"My southern Maryland great-grandmother would soak chicken in buttermilk and then toss it with a mixture of flour, paprika, salt, and pepper. She would pan fry it (as opposed to deep frying), and the coating was thin and crispy, not thick and crunchy. I have her fried chicken pan: cast iron, black as sin, and about 14" in diameter and 7-8" deep. The lid has all kind of spikes on the underside - not sure the reason for that, since she didn't use the lid while cooking, in my memory, just a mesh splatter-shield, home-made from a wire hanger and some metal screen fabric. She would use some of the pan drippings to make a milk-and-flour gravy, and served the chicken pieces with Wonder Bread and the gravy. She saved the rest of the pan drippings in a jar for future use. She would do her cooking in a small, screened shed in the backyard, behind her 1920s era bungalow in St. Mary's County. She called the shed her "summer kitchen" and cooked there to keep from heating up the house. Gertrude's does a great fried chicken, but not exactly the same style as my great-grandmother's."
This is from a thread on the Baltimore Sun's website in 2009: http://weblogs.balti...ed_chicken.html
I would love to taste fried chicken in the black cast iron skillet she mentions.