What Puts Maryland Fried Chicken In A Class Of Its Own
By Chase Shustack
Fried chicken is classic American comfort food, and there are all kinds of variations on it, including Maryland fried chicken. What makes this fried chicken so unique is not just the cooking process but the unconventional garnish as well.
The pieces are dredged in breading and then fried in a shallow cast-iron skillet of oil rather than being dunked into a massive pot of oil or lard. The pan is then covered partway through the frying process, thus allowing the chicken to both fry and steam.
Once the chicken is finished frying and fully browned on all sides, most of the grease is drained off, with the rest being combined with flour and milk (or cream) to create a thick white gravy that is poured onto the finished chicken. This addition of white gravy gives Maryland fried chicken that signature "chicken-fried chicken" taste (via Cooking with Paula Deen).
In some versions of Maryland fried chicken, you should expect to see bananas gracing the top of your cream gravy and poultry. Forks and Vines describes the addition of sauteed bananas to Maryland fried chicken as a surprisingly good combination, even noting that certain herbs can be added to the chicken to complement the taste of the bananas.