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Maryland Style Fried Chicken???

I was just telling a friend that I'll be heading down to MD l(Timonium) ater this month and looking forward to trying out some crabcakes. She told me that there is also a special kind of fried chicken down there as well. Can someone tell me more about it? Thank you!

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  1. It primarily exists outside of Maryland, puzzling us locals, though there are broiled chicken fundraising pits on the way to the beach. We, like the DC area, do have a couple of Peruvian-style "pollo a la brasa" rotisserie places, notably Chicken Rico on Eastern Ave. but not near Timonium. There's good Chinese in Timonium at Szechuan House, but it's kind of a suburban generic area. There's a crab place, Ocean Pride, but it's off-season and not the top of the crab heap. The Wegman's in Hunt Valley north of Timonium has various chicken forms including breaded fried chicken to eat there, and some crabcakes that haven't been discussed much.

    1. There's Maryland Fried Chicken in Florida. The one on Sample Road in Pompano Beach is really good. The story is here:


      The originator wanted to compete with "Kentucky" chicken. The link to Maryland was a marketing gimick to attract transplanted workers to the restaurant.

      1. The Maryland - Virginia region did have a certain style for frying chicken, which was chicken dredged in flour and then partially fried and then pan steamed, and served with a thin gravy made with the leftover frying fat. The chicken wasn't deep fried as would be the case further south.

        It results in a very moist fried chicken that still has a crispy skin. This approach has been called Maryland style fried chicken even though the honor should be shared with Virginia and Delaware as well.

        It's one of my favorite meals to eat and it's what I ask of my mother every time we return to Baltimore from our current overseas expat posting. Unfortunately for you it's very rare to find fried chicken prepared in this manner in restaurants as it's almost always only prepared in private homes. The one possible old-style restaurant in the Timonium vicinity that may have this type of fried chicken is the Peppermill, but don't forget to give your hair a blue rinse and buy a large Cadillac before you make your reservation. Arriving with a walker is a must do.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Roland Parker

          Peppermill was a godsend when my mom was not able to walk and we could roll right in from the covered car entrance, and the food was surprisingly good, like lambchops on par with Zorba's, cream of crab with a flagon of brandy and a very nice crab cake. I don't remember the chicken as any different than regular though.

          1. re: Roland Parker

            There is a cooking method for chicken called broasting, which is basically fried chicken in a pressure cooker. This sounds a lot like MD fried chicken

            1. re: nickdanger

              Several of the Amish Markets in Maryland serve chicken in that style.

          2. There is a Chinese restaurant in St. Andrews, Scotland that lists Maryland Fried Chicken among their non Chinese options. I didn't get a chance to sample it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jfish

              Saw a sign in a hawker center in Penang Malaysia for "Deep Fried Maryland Chicken." I figured that since I didn't travel half-way around the world to eat Maryland food, I'd pass...:-)

            2. Here is the wiki on Chicken Maryland:


              The first I had ever heard of it was in a Tom Stoppard play, so I think it is somewhat recognized in the UK (at least in the 70s) as being a distinct dish.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Steve

                Grew up in Maryland and the first time I saw "Maryland Fried Chicken" was on a menu in a seafood restaurant in Galway, Ireland. It was served with a slice of pineapple.

                  1. re: agarnett100

                    Not according to chickenmaryland.com, apparently. Madness. Utter madness.


                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      A chickenmaryland website. Too funny. I grew up on "cornflake chicken" similar to one of the recipes. Still a favorite.

                  2. re: monkeyrotica

                    I saw the same thing when we went to Ireland and I actually ordered it. It tasted as awful as you would think it would.

                1. Sorry Rapunzil, but you should skip the crab cakes. Chesapeake Bay Blues are out of season so you will be getting crab from somewhere else (probably somewhere in Asia) and no matter how true to the Maryland style they will not be good. Sorry to be a jerk but nothing tastes as good as Chesapeake Bay Blues.

