The beautiful state of Maryland is usually synonymous with two things. #1) Blue crabs. And, #2) Maryland Fried Chicken. Incidentally, they usually go hand-in-hand together too. I don’t know a single crab house that doesn’t serve you a basket of fresh fried chicken before the crabs arrive (a feeble attempt to limit crab intake – don’t be a sucker). I was interested in what differentiates Maryland fried chicken, from a traditional Southern fried chicken. But, I couldn’t really find a straight answer anywhere.

So, I took the one thing that makes just about anything scream Maryland, and threw that into the mix. Old Bay! It’s such a great mix of spices; celery seed, paprika, chili pepper, allspice, and cardamom – just to name a few! I’ve always used it on my chicken that I throw on the grill, so why not fried chicken as well? I start the chicken off in a cast-iron skillet, and get a nice brown scald on it. Then I finished it off in the oven for about 15 minutes. I find that if I try to cook it all the way through in the cast-iron, it ends up getting browner than I’d like. This method produced tender, juicy results.

I’ve played around with several different variations, and this one is definitely a winner! I went all out and served it with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and buttermilk biscuits. Eat your heart out, Colonel Sanders.

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