City Chicken

Kim Biegacki


I love this dish!! I remember the first time my mother made it for us. I was about 12 years old. I love to serve this with Haluski and my husband likes it over buttered noodles with the thick flavorful sauce that it makes while cooking. Either way, it is delicious! ---- This is comfort food to us!

Here is some history on City Chicken from Wikipedia.
The origins of the dish and its name are still obscure, but the first references to city chicken appeared in cookbooks during the Depression Era in cities such as Pittsburgh. City chicken typically has cooks using meat scraps to fashion a makeshift drumstick from them. It was a working class food item. During the Depression, cooks used pork because it was then cheaper than chicken in many parts of the country, especially in those markets far from rural poultry farms. Sometimes cooks would grind the meat, and use a drumstick-shaped mold to form the ground meat around a skewer. Today, cooks use better cuts of meat (usually pork loin, beef, or veal) than they had in the past. Despite the name of the dish, city chicken almost never contains chicken.

The dish is popular in cities throughout the northeastern Appalachian regions of Pennsylvania and Upstate New York as well as Eastern and Central Ohio and at least as far south and west as Louisville, Kentucky. City chicken is common in the cities of Pittsburgh, Scranton, Binghamton, Erie, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Hamtramck, Michigan. Hence, its name.

(It is so popular in our area which is close to Cleveland, OH that you can buy it already prepped in the grocery stores).

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4 - 6 people


10 Min


45 Min


Stove Top


3 lb
boneless pork pieces 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch cubes
8-10 small
skewers (6 inches long)
3/4 c
salt and pepper
3 - 5 small
bay leaves
2 tsp
french thyme or just thyme (i love the flavor of thyme)
2 c
chicken broth
1 c
1/4 c
vegetable oil

Directions Step-By-Step

City Chicken bought from the grocery store all ready cut up and has skewers with it. Put 4 pieces of pork loin on each skewer. --- I always rinse the meat first before I do anything else.
Wash the pork off and pat some of the water off with a paper towel. Lay the pork skewers out on wax paper. Salt & pepper on both sides.
Place your flour in a bowl and roll your skewers in flour till nicely coated and set them on a plate.
Now, heat up 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a large deep pan and once oil is hot place your skewers down inside pan and brown pork on each side. (Depending how hot your pan gets it should be 5 - 7 minutes on each side.)
Browning the other side now.
Now, remove the skewers from pan and put on a new plate. Pour out any extra oil into a small ceramic dish.
Pour in your chicken broth and water and scrap bottom of the pan for the brown bits.
Add your chicken broth, water, bay leaves and 2 tsp of thyme. (I heat my chicken broth w/water in the microwave to it's nice and hot.) Now place your pork skewers back inside the pan. Turn on to a medium heat so the sauce is simmering and let cook for 30 - 40 minutes.
Here is the wonderful sauce that it makes. You can serve this with noodles or potatoes. It is delish.
Once, the sauce thickens and pork is completely cooked it is ready to plate. You can take two skewer and place over some buttered noodles or Haluski on the side.
Made City Chicken served over Lundberg's Jubiliee rice with corn cake muffins. Yumm 1/21/13
February 3rd, 2015 --- Made this for dinner tonight and served it over mashed potatoes.
February 21, 2016 --- I wanted to share that we tried making the city chicken with almond flour and it was a success. For those trying to avoid or cannot have wheat this is a great alternative and it was very tasty as well.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: American
Collection: Comfort Classics
Other Tag: For Kids