Traditional Maryland Fried Chicken, Cream Gravy

While the exact origin of Maryland Fried Chicken isn’t known for certain, a dish by this name did show up on the menu of New York’s Grand Union Hotel as early as 1878..

Traditional Maryland Fried Chicken

Traditional Maryland Fried Chicken

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite and accompaniments

1 whole pastured frying chicken, cut up
3 cups fresh whole milk plus the juice of 1 fresh lemon

2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1 tablespoon freshly-ground pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme, oregano and basil

4 oz ghee or clarified, pastured butter
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup fresh cream
1 cup chicken stock

fresh parsley, chopped

Wash chicken and place in a non-reactive bowl.  Pour in enough milk to cover then refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Combine flour, pepper, salt, paprika and dried herbs in a bowl.  Lift a piece of chicken with one hand, let the milk run off, then place into the flour mixture.  Use the other hand to coat the chicken and place onto a plate.  Repeat until all the chicken has been lightly but thoroughly dredged.

Heat the butter in a high-walled iron skillet over medium heat to about 325-330 degrees (this is why you need a fat such as clarified butter with a high smoke-point), then carefully place the chicken in the pan, working in batches if necessary.  Don’t crowd the pan too much.  Turning as little as possible, cook until well browned on all sides.  Transfer chicken to a heat-proof dish and finish in a 275 degree oven while you make the gravy (assuming another 15 minutes or so).

Add the onion and garlic to the pan that the chicken was cooked in and fry until golden.  Scrape up the brown bits with the side of a wooden spoon, then whisk in enough of the remaining seasoned flour to form a thick paste (roux).  Stirring continuously, cook until the flour is no longer raw, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, heat cream and chicken stock just to the boiling point.  Whisk in roux and cook until gravy has thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The chicken may be served with the gravy over the top or on the side, as you prefer.

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Thursday