In the 1950s, Maryland Fried Chicken was a standard item on the menu
of US Army mess halls, and that is where I was first introduced to
it. When prepared correctly, this is one of the finest chicken dishes
in existence. That is saying something, considering that I come from
southwestern Louisiana where my mother and grandmother both knew how
to fry up a mess of chicken that would make ole Colonel Sanders cry.
The distinguishing feature of MFC as made the Army way was that it
was finished off in the oven. My folks never used that method to cook
chicken. I don't know if the chicken was fried first or not (I'd
imagine it was), but it was breaded and placed on large baking pans
which were then placed in an oven whence it came out golden brown and
emitting an unrefusable aroma. MFC was usually served with mashed
irish potatoes and cream gravy, but these were side dishes, not part
of the MFC recipe or in any way one of the dishes distinguishing
characteristics as some online writers alledge.
Before finding the discussion here, I googled MFC and found a large
variety of opinions as to what it is and how it's made. Thus far, the
only recipe that seems to come closest to the Army way is the one
used in Erma Rombauer's _The Joy of Cooking_, p. 468, which I bought
about 1973. She calls the dish Maryland Chicken. Chicken pieces are
breaded and browned in oil in a heavy skillet, then placed in a pan
and baked covered until steamed through. The drippings are used to
make the cream gravy.