Feta Brined Roast Chicken Recipe for One

Need something simple, yet elegant for dinner? This feta brined roast chicken is easy to make, but looks like something from a fancy restaurant.  Brine the chicken, let it sit overnight, and then mix a few ingredients together and bake.

The brine helps infuse the chicken with flavor, and (as a bonus) keeps it from drying out. It works just like the brine for a turkey, except this will taste much better! Feta cheese is particularly effective as a brine since it is packed in water, so it’s already moist. Blending it together creates a smooth, creamy brine that penetrates the chicken, keeping it tender and moist, even under high heat. The finished chicken doesn’t have a strong feta taste, but it will be rich, tender, and delicious.

Once the chicken is brined, you create a quick and easy spice rub from lemon zest, pepper, and oregano, blend that together, and spread it all over the chicken.  The feta cheese adds salty savor, the lemon a hint of tartness, and the oregano and spinach give the dish a fresh, bright flavor.  The original dish called for arugula, but I’m not a fan, so I used spinach instead.

Taking the chicken out early before you cook it helps it dry out and allows the skin to become crisper when the chicken is roasted.

Add pan-friend potatoes, or oven roasted Greek potatoes for a full meal.

You could eat this all by yourself, or increase the recipe and serve it for company.

Feta Brined Roast Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Greek


feta brined roast chicken

Easy and elegant, with a bit of planning this Feta Brined Roast Chicken requires only a few ingredients. Just brine, season, and roast.


  • 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled (divided)
  • 1/2 C water
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 lemon (you'll need some zest and two slices)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • handful spinach, washed and patted dry


  1. First brine the chicken. This can be done the day before, or in the morning. Combine half the feta and the water in a blender or mini chopper.
  2. Pour the feta/water mixture into a ziploc bag and add the chicken. Swish it around to coat.
  3. Let that sit overnight (or all day).
  4. Take the chicken out of the bag, wipe it off, and discard the brine. Let it come to room temperature (for about an hour).
  5. Mix the pepper, oregano, and about 3/4 tsp lemon zest together in a small bowl.
  6. Rub the mixture all over the chicken thigh.
  7. Cut two slices of lemon.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 400.
  9. Pour the olive oil onto a small roasting pan (the one from your toaster oven will do just fine).
  10. Heat the pan on top of the stove on high heat, until the oil smokes.
  11. Add a lemon slice to the pan, and place the chicken on top of it, skin side up.
  12. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  13. Spread the spinach on a plate and top with the chicken. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon slice over the chicken and then top with the rest of the feta cheese.

Feta Brined Roast Chicken Substitutions and Variations

  • swap the oregano for rosemary
  • add a clove of minced garlic to the spice rub
  • try it with chicken breasts
  • use whole cloves of garlic and let them roast and caramelize
  • want more of a bite? double the amount of black pepper

More Feta and Chicken Recipes

Penne with Feta Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Olives

Spinach and Feta Cheese Omelette

Homemade Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

I just discovered these recently.  They are often served for Greek Easter (which is in a few weeks). I am not Greek, and I don’t observe Easter, but I am always a fan of potatoes (and starch generally). I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I do have a fat/carb tooth. So, oven roasted Greek potatoes definitely caught my eye!

These are pretty easy to make and don’t require any special ingredients (always a bonus). I used Yukon Gold potatoes (I am a potato fan, but not a russet fan as I find them too floury).  I didn’t bother to peel them either.  Why waste the vitamins in the peel?  And why do extra work if you don’t have to? I am always in favor of shortcuts, particularly if it means less cleanup.

Besides, the skins of Yukon Gold potatoes are thinner than russets, so peeling isn’t necessary.  If you do use russets, you probably ought to peel them, as the peels are tougher and heavier.

The result is slightly crispy outside, and fluffy inside.  These would pair nicely with roast chicken, or roast lamb.  If you make lamb, use the pan drippings instead of the chicken broth.

I made them in the toaster oven because I didn’t want to heat up the whole oven just for potatoes. Plus it was easier to take the tray out to add the lemon juice and the chicken broth, since my oven is squashed in the corner of the kitchen area.

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: Greek

one serving

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

A simple, but flavorful side dish that's great with chicken or lamb. The potatoes are slightly crispy outside and fluffy soft inside.


  • 1 potato, preferably Yukon Gold, cut into small cubes, about 1 inch
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • generous pinch dried oregano
  • 2T chicken stock
  • 1 T plus one tsp lemon juice


  1. Remove the toaster oven baking tray.
  2. Preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Mix the potatoes, garlic, oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and oregano together on the baking tray.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock and bake another 10 minutes.
  6. Add the lemon juice and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Garnish with fresh oregano if you like.


Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes Substitutions and Variations

  • swap the chicken broth for some tomato paste
  • use fresh oregano instead of dried (or add some at the end)
  • add some shallots and mix that with the oil, lemon, oregano to make a vinaigrette
  • top with some feta cheese
  • or try some Parmesan (not terribly traditional, but couldn’t hurt)
  • if you don’t like red pepper flakes, use black pepper instead

More Potato Recipes

Skin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Paprika Potatoes

French Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Great for a cold weekend, this Greek lamb breast recipe requires very little active preparation time.  Just make the marinade, zip it in a bag, and let it sit.