                  The Chicken -

                  Maryland is essentially the meeting place where Southern food and Northeastern fare collide. In my experience Maryland Fried Chicken is a result of our abundance of chicken mashing up with Southern cooking traditions.

                  When I was growing up through the 60’s and 70’s, Maryland style fried chicken was
                  • pan fried in an old cast iron skillet (The "chicken fryers" had particualy high sides - at least 4-5 inches),
                  • with lard (some folks used crisco to be "healthier'),
                  • seasoned with salt and pepper (some communities used seasoning salt), and
                  • lightly dredged in flour (maybe after a quick dip in milk to help some flour stick if the chicken wasn't wet enough.

                  It produces a very light breading that is really meant to hold some salt, and pepper and to soak up gravy and juices a bit.

                  Because you fry it in a skillet, and mostly ate it wet with gravy, leg quarters or single bone thighs predominated. Some folks would fry chicken breasts as best they could and let them finish cooking through in a low oven.

                  For picnics and pool parties folks would fry drumsticks and wings along with single bone thighs. This chicken was eaten cold or at "room” temperature, without gravy.

                  I have found that it is best to not put too much frying fat in the pan and don't let your fat get too hot or the dredge will scorch.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: drewpbalzac

                    Drew-a perfect description of the type of fried chicken I grew up eating back in the 60s.

                    1. re: drewpbalzac

                      Thank you for your posting! The Chesapeake Bay region is my birth place. I agree about the flavor of Chesapeake Bay crabs -- they are distinctly sweeter than crabs from other regions of the U.S. As for the chicken history and recipe, it's accurate. I wouldn't change a word. :-)

                    2. I remember being on a family vacation through the south as a kid, probably 4th or 5th grade.
                      We were visiting the Atomic Weapon facility in Oak Ridge, TN.
                      Passing through Kentucky we noticed several "maryland fried chicken" fast food joints.
                      Everyone got a good laugh, because we only had ever seen Kentucky Fried Chicken joints anywhere else.

                      I'm pretty sure there is a "Maryland Style" chicken in Fannie Farmer. Pretty sure it is baked. My mom made chicken that way as a kid.

                      1. There's a recipe for it on the Old Bay can!

                        It's supposedly the best thing served at Crisfield Restaurant in Silver Spring. It's a 40 minute wait, however.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: poncedeleroy

                          "Chicken Md" can be found all over Scotland. it usually involves fried chicken with a sauce based on a tropical fruit--pineapple or banana. Chameleon recently had a great version of it. What is has to do w/ Md--other than marketing--is beyond me.

                          1. re: tartuffe

                            My Uncle flying through Poland years ago stumbled on a "little America" restaurant in a terminal that had a dish on the menu representing each of the 50 states. The Maryland dish was fried chicken served with bananas in the "traditional way."

                            1. re: BroadBrush

                              Because we grow lotsa pineapples and bananas here in Maryland? One would think that they would have more common sense over there in the UK.

                              1. re: elgringoviejo

                                My wife's theory is that the "Maryland" they're referring to isn't the one in the U.S., but from some other "Maryland." Maybe one in a more tropical climate that actually has pineapples and bananas.

                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                  monkey - thats a good bet since most of the colonies on the East Coast have origins from Europe and else where

                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                    There is a Maryland county in the country of Liberia (Remember it was founded by former US slaves.)

