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.”