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Jul 6, 2006 04:53 PM

City Chicken

When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, PA in the '50's, my mother would make something called City Chicken. It was breaded meat cubes(veal, I think) on a skewer. I think she bought it that way from the butcher. Is this something anyone else had? Any recipes out there?

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    1. My husband who also grew up in suburban Pittsburgh during the same time frame, loves City Chicken. I grew up in the northern plains approximately 15 years later, and the idea of eating veal "dressed up" as chicken always makes me giggle a little bit. The history of course is that chicken was much more expensive than other meats which made chicken a highly coveted dish.

      Yes, it was available from the butcher already skewered. I have a feeling that it was basically ends and pieces from chops, etc. My husband says it might also have been mixed meat, meaning veal, pork, and beef.

      I "borrowed" my mother's 1966/67 BH&G cookbook and there's a wonderful recipe for CC in that. If you like, I could post it tomorrow.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sdpfeiffy

        That would be great! I'd like to make it for my husband who was an Air Force brat and never heard of such a thing. Thanks so much.

      2. I remember it in the store. The wood skewers were packed with the chuncks of meat, but the cook still had to put them together. There were two kinds of meat, but I can't remember what.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yayadave

          It was veal and pork and kind of shaped to look like a drumstick. The kind I have had had a crumb coating and was fried. Expensive chicken now-a-days!

        2. when I was growing up, we called this dish "veal birds" - I was always fascinated with it. The "birds were breaded, cooked on skewers and served fried, then braised in gravy. I can only assume this all happened because veal was a commoner and cheaper meat than chicken at some point in time.

          BTW, the other day we visited Mehlman's cafeteria in St. Clairsville, OH, near Wheeling and they had city chicken on offer - big breaded cutlets. didnt try it, however.

          1. My introduction to City Chicken came in the early 1980s, when I went to college in Binghamton, NY. It was the same thing everyone's describing in this thread -- chicken on a stick. But it was called "3 City Chicken." Why? Because Binghamton and its two neighboring towns -- Johnson City and Endicott -- are collectively known as the Triple Cities. It was years before I discovered that that 3 City Chicken was actually just a regional spin on the City Chicken name.