City Chicken – cubes of pork skewered, breaded and baked until golden and mouth-watering tender. Easy, authentic Polish recipe!

overhead view white platter with breaded city chicken

City Chicken is a family favorite in my house. That tender, breaded pork hits the spot for everyone. 

It makes the perfect Sunday Dinner — or holiday dinner if you’re looking for something beyond turkey along with some mashed potatoes and gravy.

Doesn’t get much better.

 

white plate with city chicken drizzled with gravy

WHAT IS CITY CHICKEN?

  • For starters, it’s not chicken. City Chicken is actually pork (or a combination of pork and veal combo) cubed and skewered on wooden sticks.
  • It’s sometimes called mock chicken because they resemble chicken legs.
  • It’s a Polish-American recipe from Polish immigrants who settled into the Great Lakes area (Detroit, Cleveland, western Pennsylvania) around the time of the depression era when chicken was more expensive than pork and veal.
  • It’s served as a main dish along with some creamy mashed potatoes and vegetable.

WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE:

  • This a simple, straight forward recipe for a classic, authentic Polish meal.
  • The ingredients are available in grocery stores everywhere.
  • It’s a great recipe to share with family and friends.
  • The flavors are basic and ones the whole family will enjoy.
  • It’s a great recipe for entertaining – including a  small holiday gathering instead of classic roast turkey.
  • City Chicken is one of my family’s favorites – it’ll soon be one of yours too!

WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE CITY CHICKEN?

  • lean pork cut in 1 1/2″ cubes
  • salt and black pepper
  • eggs
  • seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • wooden skewers (5-6″ in length)
  • chicken stock

TIPS AND FAQ:

What kind of pork is best? Pork tenderloin, pork sirloin or pork loin all work well.

How much oil should be in the skillet? 1/4-1/2″ of oil (the amount will vary with the size of the skillet). 

What kind of oil is best for frying? Canola or vegetable oil (not olive oil). Both can withstand higher heat.

How do I know when the oil is ready for frying? After the oil has warmed for several minutes, drop a couple of dry breadcrumbs into the oil. If they sink, the oil isn’t hot enough. If they burn up, the oil is too hot. You’re looking for them to bubble and float the top.

white plate with breaded city chicken drizzled with gravy

HOW TO MAKE CITY CHICKEN:

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Cut the pork into 1 1/2″ cubes then add several cubes of meat to the skewers (about 4-5 pieces leaving a base for handling)

Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Set up a dredging station in two separate shallow bowls: beaten eggs in one shallow bowl, seasoned breadcrumbs in another. 

Roll the pork skewers in the egg mixture then dredge in the breadcrumbs, rolling to coat on all sides and ends.

Add the oil to a large skillet so there’s about 1/4 to 1/2″ inch of oil (the amount will vary with the size of the skillet).

Heat the oil to about 350° over medium to medium high heat. If you don’t have thermometer, drop a couple of dry breadcrumbs into the oil. You want them to bubble slightly and float to the top. If they sink, the oil isn’t hot enough. If they burn up, the oil is too hot and you’ll want to adjust the heat on the stove accordingly.

Add the skewers to the hot oil turning to lightly brown on all sides, working in batches if necessary so you don’t crowd the skillet (save pan drippings for gravy!).

Transfer the golden pork skewers to a shallow baking dish leaving space between them, then pour the chicken stock between the skewers.

Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover and continue baking 10 minutes more to crisp the breading.

WHAT GOES WITH CITY CHICKEN?

Easy Slow Cooker Applesauce

6 minute fresh Green Beans

Creamiest Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Maple-Bacon Brussels Sprouts

HOW TO MAKE CITY CHICKEN GRAVY:

  • Pan drippings (from when you browned the City Chicken)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio – also goes well with this meal!)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

NOTES:

  • #1: Wine adds a nice depth of flavor but you can add more stock instead if you prefer. 
  • #2: Whisk continuously as you’re adding in the stock so your gravy isn’t lumpy.
  • #3: A light splash of soy sauce heightens the flavor without giving it an Asian taste.

black plate with one skewer of city chicken, mashed potatoes and peas

Remove excess oil from the same skillet you browned the skewers.

