Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy
In Maryland, fried chicken should be well-seasoned, with a thin, crisp crust. While creating the coating was a cinch, the seasonings and traditional cream gravy proved trickier. Here’s what we discovered:
For the tastiest crust, we added salt, dry mustard, and garlic powder to the flour dredge, then sprinkled the chicken with Old Bay once it came out of the pan.
While milk made our cream gravy too sweet, heavy cream was the perfect dairy element—it provided a silky texture and honest dairy taste. Cutting the cream with chicken broth added a savory element to the gravy.
To ensure even cooking, breasts should be halved crosswise and leg quarters separated into thighs and drumsticks.
bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups peanut oil or vegetable shortening
Old Bay seasoning
1/4 cup pan drippings (from frying chicken)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. For the chicken: Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine mustard, garlic powder, and salt in small bowl and sprinkle evenly over chicken. Combine flour and baking powder in shallow dish and, working one piece at a time, dredge chicken parts until well coated, shaking off excess. Refrigerate on plate for 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours).
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Arrange half of chicken in pot, skin side down, cover, and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Lower temperature to medium, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees. Cook uncovered, turning chicken as necessary, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. (Internal temperature should register 160 degrees for white meat and 175 degrees for dark meat.) Transfer chicken to wire rack set over baking sheet, season with Old Bay, and transfer to oven. Bring oil back to 375 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken.
3. For the gravy: Pour off all but 1/4 cup oil in pot. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in broth, cream, and pepper. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and serve with chicken.