Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, December 1, 2016

City Chicken

City Chicken is not actually chicken at all. It's a Midwestern regional dish that is made from pork sirloin cubes that have been thread onto skewers, browned, then slow braised. It's one of my very favorite comfort foods of all time!

City Chicken

City Chicken is described by Wikipedia as..." (also known in some locations as mock drumsticks or mock chicken)  an entrĂ©e consisting of cubes of meat (usually pork), which have been placed on a wooden skewer (approximately 4-5 inches long), then fried and/or baked. Depending on the recipe, they may be breaded."  But you do not have to be from the Midwest to enjoy this comfort food!!

It's origins date back to the 1700's when raising chickens in the populated cities became impossible. Inexpensive cuts of pork skewered on sticks to resemble chicken drumsticks became a substitute for chicken as a meal.  Over the years, recipes have included other cuts of meat as well, such as veal or beef...but I have always had it with only pork, and that is how I like it! 

City Chicken

I buy pork sirloin already cut for city chicken with the skewers included in the package.  If you don't have pre-cut pork for city chicken available to you, you can buy pork sirloin or loin and cut it into 1" cubes yourself then use shortened bamboo skewers to thread it on to.  As far as I am concerned, the secret to great city chicken is the slow braising done in a low oven and cooking the pork until it is fork tender.

To make City Chicken, start by threading the pork cubes onto the skewers...and then breading them with a three step process... 

City Chicken

seasoned flour, followed by egg beaters, and lastly Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs.  I like to add some smoked paprika to the dry bread crumbs, as well as a little extra salt and pepper.

City Chicken

Next, the breaded pork is browned a little bit of oil on medium high heat...(taking care not to overcrowd the pan)

City Chicken

Once they have all been browned and placed into the baking dish,  I add a little chicken stock to the bottom of the pan and cover tightly with foil.  I then bake in a 325 degree F oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the pork is fork tender.

City Chicken

I like to serve mine with gravy and mashed potatoes.  My gravy is simply a mixture of canned pork and mushroom gravy...because that's what we like!  :)

City chicken


City Chicken

Renee Paj
City Chicken
Pork sirloin cubes are threaded onto skewers, breaded, browned and slow braised until fork tender.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cubed pork sirloin plus skewers
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup eggbeaters, or one egg beaten with 1 TBS water
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika ( optional )
  • 1 TBS olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can or jar of gravy ( pork or mushroom or one of each mixed together ), heated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. ( I always make double the recipe, so I use a 9 x 13" baking dish..but you could go smaller if you are only making 4 skewers)
  2. Set up a breading station. Seasoned flour, eggbeaters, and then the breadcrumbs. Add the smoked paprika to the breadcrumbs if using. Thread 4 cubes of pork onto each skewer. Dust first with flour, shaking off excess, then dip each skewer into the eggbeaters, followed by the breadcrumbs. Heat a nonstick pan over med high heat with 1 TBS oil of your choice. Brown the breaded pork on all sides. You aren't looking to cook the pork, just get a nice brown.
  3. Once the pork is browned, transfer to the prepared baking dish. Leave a little space between each skewer. Pour chicken stock into the bottom of the pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until pork is fork tender. Serve with heated gravy.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 02 hrs. 00 mins.
Total time: 2 hrs. 10 mins.

Nutrition


  • Calories: 344.6
  • Fat: 13.5g
  • Totalcarbs: 19.5g
  • Protein: 34g
  • Dietaryfiber: 0.9g

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City Chicken

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30 comments:

  1. I have not had it or heard of it. My husband's family is from the midwest, I will have to ask if they have had it! It looks tasty.

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    1. I just love it....but it is very regional. Mostly around the Great Lakes region of the midwest. You will have to let me know if he has ever had it!

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  2. I've never heard of city chicken! I love this :) I've been meaning to pan-fry something for a while now and this looks totally interesting. My brother has been craving mashed potatoes lol!

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  3. I've never heard of such a thing! but the outcome looks so yummy!

