Sunday, November 12, 2017

Detroit Style City Chicken



City Chicken is a Polish dish that we had at virtually every holiday meal when I was a kid.  I have made it several times as an adult, using recipes I found on the internet, but I'm pretty sure my mother and grandmother never used Italian seasoned breadcrumbs or, God forbid, panko.    My memory is saltine cracker crumbs.   Also, my mother seasoned all pork and chicken with paprika...it was her recipe secret weapon, along with Lipton French Onion Soup mix.   Traditionally, city chicken is made with equal parts pork and veal, which was cheaper than chicken when thrifty Hamtramck ladies made it, but veal was expensive in the 1970s so my mother rarely used it.   So yesterday, as a request from a friend who was looking for a recipe for city chicken, I set out to make it like my mom would have made it.   I did skip the French Onion soup mix; instead I went for chicken stock.  My mom used French Onion Soup mix in virtually every recipe she made....from meatloaf to stuffed cabbage to chip dip when the ladies came over for a card party. 

Detroit Style City Chicken
Makes 8 sticks

3 lb pork loin, cut into 1 inch pieces (or equal parts pork and veal)
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. onion powder
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 1/2 t sweet paprika
2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 T milk
1 c. flour
1 c. saltine cracker crumbs (put 28 crackers in a ziplock bag and smash them with a rolling pin)
1 can chicken broth


Mix salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika in a large bowl.  Add meat and toss to coat thoroughly.   Thread meat onto 8 6 inch skewers.   Preheat oven to 325 F.   In a large Dutch oven, heat oil to 350 F.   While oil and oven is heating, bread meat.   Beat eggs and milk in a shallow bowl.   In a second bowl, pour flour, and a 3rd bowl, the cracker crumbs.  Dip meat sticks in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.

Once all meat is coated, brown in hot oil until golden.   Then place the skewers in a roasting pan like this


If you don't have one of these just like Babcia, you can use a 13x9 pan covered tightly with aluminum foil.  Pour half the can in chicken broth in the bottom, and bake in the oven for an hour.   Use the pan drippings mixed with a bit of flour and the remainder of your broth to make a pan gravy.    To quote Sharon Stachurski, Aux. President of the Polish Century Club in Sterling Heights, in her version of the recipe, "I usually plan on 1 for women and 2 for men…. I usually make a few extra just in case. Leftovers can be frozen for several months and reheated.   When making city chicken, I think it is better to make a large quantity and freeze some since they are so much work and mess to begin with…."  so maybe you want to make extra? Check out some other of their great Polish recipes here.

I think I will make this for Christmas.   Smaczne!  

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