Published on August 30th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler

Signature dish: Latin King’s chicken spiedini

Tursi’s Latin King has a lot of great Italian dishes, but if you want to try something you won’t find anywhere else in town, order the chicken spiedini. It’s the restaurant’s specialty and has been the best-selling item on the menu for almost 20 years.

“We go through 200 most days at lunch and another 150 at dinner,” chef Patt Morris said. “Some weekends we’ll sell 300 at dinner alone. There hasn’t been a single day since we added it to the menu that it hasn’t been our best-selling item.”

Making a chicken spiedini is a time-intensive process. It starts with three boneless chicken breasts that are sliced in half, then marinated for 24 hours in an amogio sauce made with olive oil, butter, lemon juice and other seasonings. The chicken is put on a skewer, then covered in a light bread-crumb coating, where it sits for another day. After that it’s baked until crispy on the outside, but still juicy on the inside thanks to the marinade.

What does spiedini mean? “Skewered” in Italian. The skewer is removed before the dish is served, but if you look closely you’ll notice a little hole in each piece of chicken.

The Latin King has been serving for more than 60 years on the east side, so the chicken spiedini is a relatively recent addition to the menu. It’s a popular Tuscan dish in other cities, but The Latin King has established itself as the local ruler of the dish and no one else seems to want to put their own version up against Tursi’s and Morris’ entree.

Signature dish: chicken spiedini

Find it: Tursi’s Latin King, 2200 Hubbell Ave.

Cost: $16.95 for dinner, $10.95 at lunch

Info: or 515-266-4466.

About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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