"City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"?

2004/01/19 00:29:35
Used to love these made by our parents years ago and some restaurants such as down in Hamtrammk (Detroit) still make them (I think). Any ideas on how to make them?

Filet Mignon
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/19 05:16:04
What are they?
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/19 07:56:01
I just searched this on "Google" and many recipes called City Chicken came up. Is this either ground pork/veal or pork/veal cubes on a skewer?
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/19 07:58:42
I believe they are cubes of pork threaded onto wooden skewers, browned in fat and then cooked in the frying pan with a little water for a long time at slow heat until very tender. Then a brown gravy is made with the pan drippings.

Pork tenderloins used to be an unpopular cut of meat - too lean, too small compared to the pork loin, and they had that silver stuff on them so they were often cut into cubes, stuck on the skewers at the butcher shop, and sold that way.
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/19 13:07:25
We could not remember if they were pork or veal. My wife said that she thought her mom used to use veal. RubyRose, the method of cooking them is exactly the way my family made them. Thanks.

Will go out on Google and see what they have. Forgot about that.

Filet Mignon
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/19 13:38:09
We used to eat mock chicken legs when I was little (1950's), I'm not sure what the meat was but they were shaped to look like the upper end of a drumstick and breaded.
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/19 15:26:12
Those (breaded and shaped like a chicken leg) are the mock chicken legs I remember. I think they were made from a mixture of ground pork and veal when those meats were actually cheaper than chicken. (Imagine that!) Up until a couple of years ago I could still get them at a small-town grocery about ten miles away, but unfortunately they closed the business a couple of years ago.
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/19 15:46:47
4fish, my wife agrees that the ones she ate years ago were with ground pork and veal. I remember them more as chunks of meat. I went out to cooks.com and found dozens of recipes there and all of them called for cubes of meat. Most of the cooking methods were the same. Form the meat on a stick, bread them, let em sit for a while, brown and then either slow simmer them or bake. Serve with mashed potatoes and LOTS of pan gravy!

Gotta run out to the garage and dig thru the freezer to see if we have any pork and veal there. Sounds like dinner for tonight if you ask me!

Junior Burger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/19 15:56:54
Saw the subject line & thought you might be talking about pigeons! That's some kind of city chicken, after all.

Sounds intriguing, like a meat version of that Chinese TVP fake pork etc.
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/24 14:30:01
Finally made them last night and used a 50/50 mix of ground pork and veal. Added garlic, thyme, salt pepper, some basil, little water and let the mix sit for a few hours. Put the meat on skewers (which was not easy as the meat kept breaking up but finally got them there). Breaded them and browned them in CRISO and in the oven (covered) for about an hour at 325. Made pan gravy and some noodles and they were pretty good.

Next time I am going to use large chuncks of pork and veal as that is the way I remembered them. I must have pulled a dozen recipes off the Net and this one sounded the best but gotta try some other variations.

Hey fogwater, great corrolation; City Chicken to Pigeons! Works for me!

No Meijer stores here in Colorado but remember them from when I was in Michigan. All we have here are Safeway, Albertsons, and some regional names. Many "delis" in Denver though and will have to call around. A couple Polish ones that may have them and can stock up on some good pierogies while I am there.

Castle Rock CO
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/24 16:07:23
I'm throwing my two cents in here kind of late but in western PA my Mom made "City Chicken". It was CUBES of pork and veal, floured, browned in the pan, then braised in the oven with chicken stock and mushrooms. (Maybe she threw in a little chopped onion) The meat was definately cubed and not ground.
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/01/24 17:07:44
lleechef, same way I remember it at my house years ago. The wife insisted on ground so we tried it that way. I am next!! I like the braised idea with the stock and Mushrooms. Thanks for the great idea!

