The Depression-era pork dish known as city chicken isn't really known outside of the Cleveland area, apparently. An Eater story has gone viral after author Missy Frederick found out that after she left Cleveland, no one really knew about city chicken outside of Midwest Ohio.
The meal is, of course, is pork or veal (not chicken) cubes of meat on a wooden skewer which is then breaded and fried or baked. It was called chicken during the Depression because it was one of many mock-chicken products that was more affordable.
To be fair, city chicken is also known in Pittsburgh and other parts of Pennsylvania, Michigan and New York that have deep Polish and Ukrainian roots.
Have you ever heard of city chicken? If so, you're probably from Cleveland or Pittsburgh. More from me here https://t.co/rrJH4EoEaD— Missy Frederick (@bylinemjf) May 5, 2017
Frederick interviewed Chef Michael Symon about the skewered dish:
The interesting thing about city chicken to me was that growing up in Cleveland, it didn’t matter what nationality you were, everybody made city chicken,” says Michael Symon, Cleveland’s most famous chef. “My [Italian] mom made Sunday sauce, and not everyone made that. But everyone made city chicken.”
Have a taste for city chicken? Most grocery stores in the Northeast Ohio area sell city chicken packages with the skewers included. Sokolowski's University Inn , The Red Chimney, Fast Eddie's Kitchen & Bar and Bogey's Bar & Grill all serve the dish.
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