- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 2 hours
- makes About 12 sticks
I must have heard a dozen stories about the origins of City Chicken...Polish, German, Hungarian; made with minced meat and formed on a stick to resemble a chicken drumstick; cubes of pork on a stick; baked, fried; very popular in the Midwest...it goes on and on. My version is my mom's version, very simple but ultimate comfort food. —inpatskitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
So, it's true, city chicken doesn't actually have any chicken in the recipe. Reportedly, pork and veal were less expensive than chicken during the Great Depression, so it's used here to basically taste like fried chicken. It's got Polish roots and is pretty common in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, as well as parts of New York. The editor who's currently writing this grew up in Pittsburgh and tried city chicken for the first time in the Polish Hill neighborhood. Though it's been a while since she's been back, she hopes that the city chicken is still as good as she remembers it. Visiting that neighborhood was always a culinary delight, and it's highly recommended to sample some of the local delis and restaurants there if ever one finds oneself visiting or living in Pittsburgh.
This recipe calls for both pork shoulder and veal stew meat, but you can use more pork if you can't find or don't like veal. All that's left are simple pantry ingredients, such as eggs, breadcrumbs, and flour. After coating the meat with seasoned breadcrumbs, brown the meat in a large pan, then let it continue to bake in the oven until the perfect consistency and texture are reached. Definitely do as the developer suggested and serve with some form of potatoes alongside, as the broth from baking the meat make for an excellent sauce. Hopefully you'll love making and eating city chicken as much as this Pittsburgh-raised editor does. Let us know how yours turn out in the comments. —The Editors
1 1/2 pounds
pork shoulder, cut into 1½-inch cubes
1 1/2 pounds
veal stew meat (use all pork if you can't find veal)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
large eggs, beaten with 3 tablespoons water
seasoned dry breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
chicken broth or water
- Heat the oven to 325°F. Onto 12 to 15 wooden skewers, 4 to 5 inches long, alternately thread the pork and veal cubes. Generously season with salt and pepper. Dust the skewers with a little flour, shaking off any excess.
- Coat the meat with the beaten eggs, then coat with the breadcrumbs.
- In a large skillet, pour in the oil to a depth of about 1 inch and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the meat until well browned on all sides.
- Arrange the skewers in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pour the broth into the dish. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover the dish, increase the oven temperature 350°F, and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the desired degree of doneness.
- The broth in the baking dish keeps the meat moist and creates a little sauce to dress the meat and the must-have mashed potatoes!