Maryland Fried Chicken

Maryland Fried Chicken ©RhondaAdkinsPhotography

I’ve had some cooking nemesis in my day, you know the dishes that you just can’t seem to get right? For many years I struggles with making a good flour based gravy, it is simple to make but I just was trying too hard and would come out with lumpy flour-y gravy. Yet I could make a béchamel sauce, when I realized a flour based gravy is really the same as a béchamel/white sauce the pressure came off and those bits and baubles on the bottom of my pan didn’t freak me out, they got easily incorporated…well anyways, I just kept trying till I got it right.Consistently poaching eggs is still a nemesis of mine. I’ve tried all techniques, new and old eggs etc. I get a nice one every now and then but sheesh, I want it perfect every time! I’ll still keep plugging away at it (even ugly poached eggs still taste good so it’s not too much of a hardship).

The other nemesis has been fried chicken. Real fried chicken. For the life of me I just couldn’t get the damn fried chicken right. Maybe it’s because I never grew up with it (we always had the Colonel or Banquet frozen fried chicken). Truthfully I just don’t fry much with the exception of eggs and bacon. Sauté, boil, simmer, roast, bake, grill, sear…those are my cooking world. Problem is, sometimes I get a hankering for fried chicken and there just isn’t a decent place around here for fried chicken (although Popeye’s on base is fairly close). Most certainly no one in Montana is serving Maryland Fried Chicken.

Never heard of it? Not surprised, it hasn’t rocked the fried chicken world like the traditionally southern buttermilk fried chicken, or Louisiana style fried chicken, or chicken and waffles. I think that fried chicken and spaghetti is better known. Obviously Maryland Fried chicken is the norm in Maryland, as matter of interest, I used to live in Maryland. Attended grades 1-3 in Waldorf. Then later in life I lived in Virginia, which isn’t Maryland but very close. It’s this military brat/life that’s made me a culinary mish mash and why I don’t subscribe to any one style of cooking.

Anywho, let’s keep to the subject at hand. Maryland Fried Chicken. What makes it different? First off this is a pan fried chicken, not oven fried, not deep fried…pan fried. It’s a simply seasoned flour based coating but then it’s finished off with Old Bay seasoning (Maryland – crabs – Old Bay seasoning – chicken…see how it’s all connected). Lastly this chicken is smothered in a rich and creamy chicken gravy. Hells ya, and it’s good too. There’s nothing like taking some deep fried meat and slathering cream based gravy over it to harden up those arteries and take a few years of your life. And you know that I had cream left over so I went ahead and made some mashed potatoes with butter and cream and slathered it with more of that cream based chicken gravy. The only thing that kept us from keeping over right there at the dinner table was my home canned green beans, they had to counteract all the fatty goodness somehow.


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