Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken Spiedies with Homemade Italian Marinade on Hogie Rolls with Fries and Green Salad

What are spiedies? The spiedie is a dish local to Greater Binghamton in the Southern Tier of New York State, and somewhat more broadly known and enjoyed throughout Central New York state. [1] Spiedie consists of cubes of chicken, pork, lamb, veal, venison or beef. The meat cubes are marinated overnight in a special marinade, then grilled on spits over a charcoal pit. The traditional method involves serving freshly prepared cubes of lamb, chicken, or beef on soft Italian bread, and occasionally drizzled with fresh marinade. However, it is frequently common to find them served on a submarine roll, and chicken is now the meat of choice due to cost. The marinade recipe varies, usually involving olive oil, vinegar, and a variety of Italian spices and fresh mint. The original idea for spiedie was brought by Italian immigrants to Upstate New York in the early 1920s. The specific origin of the spiedie is disputed. Traditionally the early Broome County spiedie was made only from spring lamb, but currently most commercial restaurants prepare spiedie using chicken or pork. 

Growing up I would always spend the summer in Binghamton with my dad, who grew up there, and we would eat spiedies until I never wanted to see another one again. And then we would do the same thing the next year. Buying the marinade can be pricey and sometimes hard to find depending on where you live. So I've always made my own. My recipe is:  1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 2/3 cup olive oil, 1 Tbsp kosher salt, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning or poultry seasoning, 1 Tbsp dried Mexican oregano, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Mix ingredients until combined and salt is dissolved. 

Equipment: Outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.


2 lbs organic boneless chicken thighs -- $5.96
1 marinade recipe -- $1.66

Traditionally the meat is cubed first and then skewered but I like to keep the thighs whole and cube them after they are cooked. It eliminates the need for skewers. Marinade chicken in quart container overnight. Make sure marinade covers all the meat. The next day drain meat reserving the marinade in a small saucepan. Cook thighs on a super-hot grill pan with a spatter-guard. Cook for about 5 minutes each side. While meat is grilling bring reserved marinade to a boil and cook for at least 8 minutes. This step is very important. You need to make sure any raw chicken juice in the sauce is cooked. When chicken is done, chop meat into 1 inch cubes and assemble on buttered hogie rolls. Add 1 Tbsp of cooked marinade/sauce on each sandwich. These sandwiches are not served with any other condiments other than sometimes you see hot sauce. 

6 Italian hogie rolls - toasted -- $2.79
3 Tbsp butter or mayonnaise for spreading on rolls -- $0.56

Oven Fries

2 1/4 lbs Russet Potatoes -- $1.75
5 Tbsp canola oil -- $0.25
salt and pepper

The best oven fry recipe is not my own. I found it in the Cook's Illustrated Cookbook and because of legal reasons I cannot share it with you. But if you buy their cookbook you can make them too. I am just sharing the ingredients for costing purposes. Sorry. 

                                                 Total cost of entire meal = $12.97

This is not a good meal for vegetarians or vegans. You could substitute fish but the whole point of this meal is authenticity. Even the Italian bread makes this sandwich.There are just some things better left unchanged. 


  1. This looks sooo good I am starving after reading it! Now I really need for you to get me a gluten free hoagie so I can make this!!