Dolly Parton’s Pan-Fried Catfish

"In this recipe from From “Dolly´s Dixie Fixin´s,” she says “There was always catfish at the all day singing gatherings and it was mostly pan-fried.” She suggests you serve this delicious and simply-prepared catfish with hush puppies, corn on the cob, and cole slaw."
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Ready In:




  • Wash the catfish fillets in cold water and pat dry.
  • Melt enough lard or shortening in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat to reach 3/4-inch deep.
  • While the lard/shortening is melting, pour the cornmeal into a large, shallow plate or dish.
  • Season both sides of the catfish fillets (remember to pat them dry, first) with salt and pepper, then dredge them in the cornmeal and shake off any excess.
  • When the melted fat is hot but not smoking, carefully slide the fillets into the pan (careful not to splatter, and don’t crowd the pan because you want the fish to fry and not steam). Fry the fish in batches if necessary.
  • Fry the fillets about 4 minutes per side, until crisp and golden brown.
  • Put paper towels on a platter and transfer the fried fillets to the platter with a slotted spatula or spoon.
  • Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite catfish sauce (tartar, cocktail, etc). Make sure to have plenty of napkins, hush puppies, corn on the cob, and coleslaw, too!
  • Makes 6 servings.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Wonderful southern fried catfish, best I have made! :) My fillets were pretty thick so I fried them longer than what this recipe called for. The shortening really makes a difference when frying fish or french fries even. Thank you for sharing one of Dolly's recipes :)


<p>It's simply this: I love to cook! :) <br /><br />I've been hanging out on the internet since the early days and have collected loads of recipes. I've tried to keep the best of them (and often the more unusual) and look forward to sharing them with you, here. <br /><br />I am proud to say that I have several family members who are also on RecipeZaar! <br /><br />My husband, here as <a href=>Steingrim</a>, is an excellent cook. He rarely uses recipes, though, so often after he's made dinner I sit down at the computer and talk him through how he made the dishes so that I can get it down on paper. Some of these recipes are in his account, some of them in mine - he rarely uses his account, though, so we'll probably usually post them to mine in the future. <br /><br />My sister <a href=>Cathy is here as cxstitcher</a> and <a href=>my mom is Juliesmom</a> - say hi to them, eh? <br /><br />Our <a href=>friend Darrell is here as Uncle Dobo</a>, too! I've been typing in his recipes for him and entering them on R'Zaar. We're hoping that his sisters will soon show up with their own accounts, as well. :) <br /><br />I collect cookbooks (to slow myself down I've limited myself to purchasing them at thrift stores, although I occasionally buy an especially good one at full price), and - yes, I admit it - I love FoodTV. My favorite chefs on the Food Network are Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, Mario Batali, and Giada De Laurentiis. I'm not fond over fakey, over-enthusiastic performance chefs... Emeril drives me up the wall. I appreciate honesty. Of non-celebrity chefs, I've gotta say that that the greatest influences on my cooking have been my mother, Julia Child, and my cooking instructor Chef Gabriel Claycamp at Seattle's Culinary Communion. <br /><br />In the last couple of years I've been typing up all the recipes my grandparents and my mother collected over the years, and am posting them here. Some of them are quite nostalgic and are higher in fat and processed ingredients than recipes I normally collect, but it's really neat to see the different kinds of foods they were interested in... to see them either typewritten oh-so-carefully by my grandfather, in my grandmother's spidery handwriting, or - in some cases - written by my mother years ago in fountain pen ink. It's like time travel. <br /><br />Cooking peeve: food/cooking snobbery. <br /><br />Regarding my black and white icon (which may or may not be the one I'm currently using): it the sea-dragon tattoo that is on the inside of my right ankle. It's also my personal logo.</p>
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