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Old 03-11-2018, 09:46 AM   #1
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Anyone remember - or make - city chicken?

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During the Great Depression, back-alley gamblers popularized the phrase “winner, winner, chicken dinner!” At the time, chicken was such a delicacy, it was reserved for the victors. For everyone else, there was mock poultry, such as the Midwestern mimic known as City Chicken. This skewer of veal or pork cubes was breaded to resemble a drumstick, then baked or fried. The impostor dinner was sometimes topped with gravy, then served with sides such as potatoes and vegetables.
https://www.atlasobscura.com/foods/city-chicken

Although I grew up in southeastern Michigan, I had never heard of city chicken till DH mentioned it some years ago. His mother worked in a butcher shop for several years and made it for the shop, as well as at home.

I've made it once and it was a PITA! If I make it now, I don't tell him I'm making city chicken - I call it smothered pork chops
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:54 AM   #2
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I heard of here first. Interesting that chicken was the expensive food while veal and pork were cheaper substitutes.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:54 AM   #3
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I vaguely remember city chicken as a kid in the 50's, and we had it from time to time. All I can recall is that it was breaded something on a wood skewer.

Chicken was an expensive delicacy until the 50's and 60's. The 1928 Republican presidential campaign slogan was "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage", a claim that everyone will be prosperous under a Hoover presidency. It didn't go so well.

Here's a little history for those interested.

https://livinghistoryfarm.org/farmin.../crops_09.html

https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/...y-of-chickens/
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I heard of here first. Interesting that chicken was the expensive food while veal and pork were cheaper substitutes.
The link I posted came up on Facebook and I couldn't remember whether we had talked about it here before.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
I vaguely remember city chicken as a kid in the 50's, and we had it from time to time. All I can recall is that it was breaded something on a wood skewer.

Chicken was an expensive delicacy until the 50's and 60's. The 1928 Republican presidential campaign slogan was "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage", a claim that everyone will be prosperous under a Hoover presidency. It didn't go so well.

Here's a little history for those interested.

https://livinghistoryfarm.org/farmin.../crops_09.html

https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/...y-of-chickens/
I'm fascinated by food history.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:44 PM   #6
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It was a staple of the school cafeteria where I grew up just east of Cleveland, Ohio. I loved it but Mom would never make it at home. Most likely because it was kind of labor intensive. Having grown up on a farm with chickens, she was much more likely to feed us the real thing any way.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:48 AM   #7
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My Mom had those on a regular rotation in our home. Maybe they were only a treat in her home when she was growing up, since Grandma had a chicken coop out back when Mom was young. They had chicken anytime they wanted, as long as one of the old laying hens slowed down in egg production. I still have the sticks she used for city chicken.
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