Classic Maryland-Style Fried Chicken with Creamy White Gravy Recipe

Classic Maryland-Style Fried Chicken with Creamy White Gravy Recipe

Discover the Old Line State’s irresistible answer to chicken-fried steak with this mouthwatering Maryland Fried Chicken recipe. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and smothered in rich white gravy – it’s comfort food at its finest!

This classic dish showcases the simple yet indulgent flavors of traditional Maryland cuisine. With its origins in rural farmhouses, Maryland Fried Chicken has stood the test of time, delighting generations with its satisfying crunch and savory gravy. Whether you’re a Maryland native or just looking to explore regional American fare, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite.

The Secret to Perfect Maryland Fried Chicken

What sets Maryland Fried Chicken apart from other fried chicken recipes is its unique cooking method and that heavenly white gravy. The chicken is first dredged in seasoned flour, then fried to golden perfection in a shallow layer of oil. A brief covered cooking period ensures the meat stays tender and juicy. The result? Chicken that’s crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside.

But the real star of the show is the creamy white gravy. Made from the flavorful pan drippings, this gravy is the perfect complement to the crispy chicken. It’s rich, peppery, and absolutely irresistible.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 serving pieces, backbone reserved (see note)
  • Vegetable oil or lard, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Corn on the cob, white bread with butter, and mashed potatoes, for serving


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°F (90°C). In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with salt and pepper. Lightly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge each piece in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Set aside the remaining seasoned flour for later use.
  2. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large cast iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until it reaches 350°F (177°C). Carefully place the chicken pieces in the hot oil, skin side down, and fry until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken and brown the other side lightly. Turn the chicken once more so it’s skin side down again and cover the skillet. Cook, covered, for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and continue frying, turning as needed, until the chicken is well browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with salt, and keep warm in the preheated oven.
  3. Pour off the grease into a heatproof container and return the skillet to the burner. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the butter, and cook until melted and foamy, whisking to scrape up any browned bits. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved seasoned flour, whisking to form a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook until a smooth gravy forms that coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Season the gravy generously with salt and black pepper.
  4. Plate the chicken and pour the creamy gravy over the top. Serve with classic sides like ears of corn, soft white bread and butter, and creamy mashed potatoes for a true Maryland experience.


The chicken backbone can be set aside to later make a flavorful stock.

Pro Tips for the Best Maryland Fried Chicken

  • For an authentic flavor, use lard instead of vegetable oil if you have it on hand.
  • A cast iron skillet is ideal for achieving that perfect crispy exterior.
  • Don’t skip the covered cooking step – it’s key to ensuring juicy, evenly cooked chicken.
  • Season your gravy generously with black pepper for that classic Maryland flavor.


  • Spice it up: Add a teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning to your flour dredge for a Maryland-inspired kick.
  • Herby twist: Mix some fresh thyme or rosemary into your seasoned flour for an aromatic touch.
  • Buttermilk soak: For extra tender chicken, marinate it in buttermilk for a few hours before cooking.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
828 Calories
60g Fat
20g Carbs
51g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 828
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 60g 76%
Saturated Fat 14g 69%
Cholesterol 176mg 59%
Sodium 902mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 51g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 134mg 10%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 559mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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