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The Dish: Chef Todd Richards' signature soul food

The Dish: Chef Todd Richards
The Dish: Chef Todd Richards 05:01

Born in Chicago, chef Todd Richards loved the traditional dishes his parents and grandmother cooked. After a move to Atlanta, he worked at top venues around the South including the Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton hotels before opening Richards' Southern Fried.

Now, he's out with a brand new cookbook, "Soul: A Chef's Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes." The prestigious Michelin guide says it "expands the definition of soul food" and "gives a glimpse of what it will be in the future."

Here are some of Richards' signature recipes: 

"Soul," cookbook, Todd Richards
Photographer Greg DuPree, Prop Stylist Claie Spollen, Food Stylist Margaret Dickey Soul, cookbook, Todd Richards, Greg DuPree

Chicken thighs and BBQ beans

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons blended olive oil
1 pound dried white beans, soaked in water overnight
2 cups diced yellow onion (from 2 onions)
1 1⁄4 cups diced green bell pepper (from 2 bell peppers)
1⁄2 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 1⁄2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
6 cups (48 ounces) chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1⁄8 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄2 cup ketchup
1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 scallions, thinly sliced 


1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. 

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium. Sear the chicken thighs, skin side down, in the hot oil, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Turn the chicken thighs over, and cook until browned, about 5 more minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan. 

3. Add the beans, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes, chicken stock, bay leaves, and fennel seeds to the pan; bring to a boil. 

4. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, and remaining 2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt into the pan. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, and simmer until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. 

5. Let stand for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper and scallions before serving. 

To Drink: Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti Classico, honey wine, Northern Rhône red, red blend, Rioja Reserva, amber beers, light beers, hard ciders, coffee beverages, IPAs

Serve with: Green salads; braised or roasted vegetable dishes; smoked or roasted meats; rice dishes 

Peach salad Greg DuPree

Peach salad


1 cup Pickle Brine (recipe below)
8 frozen pearl onions
1 (4-ounce) log goat cheese, softened
1 cup crème fraîche, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 ripe peaches (about 10 ounces), each pitted and cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 fresh basil leaves, sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch watercress
Summer Sausage Croutons (recipe below)
1 teaspoon gray sea salt 


1. Bring the Pickle Brine and pearl onions to a boil in a saucepan over medium. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. 

2. Combine the goat cheese, crème fraîche, chopped parsley, and pepper in a small bowl.   

3. Toss together the peaches, raspberry vinegar, honey, basil leaves, and the olive oil in a medium bowl. 

4. Place 2 tablespoons of the herbed goat cheese mixture in the center of each plate, and top with 4 to 6 peach slices. Top evenly with watercress, pickled onions, and Summer Sausage Croutons. Drizzle any remaining raspberry vinegar mixture over the salads, and sprinkle with gray sea salt. 

To Drink: White Burgundy, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, red blends, rosé, sparkling rosé, sparkling Shiraz, full hoppy beers, bourbon cocktails

Serve with: Grilled and smoked meats; grilled, smoked, and fried fish; roasted, grilled, and smoked poultry dishes; roasted and pickled vegetables; rice or grits dishes 

OH Soul Cookbook Mashed Potatoes, potatoes croquette and chive sour cream
Potato croquettes Victor Protasio

Potato croquettes


2 cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon granulated onion
2 cups Mashed Potatoes, refrigerated overnight (recipe below)
1⁄2 cup finely chopped cooked bacon (about 2 ounces)
1 cup seasoned flour (recipe below)
1⁄2 cup (4 ounces) water
1 large egg, beaten
Blended olive oil
Chive Sour Cream (recipe below) 


1. Pulse the panko, parsley, salt, and granulated onion in a food processor until thoroughly combined, 6 to 10 times. 

2. Stir together the potatoes and bacon in a medium bowl. Scoop the potato mixture by tablespoonfuls, and shape into 2-inch-long cylinders. 