The longer this marinates the better.  You can leave it for an hour (if you don’t have lots of time), but it’s better overnight, or all day while you do something else.

I let this sit in the fridge for two days (because I unexpectedly ate out), and it was divine.

It cooks slowly in a low oven, just enough to heat the house a bit, but no so much that you’ll overheat yourself (this is, incidentally also a great way to cook roast beef, low and slow).

The recipe is adapted slightly from a recipe I found on Epicurious.  That was for lamb chops or a leg of lamb.  I reduced that marinade recipe and substituted the NY Times’ lamb riblet slow roasting technique instead of grilling.

If you don’t have breast of lamb, you can use a lamb chop instead.  Just let it marinate, then broil the chop 3-5 minutes per side, depending on how thick it is.

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Greek

one serving

greek lamb breast

Greek-inspired slow roasted lamb breast.


  • 2T olive oil
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • lamb breast (bone-in) about 3/4 lb.


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Put the lamb breast in a plastic ziploc bag.
  3. Pour in the marinade, close the bag, and shake it to distribute the marinade evenly over the lamb.
  4. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 225 (yes, that's 225) degrees.
  6. Open the bag and remove the lamb with a pair of tongs.
  7. Place it in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up.
  8. Pour the marinade over the lamb.
  9. Roast the lamb, slowly, for 3 hours.
  10. Remove from the oven and cut the lamb into riblets to serve.


Note that prep time is for making the marinade. It does not include marinating time.

More Lamb Recipes

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

One Person Slow Roasted Lamb Breast Provencal Recipe

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Cuisinart 12-Inch Pan with Glass Cover

This pan is shallower than most roasting pans, which means it’s easier to remove your food. The relatively small size makes it a great option for smaller portions (and smaller ovens). It’s also great for pan pizza for one (the pizza fits perfectly).

While I don’t usually like nonstick surfaces, this one has held up nicely since I bought it two years ago. I haven’t used the glass cover with the pan, but fits over my other pots and pans (so I can see what’s cooking).

Oxo Good Grips Kitchen Tongs

A good pair of tongs is invaluable when cooking.  These are easy to hold, and they lock back together for storage.  Use them to turn meat, or pick up and turn food in the oven, without burning yourself.

The ends are nylon so they won’t scratch your nonstick pan. Dishwasher safe if you have one.  I’ve had mine for eight years (!) and they’re in perfect condition. Worth every cent I paid for them.


Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

I seem to be making a virtual trip around the Mediterranean. This week, instead of Israel, we’ve “landed” in Greece. This recipe for Greek fish with lemon and tomatoes is adapted from a recipe in The New York Times.

The Times recipe is good, but a bit too fiddly and time consuming. It also requires a whole fish. That’s generally too much food for one person.  And, it has to be cleaned, then stuffed, and finally baked. Probably delicious, but too much trouble.  So, I decided to make it easier and faster and used fish fillets instead.

Plus, the original recipe requires that you cook the tomatoes. I love fresh tomatoes, and tomato sauces, but don’t like the taste of freshly-cooked tomatoes. So, I simplified everything and added the tomatoes just at the end.

In my version, you make the marinade, leave out the tomatoes, and let it sit for a bit so the flavors combine. Then season the fish fillet, pour the marinade over it, and cook it. Add the tomatoes at the end, and serve. Also, I didn’t make it in the oven (too hot!). I grilled the fish in a pan instead.



Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Greek

one serving

greek fish with lemon and tomatoes

A fast and healthy tilapia recipe with lemon and tomatoes.


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • generous pinch of hot pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp chopped fresh jalapeño
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound fish fillet (like tilapia or cod)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to season the fish
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (or use cherry tomatoes and slice them in half)


  1. Combine the olive oil with the lemon juice, hot pepper, oregano, garlic, and salt and pepper in a small bowl or a ziplock plastic bag.
  2. Let the marinade sit for 15 or 20 minutes.
  3. Season the fish with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  4. Add the fish and the marinade to a small frying pan and cook, about four minutes per side.
  5. When the fish is almost cooked, pour in the chopped tomatoes. Leave them in for two or three seconds, just to get them warmed up slightly.
  6. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
  7. Remove fish with a flexible spatula and serve.

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes Substitutions and Variations

  • Follow this suggestion from the comments of the original recipe: fry the fish for a minute or two with olive oil.  Then add the marinade, a splash or two of white wine, and simmer (covered) for 5-10 minutes.
  • If you don’t mind cooked tomatoes, add them to the marinade at the beginning.
  • Try cod instead of tilapia.  Or, use a small whole trout.
  • If you want more lemon flavor, slice some lemon and squeeze it over the fish.
  • Add some olives or capers to the marinade.
  • Add 1/4 C sliced zucchini to the pan when you start cooking the fish.

More Quick Fish Recipes

Pan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

Easy Canned Tuna Curry