Grilled Chicken Spiedies

Grilled Chicken Spiedies

What on earth are spiedies?  A “spiedie” is Upstate New York vernacular for an insanely delicious sandwich made from marinated and then grilled meat.  This recipe here is for chicken because I’ve honestly never met anyone that didn’t like a good chicken spiedie.
Lots of folks make spiedies out of lamb and venison but those meats are not my personal cup of tea.  So, chicken spiedies it is.
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 The good folks in Upstate New York are very serious about their spiedies.  There are a couple of prominent brands of spiedies and marinades that you can go and buy, but many folks have their own marinade recipes.  Everyone – and I do mean everyone – has an opinion on what kind of spiedies and which marinade they prefer.

There are also very strong opinions on what kind of bread you use. Some folks use Italian bread, while others use a bun.  I was brought up on Jimmy Roma’s Italian Bread and, in my humble opinion, there is no substitute for that unique taste or texture.  But in its absence, a hearty hoagie roll or thick sliced fresh-baked Italian bread will work.

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 The tomato salad is a very important part of spiedies in my family.  While the tomatoes are not a standard spiedie condiment, I was raised eating spiedies with the tomatoes.  There is no shortage of excellent tomatoes in the summer in Upstate NY and the sweet vine-ripened tomatoes are the perfect complement to the grilled meat.

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Spiedies require some planning ahead but the anticipation is definitely part of the fun.  They are perfect for barbecues because all of the hard work is done ahead of time so after your company arrives, all you need to do is string them onto
the skewers and toss them on the grill.  Quick and easy!
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 My hometown even has an annual festival dedicated to this most revered culinary achievement and it is actually coming up in a couple of weeks.  If you’re in the neighborhood of the Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally  you should definitely check it out.  But I digress…

The spiedies pictured here are the real deal, made by my Mom Kathy in Endicott, NY and served with my beloved Jimmy Roma’s bread.
I paired my spiedies with some very fine local Finger Lakes wine from Salmon Run which was a delightful accompaniment.

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Grilled Chicken Spiedies

Grilled Chicken Spiedies


  • Hoagie rolls or a loaf of fresh baked Italian bread, sliced thick
  • 3 lbs boneless chicken breast, cut into 1.5" cubes
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 T chopped fresh basil
  • 4 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 shakes of salt
  • 3 shakes of pepper
  • 1 T fresh chopped basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T canola oil


  1. Place chicken in large bowl
  2. Add all herbs and mix thoroughly (traditionally we do this with our hands to thoroughly coat the meat)
  3. Add oil and mix
  4. Add vinegar and mix
  5. Cover and place in fridge; marinate for 2-3 nights. Once a day stir the meat to better combine the flavors. If the marinade seems to have been "sucked up" by the meat, add 1/4 cup of oil and a 1/4 cup of vinegar and stir. This can be done daily.
  6. On the day you'll be serving the spiedies do the following...
  7. Make the tomato salad by combining tomatoes and following five ingredients (through canola oil) in a bowl; if you're not serving it within the half hour, cover and store in fridge until spiedies go on the grill.
  8. String onto metal skewers, putting 6 or 7 chunks of meat on each
  9. Heat grill to medium heat and place chicken on grill with the skewer handle hanging off the grill (this will keep it cool enough so you can turn them without burning yourself)
  10. Cook 5 minutes; flip skewers over and cook 5 minutes more.
  11. If needed, flip again and cook in 2 minute increments until done.
  12. Place a skewer's worth of meat into a roll or onto a piece of bread; top with tomato salad and enjoy!
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