Way back a million years ago, when you got married your name was put on some interesting mailing lists of companies trying to sell the newly weds all sorts of things, from furniture to cook books and magazines. One of the things I received in the mail were some recipe cards. They were designed to go into a binder. The binder and the reset of the cards would arrive once you had agreed to purchase them. You would get ten cards a month. I never did buy the recipe cards, but I did use their free recipe for Maryland Chicken.
A few nights ago, I pulled out that old, dusty recipe card. Gosh, I hadn’t thought of those cards in years. I wanted something special for Sunday dinner, and Chicken Maryland sounded delicious. I’m not sure why I stopped making this dish, aside from the fact that the kitchen gets really messy. Messy kitchens are nothing new. Yeah, it was time to dust off the old recipe and make a nice Sunday Supper.
Creamy Chicken Maryland with Pan Gravy
3 lb Chicken Fryer
1 beaten Egg
3 tablespoons Milk
1 cup Saltine Crackers, crushed
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1 pinch Black Pepper
3 tablespoons Cooking Oil
1 cup Milk for cooking
To Make the Chicken
In a pie pan combine the egg and the 3 tablespoons milk. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
Empty 1/2 a sleeve of Saline crackers in a zip-lock bag. Close, lay flat and crush crackers with the back of a spoon. Empty into a measuring cup, repeat as needed to reach 1 cup of crushed crackers. Empty crackers into a second pie tin. Combine crushed crackers, thyme, paprika, and pepper.
Cut chicken into 8 pieces, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 breasts and 2 wings. Freeze wings for another purpose. Split breast in half width-wise so that the pieces are more uniform in size.
Dip chicken pieces, 1 at a time, in egg mixture; roll in cracker mixture. Set each piece aside as it is coated.
In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat until hot. Brown dark meat in hot oil for 5 minutes, turn and continue to brown for another 5 minutes. Remove from skillet. Repeat with breast pieces.
Nestle dark meat in with the breasts. Add the 1 cup milk to skillet. Heat just to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover tightly. Cook for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a rack in a rimmed baking sheet. set aside. Remove the chicken from skillet, place on the rack and place in the heated oven for 10 minutes.
Prepare Creamy Gravy in the now empty skillet.
3 tablespoons Skillet Drippings
3/4 cup Milk for slurry
3 tablespoons Flour
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 cup Milk
To Make the Gravy
Skim fat from drippings. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the drippings in skillet. Wipe the skillet clean of any pieces of skin that may have stuck to the pan. Browned bits are okay, as these add flavor.
In a screw-top jar combine skillet drippings, 3/4 cup milk, all-purpose flour, salt, and black pepper; cover and shake until well combined. Add to skillet. Stir in an additional milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. If gravy becomes too thick or a thinner gravy is desired, add more milk a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a bowl or gravy boat and serve.
Place chicken on a warm serving platter, serve with creamy gravy. Whipped potatoes and buttery peas make for nice side dishes.