Junior Burger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/08/30 12:56:33
Kroger's used to package City Chicken in the 50s and 60s. They shaped it like a corn dog but it was bigger at the top than the bottom so it would kind of look like a drumstick, and they had wooden skewers. Because they used ground pork and beef or maybe veal, I believe they used a sturdy corn meal batter, the same concept as a corn dog. I loved them as a kid, I don't know if I'd feel the same today. My father told me they were pidgeons (what other kind of chicken-like bird would be in the city?) and I believed him.
Double Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/08/30 12:59:57
In concept, reminds me of chicken rings. Ground chicken shaped like onion rings, breaded and fried.

we do some odd things with food. Who would thing of doing mock chicken? Nowadays chicken is used to mock other dishes!
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/08/30 13:38:15
I had Mock Chicken Legs for the first time this summer when I went to visit my sister in Wisconsin. My sister made them and she used an "old family recipe" (we grew up in separate families; she's actually my half sister.) She used cubes of pork and veal.

Considering how much pork and veal cost as opposed to chicken these days probably someone will invent a recipe using chix legs and call it mock veal!
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/08/30 13:42:01
I forgot to mention in my previous post that the dish was really good! My sister doesn't make the gravy from the pan drippings though, she uses bottled gravy. Also, she mentioned that her mother used seasoned salt when she made the dish but my sis thinks that the dish came out too salty.

I would be interested in making my sister's version and her mother's version to compare the two.
Double Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/08/30 22:07:48
Reminds me of a dish my friends of Polish origin used to make. Their mothers would make something very similar called patitchke (pa-titch-kee) -- who knows if i am spelling it right. But this sounds like city chicken. It was made of pork and was usually one of the most popular dishes at family style Polish weddings.
Junior Burger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/08/30 23:11:29
My grandpa was a meatcutter and he made these with left over meat scraps. They never had the same taste twice!
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2004/09/11 12:17:07
(Edited - I was going to say what 4fish already said above)

On a different type of "mock chicken", though, I think one of the stranger things to come along recently is KFC's "boneless wings."
Junior Burger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2007/08/31 11:03:10
There's a butcher shop in Cheektowaga, NY (outside of Buffalo) which still sells homemade mock chicken legs (ground pork and veal, breaded and placed on a stick). They are not skimpy either. The name is Redlinski's and they ship their products anywhere. We just had some the other day for dinner, and they are just like I remember from my childhood and my mom serving them with iron skillet home fries and canned corn. YUM!!!
Sonny Funzio
Double Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2007/09/07 14:26:58
At Polish weddings and events, besides the City Chicken I also love Swedish Meatballs. Why Swedish Meatballs at so many Polish weddings? I guess for the same reason as city chicken ;-)

The City Chicken at the Polish Village Cafe in Hamtramck is awesome.

When I make it at home I season it using mainly onion seasoning and onions.

1 lb. pork, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 lb. veal, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 c. cracker meal
1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. onion powder
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tbsp. milk
5 tbsp. crisco
1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube (2 cubes if using other brand bouillon)
2 c. boiling water
1-2 tbsp. Maggi seasoning
1-2 onions, sliced into rings
Fresh or dry parsley

Thread pork and veal cubes into skewers. Mix crumbs, paprika, poultry seasoning, onion powder. Combine eggs and milk. Dip meat in egg mixture, then in seasoned cracker meal. Brown on all sides in hot crisco. After meat is all browned, pour off any excess oil, arrange city chicken neatly in pan.
Dissolve bouillon cube or cubes in boiling water; add Maggi to mixture and pour all around meat. Cover meat with sliced onion rings and parsley. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover, bake 30 minutes more. Serves 4 to 6
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2007/09/07 15:25:08
We never had City Chicken as a kid,but I do remember mock chicken legs.It was a combo of ground pork and ground veal with seasonings,the meat formed into the shape of a chicken leg on a wooden skewer and breaded. We ate them back in the 1960s to the 1980s off and on.Haven't seen any in years.We would i think bake them in the oven.I may have to try to make my own some time,if I can find ground veal.
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2007/09/25 13:53:37
Raised in the NE of Ohio, my mother always made City Chicken. It was cubes of pork on skwers, dipped in egg, rolled in bread crumbs then pan fried. Yum
Junior Burger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2007/11/06 13:52:20
You can get the spices for the mock chicken legs at


They sell it in packages that will make 50# you can do half ground beef and half pork or half ground beef and half veal. Many hometown meat markets will mix it up for you and make it into patties. This is what we do. My parents and brother and us split the order and the cost.
Junior Burger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2007/11/06 14:01:25

this is the actual like to the product

Main Category : SEASONINGS
Old Southern Mock Chicken Leg Seasoning 2473
Item Id: 6330424
Price: $2.02
In Stock: 50
Qty :

Donna Douglass
Double Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2007/11/06 14:08:43
City chicken was a standby for me all the time the boys were in school and I was working full time. It was cubed pork on skewers, floured, browned and covered and cooked until done, served with gravy and mashed potatoes. It was something that we all liked and was an easy meal for me to fix after working all day long.

