On a recent tour stop in the Windy City, the pop star stopped into James Beard award winning chef Art Smith's Table Fifty-Two eatery and ordered up his famous chicken and waffles dish.
"I told her, '[The] 85 lbs. I lost were credited to your music," Smith, 50, tells PEOPLE about the encounter.
Smith, who recently wed his longtime partner Jesus Salgueiro in Washington, D.C., enjoys the dish so much himself that he served it at his nuptials for his 500 guests. "Everyone had come in asking about the fried chicken," he says, "so we had to have it [at the wedding]."
With his recent weight loss comes an increased focus on living a healthful life – but Smith says being careful about food doesn't mean totally eliminating things like, well, fried chicken.
"You can eat a little bit," he says. "It's all about portion control. You gotta have a little bit of love!"
Want to try Smith's fried chicken yourself? Check out the recipe:
Art Smith's Fried Chicken1 3 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Brine ¼ cup of kosher salt
6 cups of water
Mix well. Place chicken in brine and soak overnight.
Buttermilk and Hot Sauce Bath 4 cups of buttermilk
¼ cup of Louisiana Hot Sauce or any hot sauce of choice
Drain brined chicken well and place in buttermilk and hot sauce
Let marinate overnight.
Seasoning Dredge 6 cups of self-rising flour, White Lily
4 tablespoons of garlic powder
4 tablespoons of onion powder
4 tablespoons of dried thyme
4 tablespoons of fresh ground pepper
Mix well reserve
Egg bath 8 whole eggs, beaten well
1 cup of ice water
In cast iron skillet, pour quarter of an inch of canola oil using a thermometer. Bring up to 350 degrees and keep the temperature constant. Drain the excess buttermilk and hot sauce off the chicken and place in egg bath. Coat each piece well, then shake off excess. Dip into seasoning, dredge and then shake off excess. Place in pre-heated oil and fry dark pieces first, skin side down for 8 minutes per side until the interior temperature of the meat is 180 degrees.
Place on racks and reserve in 250 degree oven until time to serve. Fry white meat for 8 minutes per side until golden or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
Serve with waffles – Lady Gaga style!