Have I mentioned that my mother calls herself the Gravy Queen? Gravy was kind of a necessary part of most meals in our household growing up. As a result, I am kind of a gravy snob. My mother made awesome chicken gravy, pork gravy, cream gravy, turkey gravy - you name it. So, generally, unless it's homemade, gravy doesn't taste right to me.
Imagine my horror when I first made gravy as an adult and it was a ridiculous failure. I was making my very first Thanksgiving dinner, and I mis-measured my pan drippings, so I put in way too much flour. My mom talked me through making a slurry out of flour and water, since I ruined my roux (my fat and flour mixture). It wasn't the same, at all, though it was edible. That was seven years ago, and I've gotten infinitely better at gravy making, though I definitely cannot challenge the Gravy Queen for her title.
I was totally excited when I saw the recipe for Maryland Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy. It sounded right up my alley. My mom's fried chicken and cream gravy is one of my favorite dishes (and perhaps I will make it in the next two weeks so I can share that recipe, too). This, however, was awfully different. Admittedly, I made a few substitutions in the recipe, like I used boneless, skinless chicken because that's what I had around, and I used vegetable oil instead of peanut oil, but other than that, I stuck to the recipe.
I was relatively unimpressed. The chicken had good flavor, but the gravy was dreadful. It was worse than jarred gravy, which I think tastes pretty darn bad. I don't think I'll be making this one again, but I wanted to make sure to share anyway. If you wind up making this and you like it, tell me about it - maybe I did something wrong!
Maryland Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy
adapted from CooksCountry.com
4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
1 teaspoon 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
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 a shallow dish and, working one piece at a time, dredge chicken parts until well coated, shaking off excess. Refrigerate on plate 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 the 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.