place pork chops in the oil and fry until thoroughly cooked, about five minutes. 

  9. Serve with gravy, fresh cracked pepper, and chopped scallions or chives.