Ever wonder why there isn't a chicken-fried chicken alternative to chicken-fried steak? Turns out it exists, and it's called Maryland fried chicken. Shallow fried with a simple dredging of seasoned flour until golden, then topped with a white gravy made in the skillet after frying, this is a version of fried chicken you need to know about.
Why this recipe works:
- Covering the pan partway through frying helps the chicken cook evenly; a few minutes uncovered afterwards guarantees a crispy exterior.
- A simple white gravy made in the same skillet takes this fried chicken to a whole new level of indulgence.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 serving pieces, backbone reserved
- Vegetable oil or lard, for frying
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- Corn on the cob, white bread with butter, and mashed potatoes, for serving
Preheat oven to 200°F. In a shallow bowl, season flour with salt and pepper. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper and dredge each piece in flour, shaking off excess. Reserve seasoned flour.
In a large cast iron or heavy non stick skillet, heat 1/4 inch oil over high heat to 350°F. Carefully lay chicken pieces in hot oil, skin side down, and fry until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and brown lightly on other side. Turn chicken once more so that it's skin side down again and cover skillet. Cook, covered for 2 minutes. Remove cover and continue frying chicken, turning as necessary, until will browned on both sides and just cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Transfer to oven to keep warm.
Pour off grease into a heatproof container and return skillet to burner. Lower heat to medium-high, add butter and cook until melted and foamy, whisking to scrape up any browned bits. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved seasoned flour, whisking to form a paste. Whisk in milk and cook until a smooth gravy forms that coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Season gravy with salt and a generous amount of black pepper.
Load chicken onto plates and pour gravy on top. Serve with sides like ears of corn, soft white bread and butter, and mashed potatoes.
Large cast iron skillet