Given its name, one would think that city chicken is a meal that contains a lot of chicken, however this could not be farther from the truth. So what does the recipe entail and why is there no chicken in it?
City chicken is traditionally made up of cubes of pork, veal, or both, that have been threaded onto skewers, battered with flour and breadcrumbs, then baked or deep-fried to a certain degree. Cooks are known to shape the skewered meat in the form of chicken drumsticks, and the dish does taste like chicken.
It has everything to do with cost. Beef, veal and pork are less costly than chicken and thanks to
mock poultry recipes, people learned to use more affordable meats and even repurpose scraps to achieve the taste of chicken or duck.
In the past, people only ate chicken for special . occasions. In the early 1900s, families would only raise chickens for eggs so it was important to find alternatives.
The chicken industry started to develop in the 1920s and 1930s thanks to the invention of the broiler but packaging and selling ready-to-cook chicken meat did not start until the 1940s. After their industrialization, chicken became more available and affordable.
Unlike chicken, veal was cheaper and people took to using it as a replacement for chicken.
City chicken is thought to have originated from the Polish and Ukrainian communities who set down roots in the Great Lakes region just before the Great Depression.
Since many of the immigrants lived in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the dish was linked to the two cities. By 1926, the dish had been named the city chicken, according to a newspaper from Binghamton, N.Y.
In Cleveland, the dish became popular among people of all nationalities.
Ingredients you'll need include: