City Chicken is an old family favorite we both grew up with in Detroit. It’s a popular Sunday dinner dish among the Polish communities going back to the early 1900’s in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, and even into Kentucky, and Southern Ontario. It was so popular, all the butcher shops and meat counters sold pre-made trays of the cubed meat & skewers. Many still do. It’s a staple at Polish weddings and with other caterers, in the Metro Detroit Area.
The same basic City Chicken recipe is used by everyone, with only the seasoning and coating changed. The traditional spices are either Salt & Pepper, or a Seasoning Salt. Our Dusty Trails Steak Seasoning is like the Salt & Pepper version, but with extra flavor. Our Seasoning Salt has a great flavor for all your dishes. For the coating, our neighborhood families used Saltine Cracker Crumbs. You’ll find as many recipes using plain or seasoned bread crumbs. Whatever combination you use, the results will either be a throwback or a new favorite for you with a very old history. Finish the meal with gravy from the pan juices, some mashed potatoes and green beans, and you have a delicious meal.
Serves 6 to 8
1 ½ lbs. Cubed Beef, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
1 ½ lbs. Cubed Pork, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
3 Eggs, beaten
¼ Cup milk
2 Tablespoons Sheffield’s Dusty Trails Steak Seasoning or Sheffield’s Seasoning Salt
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Crushed Saltine Cracker Crumbs or Italian Bread Crumbs
12-14 4 inch Wooden Skewers (If you use bamboo, they need to be thick ones.)
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 14 oz Can Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
In a wide bowl, beat the eggs and milk. In separate bowls or shallow plates, place flour and Cracker Crumbs or Italian Bread Crumbs
Rinse then pat dry the meat cubes. Thread on skewers, alternating between beef & pork. Lightly sprinkle with the Dusty Trails or Seasoning Salt on all sides.
Dip the skewered meat first in the beaten egg mixture, then in the flour, then in the egg, then in the cracker or bread crumbs. Lightly pat crumbs on the meat to stick better, then set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Heat the Cup of Vegetable Oil in a medium frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, carefully place City Chicken skewers in pan and fry on all sides until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Brown in several batches. Watch so they don’t burn. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Place the skewers in a Dutch oven or roasting pan on a shallow rack. Pour the chicken broth and soy sauce in the pan. Use the broth in the bottom of the pan to baste the City Chicken several times while cooking. Put cover on the Dutch oven or if using a roasting pan, tightly with aluminum foil, then with roasting pan cover. This helps retain the steam to keep the City Chicken moist.
Bake for approximately 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hour. Test the tenderness of the meat after 1 ¼ hours. Remove the cover for 5 more minutes to let the crumb coating dry out a bit. When done, transfer to a plate and lightly tent with foil to keep warm. Use pan juices to make gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes and the gravy. We also serve with green beans, which was the tradition in our homes. Please enjoy.