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Chicken Maryland

Introduction & method

This is one of those dishes that was wildly popular in the 60s and 70s, but is rarely seen now. In 'The Prawn Cocktail Years', Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham describe it as 'frankly weird'. It's basically chicken fried in a spicy batter with a creamy gravy, corn fritters, fried banana and bacon. To traditionalists the banana is an abomination that started appearing in the 50s when Baltimore began importing bananas.

Chicken Maryland Recipe

Don't Panic!

This is quite a complex dish in terms of timing - you've got a bunch of elements that don't take a whole lot of cooking but which need to arrive hot at the same time. So a warming oven will be your friend here - heat the oven quite low and place elements in it as they are ready.

Prep the Chicken

Mix the seasonings together with the flour. Dredge the chicken pieces through the flour. Shake off excess and refrigerate chicken for half an hour.

Make the Gravy

If possible, you want to render fat from the bacon to use in the gravy. So just cook it very slowly on low heat and remove the bacon when it looks like you can't get any more fat from it. Transfer the fat to a small saucepan on medium/low heat  and add some butter. Stir in flour to make a roux. Add the chicken stock and when it has thickened up add the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and turn off the heat until needed.

Cook the Chicken

Remove the chicken from the fridge and dredge it through flour again. Heat 1cm (half an inch) of oil in a large saucepan. You don't want it too hot, but you do want the oil to bubble gently when you put the chicken in. Cook it for 5 minutes until pale gold, turn it over and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat right down and continue cooking the chicken, adjusting the heat so that the chicken is frying, not boiling, but not burning. Yes, it's difficult. If it's cooking too fast, pop it on a wire rack over a roasting tin and bung it in the oven.

Make the Corn Fritters

Mix all ingredients together, grab a handful of it and form into a ball. Then flatten it into burger shape. Heat some oil and butter in a frying pan - you only need a couple of millimetres. Fry the fritters for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. If you have room in the pan, cut the bananas in half and gently fry them until golden. You might also want to throw the bacon in for a minute or two to crisp up.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Chicken Maryland on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

  bone-in, skin-on chicken portions - thighs, drumsticks, breasts cut in half
 2 tsp garlic powder
 half a tsp salt
 125 grams self-raising flour
 2 tsp Old Bayâ„¢ seasoning
 2 tsp bacon drippings/butter
 2 tsp white (all-purpose) flour
 125 ml chicken stock
 70 ml double (heavy) cream
  salt & pepper to taste
 100 grams sweetcorn (fresh kernels or canned)
 2 eggs
 small handful breadcrumbs
 1 tsp baking powder
 half a tsp salt
 half a tsp pepper


One banana per person, 2 streaky bacon rashers per person. If you can't get Old Bay™ seasoning, you can easily make something like it: 2 tsp celery salt, a quarter tsp of paprika and a pinch each of ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground allspice, ground cloves, ground ginger.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 -6
Prep time: 20 minutes.
Cooking time: 40 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour.