~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chicken Spiedie...and Italian Spiedini

Chicken Spiedie...and Italian Spiedini. I don't exactly remember how I came upon this recipe for spiedies. Though I am quite sure I was looking for something else and stumbled upon them in the process. In any case, it was the ingredients in the recipe that perked up my interest to try the sandwich....and probably the name.
The spiedie(spee-dee) sandwich originated from Italy and was introduced to upstate New York by Italian immigrants in the early 1920's. The sandwich caught on with a variety of workers who were looking for a quick bite. Known for its lemony-garlic marinade, the spiedie was a simple sandwich...yet full of flavor. The meat was marinated for hours, skewered, and then grilled on hot coals. The meat was turned often on the grill to ensure even cooking. Finally, the meat( skewer and all) was placed on some soft Italian Bread. The bread roll was used as a glove to simply slide off the chicken pieces from the skewer. Sometimes extra sauce was drizzled over the chicken pieces to add even more flavor.
Though the original spiedie was made with lamb meat, it is now made with all sorts of meat....chicken being a popular choice. You probably won't find spiedies outside of New York....and that's probably one of the reasons why I'd never heard of them before. However, many Italian restaurants do make spiedini...which essentially is just an Italian word for skewered meat or fish that's grilled. So if you want to go for a gluten-free/no carb option, you might want to try the spiedini version with a side of grilled vegetables....it's just as delicious.
As I said before, it was the flavorful ingredients that caught my attention....and the fact that the recipe came from America's Test Kitchen was a plus. I love most of their recipes, and I was quite eager to try it. Not to mention that I am always on the lookout for chicken recipes. I love to vary the chicken meals we have, and this sounded so delicious to me.
The recipe was rather simple to prepare. Unlike the original recipe that marinates the meat overnight or more, ATK's version is much simpler. While ATK removed the lemon juice from the marinade, I chose to use it in mine. The reason ATK removed it from the marinade is that the lemon juice which has the tendancy to "cook" the chicken. But I ended up marinating my chicken for 2 hours, and found it just right...didn't have any problems with the chicken. I recommend marinating the meat for 30 minutes... to no more than 3 hours. For most recipes, I prefer an overnight marination. If I would take the overnight route, I would simply add the lemon juice an hour or so before grilling the chicken. Feel free to omit the lemon juice from the marinade and add it to the spiedie sauce instead.
I had all the ingredients at home except for fresh basil, which I substituted with dried. As much as I hardly ever buy bread, I purposely went out to buy some Italian rolls...just to make the experience as authentic as possible:). We loved, loved these sandwiches...they had a ton of flavor and were just delicious! The sauce is what really brings it all together, and I would highly recommend using it....you might even need to double it:).
I ended up making my own homemade olive oil mayo( using a poached egg)... but you can use store-bought. As for the grilling, I ended up doing 2 trials...one using a grill pan, and the other using the outside grill. They both worked out great. I prefer cooking the meat in the grill pan when using using wooden skewers. This way I don't need to soak the skewers... and the spiedies look presentable without having to worry about burned skewers. But if I am grilling vegetables, I much prefer the outside grill and will then use metal skewers. Incidently, you can probably make these under the broiler as well. Since I was quite excited to take photos of the sandwiches and start eating, I simply forgot to grill the inside of the bread. It would be nice to add a bit of texture to the sandwich...oh well, maybe next time:). Hope you enjoy...

Note: If you would like to make your own mayo, you can click here for the recipe....Homemade Mayonnaise.~this time around, I ended up using extra light olive oil and a poached egg to make the mayo along with a bit of lemon juice and mustard.

  • The marinade can easily be used on a variety of meat or seafood...even vegetables.
  • Adding some mint for lamb would be wonderful.
  • I like to remove the marinated chicken from the fridge about a half hour or so before I grill.... it takes off the chill and sears the chicken much better.
  • If you want to control the amount of salt, simply sprinkle the amount of salt you want to use directly on the chicken, and then add the unsalted marinade.