3. Place the Seasoned Flour in a shallow dish. Stir together the water and egg in a second shallow dish. Place the panko mixture in a third shallow dish. Roll the potato cylinders in the flour, and dip in the egg wash, shaking off any excess. Dredge in the panko mixture, pressing to coat. Place the coated potato cylinders on a baking sheet, and freeze until slightly firm, about 15 minutes. 

4. Pour the oil to a depth of 1 inch in a deep skillet. Heat over medium until the oil reaches 350°F. Gently place the potato croquettes, 7 to 8 at a time, in the skillet. Fry the croquettes until golden brown, turning occasionally if necessary, about 3 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve hot with the Chive Sour Cream. 

To Drink: When pairing dishes such as mashed potatoes and potato croquettes, follow the lead of the entire dish for suggested pairings. If dishes are light seafood, utilize white wines such as Pinot Gris. If the main part of the dish is intense in flavor, such as oxtails, utilize red wines such as Chianti Classico and Bordeaux.

Mashed potatoes with chive sour cream 


2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1⁄2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 cup cold unsalted butter
1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper
Chive Sour Cream (recipe below) 


1. Fill a stockpot with water, and bring to a boil over high. Add the potatoes and kosher salt; return water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until a knife can easily be inserted into the potatoes, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let the potatoes stand in the cooking water 15 minutes. Remove 2⁄3 cup of the cooking water, and set aside. Drain the potatoes. 

2. Process the potatoes with a food mill into a large bowl until smooth. 

3. Bring the heavy cream and reserved cooking water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Pour over the potatoes, and fold to combine. Fold in the butter, sea salt, and white pepper. Serve immediately with Chive Sour Cream, or refrigerate to make the Potato Croquettes. 

Chive sour cream 


1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 bunch fresh chives, thinly sliced
1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon) 


1. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with Potato Croquettes. Makes about 1 1⁄4 cups

Seasoned flour


2 cups (about 8 1⁄2 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1⁄2 tablespoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger  


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, and store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 1⁄4 cups

Oxmoor House Soul Cookbook Blueberry Fried Pies with Meyer Lemon Glaze
Blueberry fried pies Greg DuPree

Blueberry fried pies with Meyer lemon glaze


1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3⁄4 cup (6 ounces) water
1⁄4 cup (2 ounces) dark rum
1 teaspoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Pinch of kosher salt
1 thyme sprig
4 cups fresh blueberries (about 1 1⁄4 pounds)
Erika Council's Piecrust (recipe below)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 large egg
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable oil
1 cup (about 4 ounces) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1 to 3 teaspoons heavy cream 


1. Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add 1⁄2 cup of the water, and whisk until combined. Whisk in the rum, orange zest, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Add the thyme sprig. Cook over medium, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the heat, and fold in the blueberries. Let stand for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprig.

2. Cut the piecrust in half. Refrigerate 1 portion until ready to use. Roll out remaining portion to 1⁄8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 10 circles with a 4 1⁄2-inch round cookie cutter, re-rolling scraps once. Repeat with remaining dough half.

3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each dough circle. Whisk together the egg and remaining 1⁄4 cup water. Brush the edges of the pies, and fold over so the edges meet. Press the edges together with a fork to seal. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, filling, and egg wash.

4. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium to 375°F. Fry the pies until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook about 2 more minutes. Drain on paper towels, and let cool  20 minutes. 

5. Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl for meyer lemon glaze. Whisk in the heavy cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Makes 1⁄2 cup

6. Drizzle pies with Meyer lemon glaze.

To Drink: Sparkling wine, Champagne, Chardonnay, rosé, Shiraz, Moscato, hard ciders   

Erika Council's piecrust


3 cups (about 12 3⁄4 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces (3⁄4 cup) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1⁄3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water 


1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times until combined. Add the butter and shortening, and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas, 8 to 12 times.

2. With the processor running, drizzle 6 tablespoons of the ice water through the food chute, and process until the dough begins to form a ball. (Add up to 2 more tablespoons, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to reach desired consistency.)

3. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, and shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. 

Excerpted from Soul by Todd Richards. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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