                          2. Seeing "chicken Maryland" at a small restaurant in a town around Inle Lake in Myanmar/Burma was so notable that I took a photo of the menu and the dish.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: baltoellen

                              I'm not seeing any bananas or pineapple. And crinkle cut fries? This is the least authentic plate of Maryland Fried Chicken in Burma I've ever seen ;-)

                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                I do like the pricing. 'Everything, it is 4000 Kyat!'
                                Which is what, $5US or so in the real world?
                                And I do like monkeyerotica's comment on the crinkle cut fries and the lack of a pineapple slice, it is just so darned hard to get authentic Maryland Fried Chicken in Burma now-a-days!
                                I have a deep dark secret that I will reveal for the first time here on Chowhound. I believe I may be responsible for the sudden popularity of 'Hawaiian Pizza' on Ko Tao and Ko Phangan 14 years ago. Since ham and pineapple was all over the market, I figured 'what could it hurt?' I asked the chef, Pan, at New Way to make it in 1998, and before I left the island a month and a half later, it was on the chalkboards of half the cafes on Sairee Beach. I hadn't seen it at all during my trip in 1994 and suddenly it was everywhere when I left in '98.
                                I apologize, sincerely, but some mistakes you just can't escape the consequences of...

                                1. re: Ziv

                                  Promotion of Hawaiian Pizza is a serious offense punishable by bunga bunga.

                                2. re: baltoellen

                                  Makes me want to hop on a plane right now.....

                                3. While I know there is a dish called Chicken Maryland, which is fried chicken served with banana in most instances, I have never in my 50+ years living in Maryland been served it or even seen it on a menu as far as I remember. We definitely don't grow bananas here. Since it seems to be an old prep, I'm wondering if it was perhaps a fanciful creation in a French or English kitchen when Maryland was the new world.

                                  I have always understood that Maryland fried chicken refers to the cooking method. Rather than deep frying, the chicken is shallow fried and a lid is used for part of the cook time. There are no batters or breadcrumbs, but usually just a shake in seasoned flour. The chicken doesn't end up with a thick coating.

                                  This is how my grandmother, born in Northeast, MD cooked her chicken. My mother too. No matter how I experiment, I always go back to this method.

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: polyanthus

                                      The late and lamented Clementine's in Baltimore served a "Md fried chicken." It had pineapple with it. I told the chef that I had seen the same dish in a number of places in Scotland (although, being Scottish food, it was pretty bad), he was surprised. I got the impression that he thought his dish was original. Lord knows where the name came from

                                        1. I just found a recipe in one of my cookbooks for Maryland Fried Chicken where the chicken is floured and shallow fried in a combination of oil and bacon grease. Its served with the cream gravy and bacon rolls. Don't now if its authentic but all I can say is YUM!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Rapunzil

                                            That sounds like the recipes I've seen in old eastern shore church cookbooks, except what is a Bacon roll?

                                            1. re: JonParker

                                              Bacon roll means different things to different people. If you're from the UK, it usually means "angels/devils on horseback" (oyster/prune wrapped with bacon and baked). If you've been to Trader Vic's, it's rumaki. I have also seen bacon "woven" into a sheet, layered with sausage, and baked as a roll, served sliced, and referred to as the "baconator." There's also an hors d'oeuvre where you bake cocktail weenies in bacon. The bacon rolls I'm familiar with are simply strips of bacon rolled into a cylinder and baked. The grease released in the baking provides the fat for the fried chicken.

                                          2. My dad made the best fried chicken. I guess it was Maryland fried chicken since we lived in Maryland. Heat up some Crisco in your cast iron skillet. Dredge the chicken pieces in milk and then flour (which has been well seasoned with salt and black pepper) and then fry it. My dad would always put the chicken in a paper grocery bag to soak up some of the grease.

                                            When my family and I were traveling through Ireland and England we were constantly amazed at how often some type of "Maryland" food item was found on various restaurant's menus. Not only did we find various types of Maryland fried chicken, but we also found Maryland style pizza. I had to order this just to see what it was. Picture a limp pasty pizza crust covered with chopped ham, chunks of pineapple and canned corn. Mmmm, makes your mouth water, doesn't it?

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: Clatterbuck

                                              I'm sure there are plenty of Irish travellers who are bewildered by what passes for "Irish stew" around the globe. And as for "Irish nachos," the less said, the better.

                                              1. re: Clatterbuck

                                                Your MD style pizza sounds like a worse version of Ledo's pizza with terrible toppings. (which every PG County native knows should either be all cheese or pepperoni - with one slice per pathetic little square.)

