City Chicken

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sharing today at Tasty Tuesday , Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday and for the first time Tuesdays at the Table. Thank you Jen, Lisa and Cole for hosting these lovely events each week. Check out ALL the great recipes posted.

This is an old-timey favorite at our house. If you don’t know what City Chicken is, here’s a hint: It ain’t chicken...That’s right…City Chicken is actually pork and sometimes even veal and/or beef, but never chicken. A popular dish in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region, this mock-chicken dinner has been handed down for generations over the past century. In the early 1900s, chicken was much more expensive than pork. Immigrants would try to replicate the flavor and look of fried chicken legs using more accessible meats like pork and veal. Today we still eat it because it's delicious!

City Chicken
(Printable Version)

1 lb. pork cut into 1-1/2 inch uniform cubes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
4-6 Six- inch wooden skewers
1 garlic clove, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
1 10-oz can low-sodium chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper and the leaves of four thyme sprigs. Stir until well blended. Roll pork pieces in flour mixture until completely covered, gently shake off excess flour, and remove to a dry plate. Thread the meat onto skewers evenly. You should fit 3 -4 meat cubes on each stick. Rub the bottom of an cast iron pot or pan with the cut side of the clove of garlic. Set garlic aside for another use. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the pork skewers to the oil and allow to brown until golden and crispy on all four sides, about 4 minutes per side. Add a little more oil to the pan if it all gets soaked up early. Leave the pork in the pan and pour in the chicken stock and drop in two sprigs of thyme. Bring to a simmer and transfer pan to the oven, uncovered. Let simmer for one half hour, turn skewers over and continue cooking for another half hour. Remove pan to stovetop. If the juices are still thin, let simmer on stovetop until reduced to desired consistency. Serve City Chicken with a side of mashed potatoes.