You will need: adapted from HERE and originally from ATK 2010 Cookbook

1/2 cup olive oil( you can probably use a tiny bit less)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tsps dried basil( you can also use 2 TBS fresh)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
grated zest of a small lemon
1 TBS lemon juice, or to taste**
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes*
*You can use less, especially if you are making it for children. Use more if you like it spicier...
** While the original recipe has the lemon juice mixed in the spiedie sauce, I chose to use it in the marinade...you can likewise omit it from the marinade and add it to the spiedie sauce if you like.

Spiedie Sauce:
3-4 TBS mayonnaise
1 TBS red wine vinegar
2 TBS of reserved marinade( from above)

1.5 lbs (or 4) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

sub rolls, slit and toasted on the inside


Make the Marinade:
In a large bowl, combine oil, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon juice( or omit if using it in the spiedie sauce instead), lemon zest, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Whisk to fully combine. Transfer 2 tablespoons oil mixture to separate smaller bowl.

Marinate the Chicken:
Prick chicken breasts all over with fork, cut into 1 and 1/2 inch chunks, and transfer to bowl with remaining oil marinade mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes... or up to 3 hours.
Make the Spiedie Sauce:
To the 2 tablespoons of reserved marinade, add the mayonnaise and vinegar( and 1 TBS lemon juice if not using it in the meat marinade). Whisk until fully combined and refrigerate until ready to use.

Grill the Chicken: Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto wooden or metal skewers.
Grill chicken over a hot fire or in a grill pan. Grill on one side, turning every so often until lightly charred and cooked through...this should take about 10- 15 minutes. Try not to overcook the chicken. You can grill the sub rolls for a a minute or so... just to toast the inside and get a few grill marks. Transfer chicken to sub rolls, remove skewers, and drizzle with mayonnaise mixture.
Or you can simply do a spiedini by serving the skewered chicken pieces with a side of grilled vegetables.


Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Hey Ellie, I saw the beautiful skewers and I actually drooled over the keyboard :)) they look amazing! I was curious to see what's a Spiedie, I didn't hear these skewers being called like this before, it definitely spices up the recipe :) Your photos are lovely as always, very fresh and inspiring! Hope you're having a great spring Ellie :)

retete- ina said...

yammmmmy,love it

megi said...

Perfect timing, I just thawed some chicken and was thinking about what to make with it, I think I'll just skip the rolls and serve it over salad with the delicious mayo based sauce. The photos are gorgeous and mouth watering Ellie, can't wait to try it!

Ashleyta said...

Always looking for a new way to prepare chicken breast (since we eat it so often)...this sounds very delicious...can't wait to try it...thanks for the recipe! Do you think I could broil the meat since my grill is out of service for the moment?

Ellie said...

Alina, Sweet of you...thank you for your kind comment! I think I am rushing into summer by using the grill:). I really like this recipe. Have a lovely day...and thanks for stopping by.

Retete-ina. I think you you like it ...especially if you like garlic:). Thanks for your comment.

Megi, Oh, I hope you can give it a try. It sounds delicious over a salad! I have to admit it was the sauce that really brought it all together, and using some of it as a "dressing" sounds excellent:).

Ashleyta, Yes, I too am on the lookout for chicken recipes:). This was a winner for us, as we haven't had a sandwich in a LONG time...and the mayo, too:).
But I don't see why you couldn't use the broiler...just heat it on high and place the broiler pan as close to the heating element as possible...and keep checking the chicken....turning it a few times so it gets cooked evenly( if using wooden skewers...soak them first)....
And you have to use the spiedie sauce:)....
Hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

Mihaela said...

Ellie, I never heard about Spiedie, but they look good! I like the little kick from the pepper flakes, and the mayo sauce looks so delicious :)

megi said...

Ellie, I am so glad I tried this recipe, the sauce was delicious and so was the chicken, I served it over salad with freshly cooked warm Laffa and it was a real hit. It's definitely a recipe we'll make often. Thank you!

Ellie said...

