by Anna Karsten

City Chicken Recipe: Polish-American Dish You Won’t Find in Poland

I’ve NEVER even heard of city chicken until I went on a food tour in NYC. I was introduced to this “traditional Polish dish” in the USA and quite frankly as a native Pole my first reaction was: “what on earth is this thing?!”

Polish City Chicken is not a dish you’ll ever get to taste in Poland. Polish people in Poland won’t even know what is it, as it’s 100% American invention, supposedly created by creative Polish immigrants.

What is the City Chicken?

This dish is also known as ‘fake chicken’ or “mock chicken legs” as it doesn’t contain any chicken. It’s because during the Great Depression chicken was more expensive than other meats, so Poles of Pittsburg decided to put veal or pork on skewers, bread and fry them so it would resemble chicken legs they couldn’t afford.

If you have a Polish grandma or other relatives that are second or third-generation Americans from Poland they’ll surely know the city chicken.

One could also say that it’s a different, non-flat version of traditional Kotlet Schabowy from Poland.

City Chicken Recipe Pointers

  • The best city chicken is made of 2 cubes of each pork and veal on one skewer.
  • Cubes should be 1.5-2 inches.
  • City chicken is often served with gravy and goes well with a traditional Polish dish called Mizeria (Polish cucumber salad).
  • If you don’t like or want to fry the skewers you could also bake them in the oven.

City Chicken

City Chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pound pork shoulder meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 pound veal stew meat
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 12 to 15 wooden skewer sticks
  • Oil for cooking


    1. Place the pieces of pork and veal on the wooden skewers.
    2. Dip the skewers in egg and then seasoned bread crumbs. (some recipes also call for dipping in flour before dipping in egg.
    3. Then brown them in a cast-iron skillet for a few minutes, then take off gas.
    4. Pour the 1/2 cup water or chicken broth into the dish. Cover tightly with foil.
    5. Bake them until they are fully cooked - 325F for 25 min, uncovered for 5 min at the end.


If you don't like fried things, you can skip frying and bake it straight away. Make sure the dish is fully covered, otherwise breadcrumbs will burn.

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