Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mom's City Chicken

These little mock chicken legs will put a smile on every face at your table.  

What kid doesn't like eating a drumstick?  Back in the 1960's, City Chicken was considered a gourmet version of the All-American classic, and was served at dinner parties all over the northeast. Mom made them all the time, and I thought it such fun to eat meat from a stick with my fingers.

In many butcher shops in Pittsburgh, they still package the cubed meat together with the skewers - how convenient!  I was looking for a way to avoid having to fry them, and noticed a display of Shake and Bake next to the butcher case in my neighborhood market.  Bingo!  My family actually likes the Shake and Bake version better than the original breaded, fried and baked version.

1 1/2 pounds cubed, lean, veal
1 1/2 pounds cubed, lean, pork
1 egg, beaten
bread crumbs, or 1 box Shake and Bake, for chicken or pork
8 - 6 inch wooden skewers (the heavier type)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.

On each skewer, alternate pieces of pork and veal.  You should have room for four pieces of meat on each skewer.  If using bread crumbs, dip each skewer in egg, and roll in bread crumbs.  If using Shake and Bake, drop each skewer in the provided plastic bag to coat - no egg needed

For bread crumbs:  brown skewers in a tablespoon of oil, in skillet.  Transfer to baking dish.
For Shake and Bake:  Transfer coated skewers to baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.  Turn over half-way through baking.  Cooking time often depends upon the size of the meat cubes, so keep an eye on them so they don't over-bake and dry-out.  Mom always served these with applesauce.

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome find! You might be amused to know that my husband's family has an annual "City Chicken Feast" during which there is a competition to see who can eat the most. (I'll share the link to my blog post about it if you're dying to read about it.) Anyway, I know that some day, I will be expected to carry on the tradition, and I'm not a fan of the breaded, fried, and baked thing, either. I will definitely have to try your recipe. My only concern is that the cubed veal seems to be getting harder and harder for my MIL to find; she has to order it special. Hopefully, I'll find a suitable substitute if the time comes. Thanks!