Of all the fried meals, fried chicken frequently receives the most accolades. But after tasting this city chicken recipe, you’ll quickly realize that this Pittsburgh staple is equally delicious, if not better.
Mock chicken is another name for City Chicken, which isn’t really chicken. Though it’s not technically Polish, it’s sometimes considered a Polish recipe.
The dish known as “city chicken” really consists of deep-fried, battered pork cutlets. This dish is a Polish-American classic that dates back to the Great Depression and was first made in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
How to Make City Chicken
There are numerous methods to prepare this dish, but following this version is sure to give you the best and most delicious taste:
Step 1: Set oven temperature to 350°F. Arrange the meat cubes onto the wooden skewers.
Step 2: Gather a shallow dish for the breading (dry bread crumbs, paprika, and parmesan cheese) and another for the beat egg.
After dipping the city chicken skewers in an egg wash or beaten egg mixture, coat them with seasoned bread crumbs. Repeat with all of the skewers, then transfer to a platter and season on both sides with black pepper and salt.
Step 3: To cook it in the oven as well, get out a big skillet, such as a cast iron skillet. Alternatively, you can use a baking dish in the following step if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet.
Turn up the heat to medium-high after adding the vegetable oil. Once the oil begins to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium and brown the city chicken skewers on all sides. It should only take two to three minutes on either side.
Step 4: When they are thoroughly done, move the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. A minimum internal temperature of 145°F is required.
The browned beef skewers can be baked in a Pyrex baking dish if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet. Don’t forget to apply cooking spray to the dish beforehand.
Step 5: If you’d like, you can make brown gravy in the same skillet that has the brown bits in it. Although many individuals use gravy, we don’t generally.
Tips for Making the Best City Chicken Recipe
The following are various tips you can use to make the perfect city chicken recipe:
1. Shallow bowls make it easy to roll skewers. So that rolling the skewers in the egg mixture and bread crumbs is simple, place them in shallow dishes.
2. Make use of 4 or 6-inch wooden skewers. If too short to be used, toothpicks should be avoided. Additionally, avoid using half-broken wooden skewers as they are prone to splintering.
3. Let the skewers soak in cold water. To assist prevent them from burning during cooking, let them sit there for fifteen minutes.
4. Coat the beef skewers with flour. This will prevent the breadcrumbs from disintegrating. First, dip the skewers in the egg mixture, then the flour. After coating the skewers twice, repeat the process and finally coat them with bread crumbs.
5. Try veal next time. Although veal is occasionally added to classic city chicken, the recipe calls for pork. Use one or the other as you please.
6. For extra juicy city chicken, use pork chops.
7. Try a different protein source. Tenderloin, thighs, and breasts of chicken are always a good choice.
8. Play around with the seasonings. Toss the meat with a mixture of chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and salt for more flavor.
9. Instead of bread crumbs, use a mixture of almond flour and parmesan cheese. Some people also utilize pulverized pork rind.
10. For a crispy exterior, flash-fry. Using this method, you sear the meat on the crust by immersing it in extremely hot oil. Don’t cook for longer than six minutes, and after all the sides are browned, stop.
11. For a crunchy crumb coating, bake it. An easier method is to bake the beef skewers for 15 minutes on each side, rather than using the water bath procedure.
Why Do they Call it City Chicken?
Many immigrants relocated to large cities during the Great Depression because there were plenty of job prospects there.
There was a shortage of fresh meat in the metropolis due to the absence of neighboring rural farms. Frozen meat in large quantities had not yet been invented at this point.
People substituted considerably more economical sources of protein, such as hog and veal leftovers, for the scarce and pricey fresh chicken.
They opted to thread the pieces onto skewers, cover them in batter, and deep fry them till brown because they didn’t look nearly as tasty. The outcome is the delicious city chicken that we have all come to know and adore.
Where Can I Find Pork Sirloin for City Chicken?
Presuming you reside in the Midwest’s “rust belt,” you may purchase pre-cut pork sirloin that has been bundled with skewers just for city chicken in your neighborhood butcher market or grocery store.
If you live outside of that region, you could have trouble getting pre-cut pork (or a combination of pig and veal) packaged with skewers for your city chicken dish.
What to Serve with City Chicken
Any occasion calls for a fantastic dinner like city chicken. For a hearty and filling lunch, try this delicious dish with any of these sides.
- Coleslaw, Broccoli Salad, Green Salad
- Amish Macaroni Salad, Chicken Salad
- Mashed Potatoes and Mac and Cheese
- Fruit Salad
- Dipping Sauces
Remember to serve the dipping sauces with city salad if you’re serving it as an appetizer or snack on its own. The traditional ketchup will not let you down.
Dip it in honey mustard or BBQ sauce for a sweet contrast. The finger food will become even more popular if it is paired with something creamy, like ranch or aioli.