Seven 1970′s Recipes, Recipe 5: City Chicken

No, city chicken did not originate in the 1970’s. As I mentioned in an earlier post, these are recipes that were introduced and made in my house growing up in the 1970’s.

If you are not familiar, city chicken is not chicken at all. It is actually pork and veal or just pork cubes on wood skewers. Sometimes it is referred to as mock drumsticks or mock chicken legs.

If you have never heard of it before, it may be that you never lived in a part of the country where it was popular. It apparently was/is a regional dish that covered a fairly large region including parts of WV, OH, western PA, western NY and MI.

In the 1970’s, it was sold ready to cook on wooden skewers in most grocery stores and butcher shops in our little city.

I remember helping my mom make it in her cast iron skillet, just like she made fried chicken. She never used a recipe, but I found one (two, actually) in my Taste of Toronto , Ohio that is cookbook.

Here is my adaption:

I know that city chicken may bring the recent trend of raising chickens in your back yard to mind. This is the city chicken before it was a trend to raise your own chickens.

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  1. WOW! My grandmother used to make this all the time when I was a child. I haven’t heard it mentioned in years. I think I’ll try it soon! Thank you for the reminder!

  2. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and my Mom used to make these back in the 70’s. My other favorite is stuffed cabbage.

    • I love stuffed cabbage also. Although, I loved my next door neighbor’s stuffed cabbage in the 70’s. I only remember my mom making it once back then…that was enough of hers for everyone 🙂

  3. Have not had this in years and my mom always made it. Im trying it tonight its not done yet but already smells awesome!! Thanks!

  4. I always loved City Chicken when my mom made it in the ’70’s as well! I never knew it was regional until i moved to California last year and couldn’t find those pre-cut little packages with the skewers already in them. I asked at the meat counter and they looked at me like i had two heads lol… kind of the same look I got at the deli counter when asking for chipped ham :/

    • I am very familiar with that look! I most recently encountered it last year when I asked for chipped ham at a deli counter in Tennessee. I ended up transporting my ham via a cooler with ice from Ohio to my home in Georgia. I just started making my own city chicken and ham loaf mix. It is strange how I never gave much thought to those things until I no longer had access to them.

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