6-26: Chicken Maryland

A week or two ago after we returned home from a grocery shopping trip, I found myself with a package of chicken that needed to be cooked ASAP due to having its plastic wrap punctured on the way home. Since I had some red peppers that needed to be used up as well, I chose to make 6-26: Chicken Maryland.

Recipe #26 of Subgroup 6 (Poultry & Game) in Book 1, Group 2 (Main Courses) is Chicken Maryland, which is basically a nicely-spiced fried chicken with a red bell pepper cream sauce. The chicken was delightful–the sauce turned out a bit odd, but that was probably my fault.

I don’t think anyone ever attempted this one, probably because of the bell pepper component–another one of my mom’s disliked ingredients.

I probably skipped over it a thousand times while skimming recipes due to the name–it’s very non-descriptive. The Wikipedia page for Chicken Maryland or Chicken a la Maryland seems to have breaded & fried chicken and cream gravy as the common thread amongst all the variations, but there doesn’t seem to be any one true version of the dish.

Ingredients. Here’s where I went wrong (and usually do go wrong): I substituted coconut milk in again for regular milk. I am learning (albeit slowly) that coconut milk is not eligible for substitution in all circumstances. In this case, it made the cream sauce a weird consistency and also too sweet. I have begun to try to keep at least half-and-half in the fridge now as well to keep from continuing to make this mistake like a crazy person.

You can also see that we have no grocery store allegiances in this household–variety is the spice of life.

Chicken thighs–my preferred alternative over breaking down my own chicken.

Melting down a chunk of butter in the trusty cast iron pan.

These glass baking/storage dishes work great for breading things to be fried. Ignore the cup–it was part of a gift from a well-meaning parent of a student one Christmas. Coffee cups are coffee cups. 🙂

My sous chef (husband) dicing some red pepper for me. He immediately felt bad about doing it on a red cutting board once he realized I was taking pictures of him as well.

Pan-frying doesn’t usually turn out as well as deep-frying in terms of getting a good crunchy crust, but I do the best I can.

Starts to look nice and golden–the challenge is to cook the inside without burning the outside.

While the chicken is cooking, I start the red pepper cream sauce.

It looked good, and it didn’t taste bad. It was just very sweet and coconutty–probably more so than was intended for the recipe. It didn’t balance as well as it could have. It also got kind of clumpy, probably due to the lower fat content in the coconut milk.

The final product. Tasted great, and was even great as leftovers the following day. Would have been a home run had I done the sauce as instructed and not subbed in coconut milk.

Grade: A