City Chicken Recipe


There’s something so nostalgic and comforting about the savory aroma of breaded meat frying up in the kitchen. If you’re from Pittsburgh or parts of the Midwest, that smell probably takes you right back to childhood and mom’s classic “city chicken” dish.

Despite the name, this regional specialty contains no actual chicken at all! Instead, city chicken is made with tender cubes of pork and veal that get battered, breaded, and fried until deliciously crispy on the outside while staying super juicy inside. A true example of resourceful home cooking at its finest.

You see, back in the day when chicken was pricier in city markets, smart cooks came up with a genius way to stretch their budgets. By cubing inexpensive pork and veal scraps, skewering them onto wooden sticks, breading them up, and frying them golden brown, they could mimic the look and taste of fried chicken drumsticks. An ingenious culinary hack was born!

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While chicken is much more affordable now, this nostalgic city chicken recipe has stuck around as a beloved Pittsburgh (and Midwestern) comfort food classic for generations. One bite of those crispy, savory skewers instantly transports you back to the good old days of family dinners and grandma’s kitchen.

I can still picture my mom’s well-worn cast iron skillet sizzling away on the stove as she whipped up her signature city chicken. The delicious smells would waft through the whole house, making our stomachs growl in anticipation. This was the good stuff – simple but so satisfying.

These days, I re-create mom’s city chicken for my own family and it always brings back such heartwarming memories. There’s just something extra special about carrying on beloved recipes like these. Whether it’s a Sunday supper or busy weeknight meal, you can bet these skewers hit the spot every time.

The best part is how affordable and easy this city chicken comes together with just a few basic ingredients. You can even make a gluten-free or low-carb version to suit different diets. Whip up a batch with buttery mashed potatoes and some roasted veggies on the side, and you’ve got widespread smiles and full bellies guaranteed!

So let’s get cooking on a true Pittsburgh classic, shall we? You’ll be hooked after one bite, I’m sure of it!

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