City Chicken

December 28, 2011
3 Ratings
Author Notes

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

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • Makes about 12 sticks
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds veal stew meat (use all pork if you can't find veal)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning the meat
  • 2 eggs beaten with 3 tablesppons water
  • 2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • Flour for dusting the skewers
  • 12 to 15 wooden skewers, 4 to 5 inches long
  • Vegetable oil for browning
  • 1/2 cup water
In This Recipe
  1. Thread each skewer with alternating veal and pork cubes. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Dust the skewers with a little flour. Shake off excess.
  3. Coat the skewers with the egg mixture and the thoroughly bread them with the seasoned bread crumbs.
  4. In batches, brown the skewers in a large frying pan in the vegetable oil reaching to almost an inch.
  5. Place the skewers in a 9 x13 inch baking dish and pour the 1/2 cup water or chicken broth into the dish.
  6. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 325F for 1 hour. Uncover, raise the temp to 350F and bake 15 to 20 minutes more.
  7. The water in the baking dish keeps the meat moist and creates a little sauce to dress the meat and the must have mashed potatoes!
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Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

28 Reviews

Jen S. August 18, 2020
Another Buffalo girl who's grandmother made this all the time! Love this.. thanks for the recipe!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen August 18, 2020
Thanks so much!!
Demi T. July 26, 2020
Wow. Almost forgot about this. Growing up in the Cleveland Ohio area (Berea) we ate this all the time. I'm excited to have these again and my own kids to enjoy a taste of my,childhood. I asked my mom and this is how she made them too!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen July 27, 2020
So happy you found the recipe here Demi! This has been a family favorite of ours for years and years. Sure hopw you enjoy!
Susan L. March 4, 2020
The recipe for "City Chicken"was originally published in the cookbook "The Joy Of Cooking". My mother always made these with ground veal or a combination of beef and pork ground meats. The ground meats waaay baack* when were more coarsely ground than present day ground beef is now.

* I am quite old now!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen March 4, 2020
We always referred to the ground meat version as "mock chicken drums". Both are good...I'm quite old now too!(lol)
James Y. January 9, 2020
in my household wasn’t the ‘...must have mashed potatoes...’. It was always served with Parsleyed potatoes. (Making them as I write this!)
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 9, 2020
Yum! I love parsleyed potatoes!
James Y. June 17, 2019
A few times I've seen someone ask on Facebook "What's city chicken?" The common reply is that there's no chicken involved. Guess it's an East Coast kind of thing (I'm from Pittsburgh). Love the chicken stock add on, my Mom never did that. Great recipe, and a great meal!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen June 17, 2019
Thanks James! Very popular here in Michigan also!
Drew M. January 5, 2019
Well, Im a 60-70s child and this was a mainstay for me and my 4 siblings growing up. I know quite often my mom couldn't afford the veal so these were most likely made with cubed pork only. I adapted my mom's recipe by adding a cup of chicken stock to the pan, Cooking for 1 hour @ 325 ,Removing foil and cooking for an additional 15 minutes @ 350 degrees. Yummy. So moist & tender.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 5, 2019
Our family mainstay also...Thanks Drew!
hlhambrick December 11, 2018
My gramma made these. Great seeing this recipe! She would actually put a trivet in a large skillet and steam them that way. Otherwise, the breading is super soggy if it's directly in the water. She also would use regular bread crumbs that she would add salt and pepper to. So sad that I can't get these from a butcher down in Texas - I have to do it all myself if I want it.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen December 11, 2018
So glad you like these! They're a family favorite around here. I've been having a little trouble finding the right veal lately also. Hope you make them soon! ( I like a little soggy on the bottom (lol) )
Trisha July 29, 2014
I've made this a couple times. Delicious! Even my VERY picky eater son loved this.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen July 29, 2014
I'm so happy you (and that picky eater) enjoy these. They're a family favorite around here..thanks so much!
sexyLAMBCHOPx January 17, 2014
Just saved this thanks to the hotline. Never heard or seen it - I live in NY/CT. Must try!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 17, 2014
I've heard that it's big in Buffalo, NY and for sure in the Midwest. Easy to make...let me know what you think if you make it!
sexyLAMBCHOPx January 17, 2014
Any chance this can be adapted with beef or chicken with good results? Not a big pork fan.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 17, 2014
I'd use mainly veal with maybe a little beef shoulder meat. Make sure the beef has some fat on it though and you may need to cook a little longer(not sure). I think chicken would dry out too quickly.
Christine D. September 19, 2019
My mom never liked veal so she would make this for my dad using cubed beef and pork. She never told my dad (who thought it was always veal) LOL
Author Comment
inpatskitchen September 19, 2019
Too funny!!
Beth C. January 1, 2014
The most requested food for birthdays and holidays in my mother's home. I grew up south of Pittsburgh, Pa. They actually have trays of cut meat and skewers in the meat dept. of local grocery stores. Have never seen it anywhere else I've lived. Thanks for the great recipe and the nostalgic memories!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen January 1, 2014
We see them here in the counters already skewered and sometimes even breaded...very popular in the Detroit area... Thanks so much for taking an interest!
Nicole D. April 4, 2013
I remember seeing these as a girl at the Broadway Market in Buffalo, NY!
My Polish Grandma made them so delicious!
Author Comment
inpatskitchen April 4, 2013
Thanks Nicole! They really are wonderful aren't they? And so easy to make!
Fran M. April 13, 2012
I remember eating these as a kid in Buffalo , New York. Nobody I know has ever heard about them. It's nice to see them here. Thanks for adding it to your recipes.
Author Comment
inpatskitchen April 19, 2012
Thanks Fran! Sorry I didn't respond sooner but I'm not getting all notifications on e-mail. I know parts of the country have never heard of City Chicken, but they're very popular here in Southeast Michigan...and oh so good!!