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  4. I confess I only eat things like hay, grain and Peanuts. But the Goatmother is from Oklahoma and she has never had this. She says it looks awfully yummy though. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. This is the first time I'm hearing of city chicken but it seems like it's a fried (or baked) kabob, right? I mean that sounds AH-MAZING, even better than a regular old kabob! I can't wait to slather these with some good old gravy :)

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  6. I've never heard of city chicken either and I grew up in the midwest - weird! That being said - it looks delicious - definitely putting this on the menu - soon!

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  7. This looks so good - I am also from the midwest, and never have heard of it! It makes sense that people would want their chicken, and no room to raise them. Very cool! Love your pictures!

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  8. Nope - I've never had that before, but it looks great!

    And the calories aren't that bad either!

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  9. No, I've never even heard of it but I loved hearing the back story on it. I just bought a pork tenderloin but have a busy day tomorrow so I might have to surrender it to the crockpot. If I can swing it, I'm so making this with my breadless breading! Woot!

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    1. If you make it with tenderloin, you might have to play with the bake time a little bit. It's a much more tender cut than pork sirloin. :)

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    2. I can't believe that there's a City Chicken recipe posted!!! I've started to believe that this dish was a figment of my imagination because every time I asked someone if they had ever heard of or tasted City Chicken, their eyes glazed over! My grandma in Pittsburgh used to make hers with a combo of veal and pork like the Michigan poster below. Ditto the cracker crumbs! Thanks SO much for the trip down memory lane:-)

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    3. I'm so glad you could experience your heritage through this recipe. I'll have to give the cracker crumbs a try sometime!

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  10. I've never heard of city chicken and I grew up in the midwest, but I love it! My family would love this!

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  11. City chicken w/mashed potatoes and gravy is one of my family's favorite meals. I live in Michigan and my mom made city chicken when I was growing up. I always use pork and veal, coat w/flour, then egg wash and then saltine cracker crumbs.

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  12. I grew up in northern West Virginia and am familiar with city chicken. Can't wait to try this recipe!

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  13. I am from NE Ohio, and don't know what part of my heritage this dish comes from, but I always thought it was too cool that you could cook pork, and it tastes like the best darn chicken you ever tasted!.... Hence the name. We sprinkle the pork with nutmeg, not paprika.. the rest of this recipe is spot on!! .. and It is more yummy than you would ever think!

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    1. Oh wow! I love the idea of using nutmeg! I'll have to try that next time!

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  14. I just made this using your recipe-- the only alteration was I used Shake and Bake and it was AMAZING! My husband just told me it was the best meal I ever made. Thank you for sharing this recipe- I couldn't remember how my mom made it when I was growing up so when I saw your ingredients it looked familiar. I grew up in Ohio and this was a staple while growing up. thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much for your review! I've made it with shake and bake too! Cooking it this way really makes the pork fork tender. I am so glad you and your husband enjoyed it! :)

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  15. Love City Chicken, grew up in Akron, Ohio and this meal was often on our dinner table. Always had it with mashed potatoes and gravy.

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  16. We love city chicken but without the gravy. Lately mine has been tough though. Is there a way to slow bake it and still have it come out with a crunchy breading?

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    1. My son doesn't like gravy on his either. I'm not sure if there is away to keep the breading crispy and yet get a tender pork.

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  17. I get the sensation of comfort just looking at your great recipics! This will definitely be on my to do list this week.

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    1. Thanks Brian! I hope you love it as much as we do. I have to admit, editing the photos made me crave it today! haha

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  18. Wow, where was my family when this recipe became a Midwestern favorite? Maybe asleep at the wheel! If you say it's delicious, Renee, then I know it must be! Thank you for the foodie education and for sharing!
    xo
    Roz

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    1. It's regional to the Ohio, PA, and WV areas I think. I hope you give it a try.

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  19. Great recipe. In the Pennsylvania Coal Region we used a combination of pork, beef and veal. I can not wait to try this recipe.

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    1. I've definitely heard of the mixed meat variation. I've always had it with just pork, but I need to try it with the three meats sometime. Thanks for dropping by!

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