This post may contain affiliate links.
New York-style chicken spiedies with homemade marinade full of garlic and lemon. Instructions for making these delicious skewers on the grill or inside on the stovetop!
My office is in a pretty quiet neighborhood where there aren’t many spots to grab lunch. We pretty much have the cafeteria – which does have some pretty great options – and then two sandwich places that are great, but get old after so many times.
But in the summer, food trucks line the park and our lunch options explode overnight. Opening day of food truck season is always a huge deal.
This year, things are different. There aren’t many people going into the office and from the pictures I’ve seen it looks like there are only two or three trucks out. I’ve been working from home – and I usually bring my lunch from home anyway – but I do miss the excitement of getting lunch at the trucks.
This chicken spiedie recipe, inspired by my go-to order of pasta salad topped with grilled chicken, is my attempt at recreating a little bit of that excitement at home. (If you’re looking for a healthier side dish, try these with my cauliflower tabbouleh recipe)
Spiedies are cubes of marinated and grilled meat, usually served as a sandwich similar to souvlaki. Chicken is the most common, but spiedies can also be made with pork, lamb, or beef.
They hail from Binghamton, in New York’s southern tier along the Pennsylvania border, but they’re commonly enjoyed at food trucks and local fairs across upstate New York. (For another classic Upstate NY recipe, be sure to check out my beef on weck!)
Homemade spiedies are all about the marinade
Spiedies are all about the marinade, which is a salty, garlicky mixture of oil, red vinegar, lemon juice, and spices. If you’ve ever marinated chicken in Italian dressing, the flavor is similar but spiedies are saltier and have a stronger garlic flavor. They’re so good!!
You can buy bottled spiedie sauce, but I love making my own homemade spiedie marinade. It’s really easy and uses basic pantry staples. Plus making your own allows you to control what goes into it. For example, I use olive oil instead of soybean oil.
To make it, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh parsley
- Dried oregano
- Salt and Pepper
How to make chicken spiedies on the grill
Cut your chicken into 2-inch cubes and marinate it in the sauce for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
This is a great recipe to prep on Sunday night for an easy Monday night dinner! You know I love a good Marinade Monday.
For the most authentic spiedie flavor, you’ll want to grill your chicken – preferably over charcoal. After the chicken has marinated, arrange it onto skewers and grill over high heat until the chicken is cooked through. This will only take 10-15 minutes over high heat (about 400ºF), since the chicken pieces are so small.
If you’re using wooden skewers, you’ll need to soak them in water to prevent them from burning on the grill. To save time, I like to soak a full package of skewers, then freeze them. That way I’m always ready to grill and don’t need to remember to soak them before I start cooking. You could also purchase reusable metal skewers, which don’t need to be soaked.
How to make chicken spiedies on the stove
If you don’t have a grill – or if it’s a cold, rainy summer like this spring has been – you can still make spiedies inside! They won’t have that same char-grilled flavor, but they’re still fantastic.
When I make this recipe inside, I usually skip the process of skewering the chicken and just throw it right into a hot cast iron pan. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side, until it’s deeply browned and cooked through.
You can serve the cooked chicken on soft Italian bread, over pasta salad, or on top of a salad. You really can’t go wrong. I usually end up eating a good amount straight from the hot pan because I just can’t wait.
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Food Truck Foods, and our host is Ansh who blogs at Spiceroots.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious Food Truck inspired dishes!
Food Truck Food
Prevent your screen from going dark
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 large lemon juiced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- lemon wedges for serving
- rolls optional, for serving
Cut the chicken into 2-inch cubes.
Make the spiedie marinade: In a large non-reactive bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Add the chicken and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days.
Thread the chicken onto skewers; discard any remaining marinade.
Grill the chicken over high heat for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Alternatively, cook the chicken in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 8-12 minutes, or until cooked.
Serve the spiedie chicken on a roll with lemon wedges.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Vitamin A 107IU2%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.