Warm over medium heat then add the wine, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan and letting the wine reduce.

Lower heat to medium low then add the butter to the skillet. Once it melts, sprinkle flour over the top. Stir and cook 1 minute.

Slowly pour in the chicken stock whisking constantly then add finely minced thyme.

Simmer 5-7 minutes or until the gravy is smooth and thickened.

Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, continue simmering 2-3 minutes then taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper as desired.

close up white plate with city chicken skewers drizzled with gravy

City Chicken – the ultimate comfort food.

Enjoy!

pinterest pin showing city chicken on white plate

Let’s cook together!

If you make these City Chicken skewers or any other recipe on the blog, don’t forget to leave a comment and ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating!

overhead view white platter with breaded city chicken

City Chicken

City Chicken - Easy, authentic Polish recipe! Cubed pork skewered, breaded and baked until golden and mouth-watering tender. Makes the ideal holiday meal or Sunday Supper.
4.10 from 11 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Polish
Servings 4
Calories

Ingredients
  

CITY CHICKEN:

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork cut in 1 1/2" cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
  • vegetable OR oil for frying 1/4 to 1/2" in bottom of skillet
  • 6-8 6 inch wooden skewers
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

GRAVY:

  • pan drippings (from browning city chicken)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme remove from stem and minced OR 1/2 teaspoon dry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

CITY CHICKEN:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Cut the pork into 1 1/2″ cubes then add several cubes of meat to the skewers (about 4-5 pieces leaving a base for handling). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Set up a dredging station in two shallow bowls: beaten eggs in one bowl, seasoned breadcrumbs in the other.
  • Roll the pork skewers in the egg mixture then dredge in the breadcrumbs, rolling to coat on all sides and ends.
  • Add the oil to a large skillet so there’s about 1/4 to 1/2″ inch of oil (the amount will vary with the size of the skillet).
    Heat the oil to about 350° over medium to medium high heat. If you don’t have thermometer, drop a couple of dry breadcrumbs into the oil. You want them to bubble slightly and float to the top. If they sink, the oil isn’t hot enough. If they burn up, the oil is too hot and you’ll want to adjust the heat on the stove accordingly.
  • Add the skewers to the hot oil turning to lightly brown on all sides, working in batches if necessary so you don’t crowd the skillet (save pan drippings for gravy!).
  • Transfer the skewers to a shallow baking dish leaving space between them, then pour the chicken stock between the skewers. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 10 minutes more to crisp the breading.

GRAVY:

  • Remove excess oil from the same skillet you browned the skewers.
  • Warm over medium heat then add the wine, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan and letting the wine reduce.
  • Lower heat to medium low then add the butter to the skillet. Once it melts, sprinkle flour over the top. Stir and cook 1 minute.
  • Slowly pour in the chicken stock whisking constantly then add finely minced thyme. Simmer 5-7 minutes or until the gravy is smooth and thickened.
  • Add soy sauce, continue simmering 2-3 minutes then taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Keyword city chicken, polish city chicken, best city chicken, authentic city chicken, pork recipe
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14 Comments

  1. I live in a little town just north of the ‘burgh, and I’m no stranger to city chicken. Your recipe is a definite keeper. As a matter if fact, it’s the menu tonight. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  2. I dredge mine in flour then egg then Italian bread crumbs. I brown them then sauté onion yellow orange and green pepper slices. Add white wine and chicken bullion. Than pour over city chicken. Bake at 350 covered then 375 uncovered for 15 min. Delicious!!!

  3. Have made for 60+ years. Husband polish and popular dish back East. St. John’s cookbook has the recipe. We dredge in flour, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs. Fry in oil til golden then cook in oven.
    Originally made with veal and pork. We don’t put gravy on them just enjoy eating off the stick.

    1. Hi Pat – such a classic Polish dish – so comforting and so delicious. Your family must really love yours! — thank you for taking the time to comment. Enjoy the day — Bernie