If you are familiar with classic Pennsylvania diner fare, you have probably heard of city chicken. But why is it called city chicken?
This popular dish has a unique history, steeped in the culture of the local area. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this classic Pennsylvania dinner dish, including its interesting name and why it is so loved by generations of locals.
Why is it Called City Chicken?City chicken is a dish consisting of alternating cubes of pork and veal that are skewered and cooked on a rotisserie. It is also called pork and veal fricassee and is often eaten in the midwestern United States.
The dish is made by rolling boneless cubes of pork and veal together and then spearing them with a skewer. This unique dish has a peculiar name and the reasons why it is called “city chicken” have been a mystery to many.
With some research, however, we can discover the origins and history of city chicken.
The Great Pork Shortage and the Emergence of City ChickenDuring the 1920s and 1930s, there was a great pork shortage in the United States.
In response, enterprising butchers who owned urban slaughterhouses created a combination of pork and veal that was far cheaper than the expensive cuts of pork. The butchers named this delicious dish “city chicken” because it was often served in the cities. Thus, the name “city chicken” was born.
How to Make City ChickenMaking city chicken involves rolling boneless cubes of pork and veal together and then spearing them with a skewer. The mixture of pork and veal is then cooked on a rotisserie. The finished product looks very much like a drumstick or leg of chicken, except that it is not.
City chicken is versatile and can be served in many delicious ways. It is commonly cut into ½ inch slices and served on a plate with a tasty sauce.
It can also be served in sandwiches, as well as in soups and stews.