Chicken Maryland

Chicken Maryland or Maryland Chicken is a dish with various interpretations, depending on the country of origin. It is not necessarily known in the U.S. state of Maryland, and is not considered a native dish thereof.

USA: Maryland Chicken

In the United States, Maryland Chicken is basically fried chicken served with a cream gravy. A recipe for "Chicken A la Maryland" exists in Escoffier's landmark cookbook "Ma Cuisine". Contrary to the initial paragraph of this article, it is a historic recipe or, more accurately, method, associated with the State of Maryland in the United States. For Reference see John Shields, Chesapeake Bay Cooking (Broadway 1998). Various recipes differ as to the proper method of breading the chicken. Often the chicken in marinated in a buttermilk marinade. In terms of breading, recipes vary between use of egg or buttermilk and the seasoning added to the flour; the seasoning of the cream gravy also varies widely although this is a signature aspect of the dish. There is no canonical, or "central" version (contrast Caesar salad or Beef Wellington, both fairly standardized). The primary factor which distinguishes Maryland Fried Chicken from other Southern Fried Chicken is that rather than "deep fry" the chicken in several inches of oil or shortening, the chicken in pan-fried in a (traditionally cast-iron) skillet and is covered tightly after the initial browning so that the chicken actually "steams" as the skin and outer portion "fry." Milk or cream is often added during this step to create a white cream pan gravy, also a Maryland characteristic. Many Maryland families have their own heirloom recipes for this dish. A commercial version is available from the English's restaurant chain on Maryland's eastern shore (the center of Maryland's chicken-related agro-industry.

Other reported versions include: a fried chicken leg with ham and hush puppies (a batter made with flour, egg, oil, and milk or water, to which corn is added, then deep-fried); batter-fried chicken with hush-puppies and batter-fried bananas and pineapple rings; and bread-crumbed and fried chicken wings & drumsticks with sautéed bananas. Apparently some South-east Asian variations exist, such as one with breaded chicken thighs, hush puppies, and gravy, served with deep-fried potato slices, baby carrots, fried tomato halves, and fried bananas.

The most common elements are: chicken pieces which have been breaded and fried or baked; corn fritters/hush-puppies, and cooked bananas.

Chicken Maryland: Australia and the United Kingdom

In Australia, the term "Chicken Maryland" refers to the thigh and leg. In this case, however, the term Chicken Maryland does not imply any specific dish.

In the United Kingdom a Chicken Maryland is often included on menus in restaurants. Although often considered a children's meal, it can also be served as a large meal. It consists of breaded or battered chicken breast (or drumstick), chips, peas, banana fritter, pineapple fritter, bacon (or a slice of gammon) and fried battered onion rings. Indian and Chinese takeaways and restaurants will often include the meal in a 'European' or 'English' section of their menus.

The last first class lunch menu on the Titanic included a dish called "Chicken a la Maryland."

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