I have a few more thoughts about this chicken.
1. I believe the recipe you talked about for Maryland chicken published by Marriott is this one: http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus/m0519M08.htm#5
I am just about certain this recipe is no where near what they were using for Roy Rogers/Pappy Parker back in the 80's. With Marriott making a fortune from Roy Rogers and Big Boy franchisees, no way could they publish the recipe. This is alluded to by Paul Moloney in his review on Amazon.
2. I don't know if the story about Bill Marriott creating the recipe is true. It may just be PR hype. The batter used by Roy Rogers is similar to that used by KFC and Popeyes. If the recipe for KFC was created by head of company Col Harlan Sanders, would it not sound good if the recipe for Pappy Parker's was created by head of company Bill Marriott?
3. Most of the signature menu items found today at stand-alone Roy Rogers are not exactly the same as in, say, 1985. But this is true of most QSR chains. Every time there is a thread here on Roadfood, everyone says KFC is not as good as in the old days. The people who supplied the food to the restaurants also changed. Back in the mid-80's, the Roy Rogers down the block from me in NYC was supplied by a tractor trailer with Maryland plates with "Marriott, Bethesda, MD" written on the driver side door. Last time I passed a Roy Rogers, there was a Maines Food Service truck in the lot. Not sure if was delivering food or just stopping to eat, however. With the small size of the chain now, the franchsor may be using more off-the-shelf food items rather than the custom products used in the past.
4. Currently, the closet place from NYC to get good Roy Rogers chicken is the franchisor-owned stand-alone stores in and near Frederick, Maryland. There is one 200 yards or so from the executive offices of the franchisor, and the food there is consistantly good. There is a staggering total of 6 alone in Frederick, 2010 population 65239.
5. About the recipe: if you want to taste the chicken rather than just study the history of it, you are up against cloning the recipe, just like those folks who try cloning the KFC recipe. I never paid attention to how the chicken was cooked (pan, deep fried, fried in a pressure cooker, etc.), but the taste of the breading I find similar to Popeyes.
Gone on too long. Will PM you with more "juice".