Haven't had it in a long time and haven't even thought of it until this thread was re-read. I did cube a pork loin last week and made Green Chile Stew and that sort of reminded me of the City Chicken, which I may make the next time I get a pork loin. Good idea for something different.

A mushroom gravy would be wonderful with it, maybe even over rice.


Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2007/11/06 14:13:36
When we still lived in Chicago in the early 60's my Mom would drive across town to a butcher in her old neighborhood. I recall both city chicken and mock chicken legs. The city chicken was cubes of pork and veal on a skewer. The mock chicken leg was ground veal on a stick that was breaded.
My wife remembers them from Cleveland. There was a tiny Hungarian place on Lorrraine that sold city chicken at lunch time. When we first met we went there quite a bit as it was across the street from my office.
Butcher Bob
Junior Burger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2008/01/11 20:11:35
The mock chicken I remember and still make (I've been a meatcutter for over 30 yrs.) consists of ground pork and veal seasoned with Season All, we used to have a mix from A.C.Leggs, but its' not available any more. Form it into a chicken drumstick shape, insert a wooden skewer and roll it in corn flake crumbs. Bake them on a wire rack at 350 deg. until they reach 160 deg. internal temp. If you don't have a wire rack, just bake them in a pan and flip them over occasonally to get them crispy all the way around.
And thank you melaniebo9 for the link to the spice company! I am definatley going to check that out!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2008/02/12 18:05:15
I made City Chicken this weekend so thought I would add some pix. I used a couple of sirloin pork chops so there were cubes of both light and dark meat.

Browning after being dredged in flour, S & P and garlic powder:

Took some of the fat off, added homemade chicken broth, pepper and 1/2 package of dried onion soup mix and braised about an hour. The cooking aroma made us too hungry to take time to thicken the juices into gravy for the mashed potatoes or to wait until they stopped steaming to take the picture.

I had forgotten about them for years until this thread. They ended up tasting just like my mom's.
Sonny Funzio
Double Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2008/02/14 10:45:26
Wow, those look *wonderful*, Ruby!
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2008/02/25 09:40:02
Wow have not seen those since I was a boy in Saint Claire Shores MI
Junior Burger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2008/03/24 04:22:57
I love how the midwest maintains some of the strangest little cultural foods...

my grandmother, god bless her, lives in crivitz wisconson, and has been lording her recipie for mock chicken legs over my father's head for years :D we'll call her and ask for it, and 2 weeks later a large white factory sealed bag will arrive in the mail from her :D

so thanks to melaniebo9, you might have just solved a long standing question :D

now, with enough of you here from the midwest or with food like memories of the midwest....

How many of you remember blue moon icecream? ;)
Double Cheeseburger
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2008/09/28 03:48:28
Mario Batali, in this week's TIME Magazine, says his favorite thing as a child was mock chicken legs, made by his mother for his birthday, with ground pork and veal, then breaded and baked, on a stick.

He should come to Wisconsin, they never went out of style here, still available at the local supermarket, and still called mock chicken legs.
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2008/09/28 04:48:59
I come from the "Ground Veal & Pork" School of Mock Chicken Legs. EVERYONE knows you can't shape cubes to look like a chicken leg. You can shape ground meat to look like anything---pigs, horses, cows, sheep, fish & CHICKEN! Since cubed meat on a stick can't be shaped---- that's why it is called a KABOB!! The defense rests!
RE: "City Chicken" or "Mock Chicken Legs"? 2008/10/07 09:46:38
There was a whole spread on "mock foods" in the Chicago Tribune a week ago. It explained that "city chicken" was so called because years ago big cities had stockyards while most chickens were raised in the country, so it was easier to get beef, pork and veal in urban areas.