Mihaela, The spiedies are really pretty simple to prepare...I added a bit more chile flakes to mine than the original recipe...it wasn't too hot. And yes, the sauce is quite delcious...garlicky:)

Megi, I am so glad you enjoyed the dish. Thank you for trying it out...I think your idea of serving it with a salad and a freshly cooked flat bread is just excellent! Happy to hear you liked it and thanks for letting me know:)

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Ellie, daca ai chef si timp, te astept cu drag la mine pe blog sa participi la provocarea "Dulce Romanie" pentru luna mai :) Te pup si iti doresc un inceput de saptamana energic!

Mihaela said...

Spiedie...sound Italian, indeed ! and the pictures urge you to try the recipe !

Ellie said...

Thank you, Mihaela,...nice of you stop by!

Gigi said...

marinating my chicken right now. also trying the marinade with shrimp. the dip is delicious. can't wait for dinner.
thank you

Ellie said...

Mom, You are welcome, this is a favorite...I am hoping it will be a winner at dinnertime:) A great idea using shrimp! Thanks for stopping by...

sjl3309 said...

My daughter made this for me for my birthday dinner yesterday and it was fantastic!! A hit all the way around the table! It's a keeper recipe for sure and I just want to thank you for sharing it. She served it over angel hair pasta with a caesar salad and cannolli cake for dessert. Perfect meal!!


Ellie said...

Sjl330, Oh, that's wonderful... you are very welcome. Happy Birthday to you!

We also love the chicken spiedes/spiedini. It's always received well, whenever I make it. I think it's a keeper of a recipe as well.

So glad everyone at the table enjoyed it... Looks like you had a great Italian birthday meal:). Sounds delicious!

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your feedback... I really appreciate it!
Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on this. You're in Montana. The best meats for speidies are lamb or venison. Elk is probably great too. But please add the vinegar and some chianti to the marinade and forget the mayo. Cube the meat small and let lamb/venison/elk marinate for 4-5 days - yes it will chemicaly cook the meat, but it will remain real tender and moist, and then don't overcook them, just cook them quickly on the grill. Those will be nothing like chicken speidies, i just wish i had acess to some venison or elk, this really knocks the gaminess down and makes for heaven on a slice of Italian bread.

Ellie said...

Anon, Thank you so much for the idea to use game meat, even lamb. I really enjoy the chicken version, but I could see how other meats would also work. Yes, I live in MT, though game meat can now be found in most Whole/ Natural Food stores. But I do like the idea! So thank you for sharing your thoughts... I am sure the long marinating would bring in a ton of flavor!
Thanks for stopping by...

Anonymous said...

Ellie, i am Tim ( anon) not hiding, just a quick post. You and all are welcome. I grew up with speidies and remember their creator Augie Iacovelli. I never saw a chicken speidie until into the 80's. Not to say they aren't good, just different. Game meats and a long marinade are the recipe. Lots and lots of herbs and a fresh slice of Italian bread. Yum!

Ellie said...

Hi Tim, Now you are really making me try the non-chicken version:). Thanks for sharing an alternate version...
I'm now thinking I would love to try a lamb version, maybe even elk(my husband's fav.). I remember seeing a clip on spiedies awhile ago... and they were using a red meat of sorts, marinated for days. They too had skipped the mayo... They just piled thinly sliced meat in a bun... the meat was cooked on a hot plate over a grill. It looked amazing! So
So thank you, Tim... for inspiring me to make another version of spiedies. I value your generous and kind input! And thanks again for stopping by.

jostrander75 said...

As a person that is from Endicott, NY (and still lives in the area) I'm so happy to see that the awesomeness that are spiedies have made it out of upstate NY! I've grown up on them and although the lamb are the best, chicken, pork, and beef are the most popular. I love them! If you're ever in the Binghamton NY area, stop by and enjoy an authentic Spiedie sandwich!

Ellie said...

Jostrander75, Thanks for stopping by. I simply love spiders and would one day love to try the NY version. Am actually looking forward to even trying the lamb version. Love your enthusiasm about the Spiedies... as I, too, think they are awesome:)!

Have a great day!