RECIPE: City Chicken

malnaJune 3, 2009

I posted a picture of this on the Cooking Forum's WFD thread, and a couple of people requested the recipe.

The legend is that during the Depression, chicken was more expensive than meat, so pork and veal were "passed off" as chicken.

1 lb. pork, cubed

1 lb. veal, cubed

1 egg

Seasoned flour

Cracker meal (not bread crumbs)

1. Roll cubes of meat in seasoned (salt, pepper, paprika, and/or garlic powder) flour. On bamboo skewers, thread alternating pieces of pork and veal (about six pieces). Dip skewers in beaten egg (you can mix in a tiny bit of milk or water), then in cracker meal. You can season the cracker meal as well if you like. Refrigerate at least one hour or preferably overnight.

2. Place Crisco or peanut oil in skillet (olive oil may burn). Brown skewered meat on all sides until golden brown. Transfer to baking dish and roast in oven at 350° for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

This was a special treat during DHÂs childhood back in the Mon (Monongahela River) Valley in Pennsylvania.

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I remember buying skewers of "city chicken" at a butcher shop in the North Market in Columbus, Ohio when I was in college back in the 70's. I always really liked it, but wasn't much of a cook back then and honestly didn't know what it was, or how it got the name.

Thanks for posting - I'm going to cook some for old time's sake!


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 11:57AM
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Our relatives in the Scranton, PA area always make this for special occasions. I had always thought it was a Polish dish, but maybe it was more a PA thing, although I know Scranton isn't in the Mon Valley. Its good whatever its origin!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 3:22PM
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I had forgotten about City Chicken. It was a favourite dish at church potlucks and weddings when I lived in Chatham Ontario, quite near to Windsor ON and Detroit MI.

This area is not of any particular ethnic origin but it has a very large farming community. I'm thinking this was a depression type dish rather that an ethnic dish.

Whatever, it was always so good when cooked by the "farmer ladies" , however, I could never get it quite right.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 4:59PM
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Oh wow!! I thought that it really WAS chicken! Looks like it in the photo. Thanks so much for taking the time to post the pic and recipe.

Do you think the recipe would work if you used actual chicken breasts?

Can I assume that "cracker meal" is just finely crushed saltine crackers?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 5:29PM
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I've made it with chicken - it's good, but DH says it's NOT City Chicken if it's made with chicken (LOL) so he won't eat it! He's such a traditionalist sometimes :-)

Cracker meal gives it a crispy coating. Our local grocery store carries cracker meal (it's next to the bread crumbs and the fish fry stuff), but you can use crushed saltines. You could probably use panko crumbs too.

Hope that rambling explanation helps!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 8:34PM
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Verrry interesssting. Never heard of "City Chicken" before. Will have to try it some time. Thank you for the picture, recipe and all the input.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 7:38PM
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Chicken 10lb (Preferably thigh medium sized)
Lemon 1 large
Crushed pineapple 1 cup
Balsamic vinegar 2tbsp
Rosemary 1tbsp (crush it between the hand to bring out the flavor)
Italian seasoning 1tbsp
Garlic 1tbsp
Chili 1tbsp
Paprika 1tbsp
1 tbsp of salt or according to taste.


1. Pre heat the oven 360 degrees.

2. Add the spices, pineapple and chicken in the bowl.

3. Mix it all well.

4. Let it marinate for 20 minutes in the freeze.

5. After 20 minutes put the chicken in the backing try skin side up.

6. Sprinkle the remaining marinade juice over the chicken.

7. Bake it for hour and half until the skin turn golden brown. Check in between to avoid over cooking or burning.

Here is a link that might be useful: sensiblecooking

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 1:57PM
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kitchen 2009... that sounds like a wonderful recipe. I'm going to print it right now and make it this weekend!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:46PM
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