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City Chicken – Hey, Nice Legs!

This fascinating pork on a stick recipe is American cuisine in a nutshell. City cooks, who couldn’t get chicken, would take scraps from much-cheaper-at-the-time pork, and build something similar to what you see here; but that’s not what makes this delicious mock drumstick so American.


Why this represents the true spirit of American food, is that long after chicken became cheap and plentiful, people kept making and eating this anyway. Yes, in cities across the Rust Belt, people decided that the only thing better than one kind of fried chicken leg, was two kinds of fried chicken leg. It’s hard to argue.

As you’ll see in the video, I like to lay out my pork slices so that the larger slices will be in the middle of the skewer, and smaller pieces at the bottom, to maximize the drumstick effect.  Of course, I guess you could poke the pork in any old order, but there just won’t be as many oohs and ahs.


I used pork tenderloin, which is fantastic for this procedure, but traditionally pork shoulder trimmings are used. Regardless of what you make this with (just please don’t use chicken), I hope you give this American classic a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 City Chicken drumsticks:
1 whole trimmed pork tenderloin (not loin), sliced as shown
6 bamboo skewers (6-inch are best)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
dried thyme to taste
flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs as needed
vegetable oil for frying

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