Prepare your tastebuds for a savory treat that’s neither bird nor fowl. Introducing: City Chicken. Don’t let the name mislead you; this dish might sound poultry-themed, but in reality, it’s an ode to pork. Hailing from Polish-American roots, City Chicken takes you on a gastronomical journey, from the buzzing streets of Pittsburgh and Cleveland to your dining table.
City Chicken: A Deceptive Delight
City chicken might masquerade as its feathered counterpart, but its essence is pure pork. A cherished recipe from the Depression Era, this dish gives the illusion of a fried chicken leg, but with a bite that’s unmistakably pork.
So, what is City Chicken? While the name might have you thinking poultry, this dish is actually pork’s answer to the fried chicken leg. Cubes of juicy pork are speared onto skewers, seasoned to perfection, cloaked in an egg and breadcrumb armor, flash-fried to a crispy golden hue, and then baked until tender. The result is a mouth-watering mock chicken leg that you’ll find hard to resist.
City Chicken Recipe
2 pounds boneless pork, cubed (1 1/2-inch pieces)
Salt, pepper, and seasoned salt to your liking
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
You’ll also need:
14 (4-inch) skewers
A 9×13-inch baking dish
A wire rack
Start by threading 2 to 3 pork cubes onto each skewer. Season generously with salt, pepper, and seasoned salt. Place skewers to one side.
Grab two shallow bowls. In the first, whisk together the eggs and milk. Fill the second bowl with your seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange a wire rack inside your baking dish, and pour in water. Ensure the water level doesn’t touch the rack.
Turn your oven on, setting it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or a large saucepan until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dive right into the coating process. First, submerge the skewers into the egg mixture, followed by a dip into the breadcrumbs. Double-dip for an extra crispy crust.
Once well-coated, fry each skewer until it sports a gorgeous golden-brown shade, typically taking 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer the fried skewers onto the wire rack, ensuring they’re spaced apart. For the final touch, cloak the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake in the preheated oven. 20 minutes should suffice until the pork loses its pinkish hue. But we’re not done yet! For the perfectly crispy crust, remove the foil and let it bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve immediately, and watch as everyone marvels at the deceptive delight that is the City Chicken.
So, ready to dig into some City Chicken? Dive in and relish a dish that’s history on a plate!