What Makes Maryland Fried Chicken Unique?

If you can't get enough fried chicken, you're in luck: This classic comfort food dish so often associated with the American South is a worldwide phenomenon that many global cuisines have interpreted. Ranging far beyond the buttermilk-brined versions, styles of fried chicken around the globe include the sweet-and-spicy Korean type known as yangnyeom-tomdak (via Maangchi), the Taiwanese sweet potato starch-coated take called yan su ji, and Austrian backhendl, served with lemon and fried parsley leaves, to name just a few. So rest assured — if your fried chicken cravings are limitless, you can indulge in a different type each week.

If you're not planning on traveling abroad soon, there's a type of fried chicken you might not have tried that can be found closer to home. It's known as Maryland fried chicken, and it's a rich, indulgent take on fried fowl that you're definitely going to want to get your hands on, whether you're dining out or eating in.

Maryland fried chicken is like chicken-fried steak

If you've ever gone to work on the large, flour-dredged, fat-fried, drenched in creamy gravy chicken-fried steak, then you know that this Texas entrée is no diet food. Often served with mashed potatoes, soft white bread, and corn on the cob, the dish is as delicious as it is rich.

Fans of chicken-fried steak who might want to swap the cube steak for a different protein will undoubtedly enjoy Maryland fried chicken, which Serious Eats explains is basically an example of ... chicken-fried chicken. In it, chicken pieces are dredged in seasoned flour, fried in oil in a cast iron skillet, then set aside to drain as a tasty flour-and-milk country gravy is made in the skillet using reserved grease.

As noted by Preservation Maryland, the storied dish has been a part of the Old Line State's rich gastronomy since at least 1886, when the first recipe for Maryland fried chicken was published. For an extra kick of Maryland flavor, Eat This, Not That! recommends mixing Old Bay into the flour, also reporting that the famous seafood seasoning was first used to help dredge the bird in Baltimore back in 1939.