Slice the pickles
If using whole dill pickles, slice the pickles into thin chips.
Arrange the sliced pickles in an even single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Pat the pickles completely dry with additional paper towels and set aside.
Make the dredge
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, pepper and cayenne. In another mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk and egg until combined.
Coat the pickles
Add oil to a large cast iron skillet. Heat the oil to 350ºF (180ºC). Working in batches, add pickles to the buttermilk, then use a spoon to drain and transfer to the flour mixture. Toss the pickles to evenly coat in the flour, shaking off any excess.
Fry the pickles
Add the pickles to the hot oil and fry until golden brown all over, turning halfway through, about 2 to 3 minutes total.
Garnish and serve
Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and continue with the remaining pickles until all have been fried. Garnish with salt, chives and dill then serve with ranch dressing.