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 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 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 potatoesSkin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

A rich, creamy starch bomb perked up with garlic. No peeling!

 

roasted paprika potatoesRoasted Paprika Potatoes

A childhood favorite (thanks grandma). She’d make these for me as a special treat. Think fries without the frying part.

 

dijon mustard vinaigrette potato saladFrench Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

If you’d rather skip the mayo in your potato salad, this is for you. There isn’t any. Instead, this salad is made with a mustard vinaigrette. It’s much lighter, and I think tastier too.

 

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Crispy. Garlic. Potato. Do I have to say anything else?  These are mini bite-size pieces of potato heaven.

 




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 not 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.

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Cuisinart 12 inch pan with 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.

More Lamb Recipes

lamb breast provencale with rosemaryOne Person Slow Roasted Lamb Breast Provencal Recipe

About 15 minutes prep, then a slow roast in the oven yields tender, moist lamb, topped with garlicky bread crumbs.

 

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb, Eggplant, and Spinach Salad

A salad of earthly delights, with luscious lamb, tender eggplant, earthy spinach,  and crisp cucumbers. Served with a garlicky lemon mayonnaise.

 

spinach lamb meatballsSpinach Lamb Meatballs

A bit of serendipity and some cross-country collaboration and poof! Meatballs! Made with cumin, spinach, and just a touch of piquant vinegar to balance the flavors.

 

lamb kofta meatballsLamb Kofta Meatballs

Don’t like eggs? Or don’t have any? These meatballs hold together with no eggs, and no bread crumbs.

Flavored with toasted nuts, cumin, and sweet minty green cardamom: a feast both for your mouth and your eyes!




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 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 saucePan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

A quick dinner, enlivened with a touch of mustard for bite, and rosemary for herby flavor, with a squeeze of lemon juice. Even simpler and easier than the Greek fish on this post.

salmon greek yogurt dill sauceSalmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Thick, creamy yogurt plus fresh dill, and refreshing cucumber mixed into a sauce that gets better the longer it sits.  Serve the sauce over simply cooked salmon.

 

fish fillet with yogurt sauceIndian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

Flaky, moist fish with a hint of heat from garam masala, cumin, and ginger. It’s subtle, not overpowering.  Ready in about 20 minutes.

 

fish in peppery tomato sauceSephardic Fish in Peppery Tomato Sauce

A bit spicier than the other recipes on this page, but still not super-hot.  It’s flavored with garlic, coriander, and briny capers, bathed in a peppery tomato sauce.