Chicken Spiedies

June 6, 2017 By Cathy — 10 Comments
An iconic food in upstate New York, speidies were a summer barbecue staple for my family and you’re guaranteed to love them too.

Chicken Spiedies

When my dad fired up the grill in the summer when I was a kid, it wasn’t for your typical burgers and dogs. Nope, in the Southern Tier of upstate New York summertime grilling meant one thing…spiedies.

What’s a spiedie you ask? Well, it’s cubes of meat that are marinated in a special “spiedie” sauce, skewered and grilled. We didn’t bother with fancy buns or toppings (if you even attempted to put ketchup on your spiedie in my house you would quickly be shown the door), but instead used a fresh slice of Italian bread to pull off the meat and immediately indulge. Everyone got their spiedies pre-marinated and bagged from Lupos, a local purvyor with a monopoly on the market thanks to their secret and unbeatable marinade.

Chicken Spiedies

We never knew what they put in that magic sauce, (I’m pretty sure it was a combo of vinegar, olive oil, garlic and fairy dust) and the thing is, we never asked. We never had to because it was easy peasy to drive a mile and pick them up, all ready to be strung on skewers and slapped on the grill.

Ah, but what’s a girl to do when she moves away from home and craving her native food? Well, Lupos does sell and ship that sauce, so I could stockpile it for summer grilling, but it just doesn’t feel the same. So instead I’ve spent some time tweaking my own version. After experimenting with fresh and dried herbs (I’ve settled on a combination), the vinegar to olive oil ratio, just the right amount of garlic cloves, and the sweet and salt…I think I’ve got it.

Chicken Spiedies

The other trick is just how long you leave the spiedies marinating in the frig until they’re just right. I strongly recommend at least overnight, and even better (and if you can force yourself to wait), two nights. The taste we’re looking for is a mellowed-out garlic, a bite from the vinegar and all of those herby flavors infused in the meat. Lamb was the meat of choice growing up and I think it still ranks as my favorite, but due to cost and availability chicken has since replaced it as the most popular choice.

Chicken Spiedies

Now you can play around and serve your speidies how you see fit (just please no ketchup), but definitely give one a try the old fashioned way, simply served in a slice of Italian bread. I can’t promise that my version tastes exactly like Lupos (my grocery store doesn’t seem to stock fairy dust), but they are pretty damn good. Just make sure you give them time to marinate and do their thing. And I hope you enjoy a little bit of my hometown at your next barbecue!

Chicken Spiedies

0 from 0 votes
Chicken Spiedies
Chicken Spiedies
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
An iconic food in upstate New York, spiedies were a summer barbecue staple for my family and you're guaranteed to love them too.
Course: Main Dish
Author: Cathy Roma |
  • Spiedie Marinade
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 dried bay leaves crushed
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • *metal or bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 mins
  1. Spiedie Marinade: Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl and whisk well to combine.
  2. Add the olive oil in a steady stream while whisking and set aside.
  3. Alternatively process all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor until well blended.
  4. Spiedies: Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes. Put the chicken cubes in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the chicken.
  5. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least overnight or even better, 2 days.
  6. Preheat a grill to med/high heat.
  7. Thread the marinated chicken on the skewers (about 8 or 9 cubes per skewer) and grill about 5 mins per side, turning once.
  8. Serve with sliced Italian bread or rolls.

Related Post

Filed Under: Grilling, Main Dishes, Recipe


10 responses to “Chicken Spiedies”

  1. Paula Jo Dorrity says:

    I googled “lupos” and came up with this: They are in Endicott, NY and are Sam Lupo & Sons biz. They sell both the marinades plus pre-marinated Spiedie meat. Chow Down!

    • Cathy says:

      Yep, that’s the place. I grew up in Endicott and have consumed my body weight in Lupos spiedies. My recipe is inspired by them, but not exactly the same. Let me know if you give it a try.

  2. These look so tasty! Plus the name is really catchy. Growing up I used to eat a lamb skewer marinated in yogurt and a very similar spice blend, minus the soy sauce, lemon and vinegar (and sadly no fairy dust) and my grandmother always insisted on having to marinate the lamb for two days! I guess the Lacto needs time:) So cool to learn about your favorite thing to grill as a child. Definitely trying spiedies this summer! Pinned!

  3. Cousin Tara says:

    I just mixed this up and I have 1/3 of it on lamb (SALE!) and the rest on chicken. I can’t wait until tomorrow. Normally I go 48 hours as well but when lamb goes on sale the day before your BBQ you just make it happen.
    When I made speidies the weekend before last for Jon’s surprise birthday party, everyone loved them. I used a Lupos copycat recipe. As the week passed, I was getting requests for the recipe and then you posted this so I sent them this way. My friend texted me at 130am to tell me (again) how great they were!

    • Cathy says:

      What great timing Tara! I saw the pic you posted and glad they were Jon approved! Happy birthday to Jon!

  4. Stefanie says:

    Made these for dinner tonight and they are fantastic! I let them marinate for over 2′ days and I think I enjoyed them even more than Lupos, which I rarely get anymore living in Maryland. Love this recipe – it’s so fresh – and I will be making them all summer! Thanks for bringing spiedies to me 🙂

  5. Danita says:

    Have you tried State Fair brand spiedie marinade, it is very good too? It is available in MD at Wegmans and Weis Markets has carried Lupos and State Fair brand in their MD stores.

    • Cathy says:

      Haven’t tried it. When I visit home, we head to Lupos, but when I’m back in NJ, I make my own. Let me know if you give it a try.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *