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    Arnold's Fried Catfish

    Source of Recipe

    Bon Apptit, February 2012

    Recipe Introduction

    "While many Southern fried catfish recipes call for a buttermilk soak, this one follows a technique from Nashville icon Arnold's, which closed its doors in January 2023. Here you brine the fillets in a bath of salt water and hot pepper sauce, a vinegar-based condiment steeped with small whole chiles (if you don't have it, your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce will do fine). To keep the flavoring in check, brine the fish for no longer than 3 hours and give it a quick rinse when done. Pat the fish dry before breading it with seasoned cornmeal to ensure a crunchy crust that adheres to the fillets. If you've never fried fish before, make sure you're fully set up before you get going. Wearing an apron and an old shirt with long sleeves is a good idea to protect yourself from splatters. Fill a cast-iron skillet with at least 1 inch of oil and attach a deep-fry thermometer (or use your instant-read thermometer to gauge the oil's temperature as it fluctuates). Line a baking sheet with paper towels or a wire rack so you have a place to rest the catfish fillets when they come out of the hot oil. Serve with Southern side dishes like coleslaw, hush puppies, and collard greens, plus tartar sauce for dipping and lemon wedges for squeezing."

    Recipe Link: https://tinyurl.com/arnoldsfriedcatfish

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ 3 tablespoons plus teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    ◦ 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
    ◦ Six 5- to 7-ounce U.S.-farmed catfish fillets
    ◦ 1 cups white cornmeal
    ◦ 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    ◦ 2 teaspoons baking powder
    ◦ 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    ◦ 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    ◦ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    ◦ 3 cups vegetable oil, plus more

    Recipe

    Whisk 3 tablespoons salt, hot pepper sauce, and 8 cups hot water in a large bowl until salt dissolves. Chill in freezer until cold, about 30 minutes. Place catfish in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours.

    Whisk cornmeal, next five ingredients, and remaining teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Attach deep-fry thermometer to the side of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or other large heavy skillet. Add oil to come a little less than halfway up side of skillet. Heat over medium heat until thermometer reads 335 F.

    Rinse catfish; pat dry. Dredge catfish in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. Working with 2 fillets at a time, fry catfish, turning halfway through, until golden brown and crispy, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Transfer fish to paper towels to drain.

    Makes 6 servings

 

 

 


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