                                                And yes I meant to say worse version because while it is an institution - Ledo's pizza is pretty bad by pizza standards unless you are too drnk or high to do simple math - or so hungover that you need to mainline grease salt and carbs without chewing.

                                                1. re: drewpbalzac

                                                  I've heard the same argument made about St. Louis style pizza and Provel, yet people continue to wax nostalgic about the stuff. Ledo's is definitely an acquired taste not helped by a wildly inconsistent franchise product.

                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                    Ledo's is not even worth going to except for the original location which relocate to College Park

                                                    1. re: agarnett100

                                                      Some would say even that store didn't survive the move from Langley Park.

                                                    2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                      St Louis pie and provel is one that folks either love or hate - very little middle ground. I love it, personally.

                                                    3. re: drewpbalzac

                                                      I just read your reply to my comment. Those are fighting words! Ledo's pizza is so delicious no other type of pizza even comes close. Here in PG county the love/hate of Ledo's pizza divides families. My neighbor's son loves it so much that everytime he comes home from his diplomatic station in Ghana, he buys 12 Ledos pizzas, has them wrapped in several layers of foil and plastic and puts them in coolers with dry ice to bring back to Africa with him. So there!

                                                      1. re: Clatterbuck

                                                        I know British diplomats with young kids that were posted to the US, immediately ordered Domino's , got two large pizzas delivered for fifteen bucks, and proclaimed, "We Are Never Leaving This Country."

                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                          Our first night in New Zealand in the late 1990s we went to a Pizza Hut (it was open, it was a small city on the South Island, we were tired).

                                                          The first thing I noticed was the menu included pineapple, ham and barbecue sauce. On the same pizza. In fact almost everything included barbecue sauce.

                                                          The second thing I noticed was that the menu did NOT include plain cheese pizza.

                                                          We just wanted plain cheese and after convincing the waitress that yes, it was possible to have plain cheese pizza, after all, they were offering pizzas with tomato sauce and cheese along with all the other toppings. The waitress had to fetch the manager in order to come up with a special price for the pizza. We offered to be charged the same as for the pepperoni (the simplest pizza on the menu) but the waitress and the manager were insistent we receive a lower price. It was a very odd yet wonderful experience in its own way. What a lovely country.

                                                  2. Just so I understand... taking variations in seasoning into consideration... Southern fried chicken means deep fried (fully immersed), and Maryland fried chicken means shallow/pan fried?

                                                    I grew up on the Delmarva peninsula, and my mom made chicken how it has been described here in previous posts - dipped in milk, dredged/patted in flour & seasonings, then fried in a skillet. Yum! I remember the first time I had KFC chicken and thought, "How'd they do that?"

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: simpsoneh

                                                      I also think of southern style as having a bit heavier a crust - not necessarily battered - but closer to it.

                                                      1. re: simpsoneh

                                                        It seems to me that there are two other steps:

                                                        1) Covering the skillet at some point to finish off the cooking process.
                                                        2) Making a gravy in the pan

                                                        If not, it would just be any skillet fired chicken.

                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                          In the South some would call this "Chicken Fried Chicken" - skillet fried chicken covered in creamy gravy

                                                          1. re: Steve

                                                            That is how my grandmother, who made the best fried chicken ever tasted on earth did it.

                                                          2. re: simpsoneh

                                                            Three variations my mom used:

                                                            1. Soaked overnight in buttermilk, which tenderized the meat and gave the crust a unique, vaguely tart flavor that offset the saltiness.

                                                            2. After the shallow frying, finishing in an oven. This would cook out much of the grease, leaving the meat moist and the crust extra crispy.

                                                            3. The pan frying was done in an iron skillet to get a relatively stable temperature and the medium used was Crisco.

                                                          3. Snyder's Willow Grove used to serve it but they are either closed or closing soon.