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Chicken Maryland and Maryland Fried Chicken


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I suppose that legally, you could make a case for it being equal to "Maryland Fried Chicken" which is a phenomenon that I've seen since I was a kid, often at Ramada Inns in small towns around the U.S. As to what "Maryland Fried Chicken" means, exactly, I have no idea - not once have I ever assumed it was coming from Purdue (and even if it was, I'm now old enough to realize that this isn't something people would want to brag about, Wendy's notwithstanding).

At first I thought it might be a reference to Chicken Maryland, but no...

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"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.

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Can someone explain the difference between pan frying and deep frying chicken and why one is better than the other?

From an old Good Eats -- I remember that AB mentioned something about the extra caramelization that you get from chix being in contact with the bottom of a cast iron skillet as the main benefit of pan frying.
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