pictured: Gillian Clark

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Something of an endangered species in the dining world, fried chicken makes only rare appearances on local menus—at least at restaurants where people actually take your order tableside. Chef Gillian Clark features the plate only on certain days (the second Tuesday of each month and during weekend brunches) and only after proper planning, given that running out of it can cause unsightly customer tantrums. “I still don’t understand what the obsession is,” Clark says. But she’s grown to accept it. On fried-chicken days, she orders 54 pounds of bird meat, which she soaks in buttermilk with crushed garlic and hot sauce (Texas Pete or whatever’s around), and then coats with seasoned flour before frying. It’s South Carolina-style, she says, originally inspired by the late New York Times food editor Craig Claiborne. Each plate comes with three pieces, both white and dark, since Clark tends to favor thigh meat. So for all you dark-meat haters, shut it and eat it.