Having started with one small steakhouse, Golden Corral Corporation has grown into one of the nation's strongest family restaurant chains. The ability to adapt to changing tastes allowed Golden Corral to continue growing during the 1980s and 1990s as changes in eating habits and increased competition brought drastic change to the family steakhouse business. Success continued in the 2000s as well--by 2003 the company operated and franchised 467 restaurants throughout the United States, serving 167.5 million guests that year.


Fried Catfish

Golden Corral Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

4 skinless catfish fillets
2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
vegetable oil for frying

Whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder and all the spices.  Pour vegetable oil  to a depth of about 2-3 inches into a pot large enough to hold at least two of the catfish fillets AND that has pretty high sides; a Dutch oven is good, but so is a big cast-iron skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it gets to be between 330 and 350 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, flick a drop of water into the oil and if it sizzles away immediately, you're good to go.

Dredge the catfish into the seasoned cornmeal, shake off the excess and place into the hot oil. Let it sizzle for 2 minutes or so and then turn the heat down to medium. If the fillets are not submerged in the oil, turn once after about 4 minutes. Cook on the other side for another 4 minutes. The fillets should cook for 6-8 minutes total. Remove the catfish carefully and let drain on a rack. Add the other fillets and when they are done, serve at once.

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