Traditional Appalachian Menu with Recipes

At times mountaineers gather to enjoy more extensive meals. When the family drives to the old homeplace for the last warm-weather gathering of the fall, or for a mid-season meal to break winter’s monotony, the cooks will bring dishes such as those listed below. These menus illustrate traditional food combinations Appalachian families have come to expect.

fried chickencorn puddingsorghum biscuitsblueberry pie
chicken casserolegreen beanswhite & pumpkin rollsblack walnut cake
chicken & dumplingsmashed potatoesloaf breadssugar cookies
country hamvegetable soupfried applespersimmon pudding

Fried Chicken

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 pounds chicken parts, light or dark meat
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 2/3 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg


  1. Fry the bacon in a large cast-iron skillet and set it aside. Add oil to the pan until you have about ¼ inch and heat it to 365°F, until the oil just begins to smoke, or when a drop of water pops back after you drop it into the pan.
  2. As the oil gets hot, wash and dry the chicken. In the bottom of a large bag, mix the cornmeal, paprika, salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Dip the chicken pieces in the milk and egg mixture. Lay the chicken onto the bottom of the bag, fold the bag closed, and roll or shake until coated.
  3. Slowly ease the chicken into the skillet and brown it on all sides, cooking uncovered 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered an additional 20 to 30 minutes, turning at the half-way point. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear or it reaches an internal temperature of 170°F. Drain the chicken on paper towels.

Click here for the recipe for Custard Corn Pudding.