Tender chicken braised in lemon and white wine, infused with flavors from the Greek pantry — feta cheese, oregano and red peppers.
I’ve never been to Greece, but that doesn’t stop me from always getting inspired by the ingredients of the Greek pantry. For this Greek chicken recipe, I’m talking about wild oregano, feta cheese, olive oil — and lots of lemon, of course.
But there’s so much more deliciousness! According to Greek cooking expert Diane Kochilas,
Greece is a small country with a huge regional foods tradition, one that stretches back millennia. Many of these food products are unknown outside of the country, and even outside of the villages where they are produced.
One of these days I’d love to make an immersive journey to the country to explore it all, but for now I’ll remain inspired by the tapestry and flavor profile of Greece’s foods.
My starting point for this recipe was the simple combination of tangy white wine, lemon juice and oregano in a braising liquid for chicken. I keep the skin on and use bone-in thighs for the best flavor and juiciness.
Notes on ingredients for Greek chicken:
- Oregano – Greeks use this fragrant woody herb not only as an essential seasoning, but oregano is also considered to be medicinal — it’s brewed into a tea to treat physical ailments like indigestion and “mental exhaustion” (we probably all need some relief from that, lol). Most of the oregano available in your local supermarket is the Mexican variety, which is totally fine to use in this recipe.
But the Greek stuff is worth seeking out. It grows wild in mountainous nooks and crannies and it’s often sold in big, romantic-looking bunches. Doesn’t that sound nice? You can find Greek oregano in some markets, and online for sure. I especially like the selection from Daphnis and Chloe (and their packaging is beautiful, too).
- Real Greek feta is made mostly with sheep’s milk (and sometimes a small amount of goat milk). It tends to be milder, creamier and less salty than domestic American feta cheese, which is usually produced from cow’s milk. Mt. Vikos is a readily available brand of Greek feta I really like.
- Peppadew peppers are a brand of small, cherry-shaped chile pepper packed in a delicious brine. Have you ever tried them? They’ve become a staple in my kitchen — they have a sweet and lightly spicy flavor unlike anything else.
Peppadews are definitely not authentic to Greek cooking, but they have a Mediterranean spirit and add something special to this chicken recipe. If you don’t have Peppadews, you can substitute an equal amount of roasted red peppers.
If you want to learn more about the Greek pantry, check out the Greek Food Index.
greek chicken with oregano, red peppers and feta cheese
Yield 4 servings
- I highly recommend Peppadew peppers for this dish, but if you don't have them go ahead and sub them out with an equal amount roasted red peppers, cut into bite-size pieces.
- If you're using jarred peppers, drain them, but don't use the liquid in the recipe — it's not as tasty as Peppadew brine.
- If you'd like a mix of light and dark meat, use 4 chicken thighs and 2 halved bone-in, skin-on breasts instead of all thighs.
Suggestion: serve the chicken with Toasted Orzo Salad with Chickpeas
- 8 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup chicken stock (or water)
- 3 plump garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or pressed
- 2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
- 1/2 cup Peppadew peppers, sliced in half
- 2 tablespoons Peppadew liquid
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Chopped fresh oregano and/or dill leaves
- Pat the chicken pieces dry. Season them evenly with 2 teaspoons salt. If you have time, let the chicken sit uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Sprinkle the flour over the skin side of the chicken. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or braising pan, preferably 12-inches in diameter with 2 or 3-inch sides.
- Put the chicken in the pan skin-side down and cook until the skin begins to brown and crisp, 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Pour in the wine and let it bubble for a minute, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the lemon juice, stock, garlic, oregano and chili to the pan. Arrange the chicken skin-side up in the pan and cover. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the pan lid and stir the Peppadew peppers and liquid into the chicken. Put the pan back in the oven and bake 20 more minutes, uncovered.
- Sprinkle the feta, fresh oregano and dill over the chicken and serve.
Courses main dish/chicken/poultry