"Eating fried chicken on a Maryland farm," 1942. Photo from Library of Congress.

Classic Recipe: Maryland Fried Chicken

By Waxter Intern

Historic preservation is not only about preserving historic buildings, structures, and sites. It is also important to preserve our intangible heritage – music, dress, oral traditions, crafts, festivals and cuisines. Essential to any summer picnic or community get-together is Maryland Fried Chicken:

Maryland Fried Chicken, also known as Maryland Chicken or Chicken a la Maryland, is one of the most famous dishes from the Old Line State. A take on the classic Southern dish, Maryland Fried Chicken is differentiated by covering the chicken in a pot while frying it and adding gravy, poured over the chicken. Because it is very popular and is a specialty of many households and restaurants, there is no single way to make the dish, therefore every iteration has a special flavor to it.

Maryland Fried Chicken was recorded in recipe form as far back as 1886, but is most likely much older. It became well-known across the United States when the recipe was published in chef Auguste Escoffier’s cookbook Ma Cuisine in 1934. The following recipe comes from a blog called The Kitchen Witch and uses Old Bay Seasoning to give it an even stronger Maryland flavor.


  • 4 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (garlic salt is a good substitute for both garlic powder and salt)
  • 1 ½ cup white flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups oil (peanut oil is most commonly used, but Crisco works, as well)
  • Old Bay seasoning to taste


  1. Separate chicken pieces and dry with a paper towel
  2. Mix mustard, garlic powder, and salt, and sprinkle over the chicken
  3. Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl and coat chicken until covered well
  4. Refrigerate chicken for 30 minutes to 2 hours
  5. Preheat oven to 200F
  6. Heat oil to 375F in Dutch oven
  7. Place chicken in pot, cover, and cook until brown, approximately 5 minutes
  8. Lower temperature and cook uncovered until chicken is cooked through
  9. Place chicken on wire rack fitted to baking sheet, sprinkle Old Bay, and place into oven
  10. Repeat steps 6-9 with remaining chicken


  • ¼ cup pan drippings from frying
  • ¼ cup white flour
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt


  1. Save ¼ cup of pan drippings from frying chicken
  2. Whisk in flour and heat until golden
  3. Slowly whisk in broth, cream, and pepper
  4. Lower heat and simmer until thickened, approximately 5 minutes
  5. Add salt for taste, and serve over chicken

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Our Historical Recipe posts were prepared and written by Miranda Villesvik, one of Preservation Maryland’s Waxter Interns. Miranda’s work with us includes blogging about historic food traditions of the Old Line State while she attends school at Vassar College in New York. There she is pursuing a Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Greek and Roman Studies double major. Learn more about Miranda and our internship program here: presmd.org/waxter.

Waxter Intern

A legacy gift from William D. Waxter, III established the Waxter Memorial Internship to help Preservation Maryland support the next generation in historic preservation.

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