Greek Lemon and Oregano Chicken Breasts
This is a marinade that’s easy and yummy! Make up the marinade, pound the chicken breasts, marinate for 1/2 to 1 hour, then BBQ or use a grill pan to cook. I like to top the breasts with slices of feta cheese when they get turned over, so that the feta gets warm and soft before serving. Serve with some rice and a salad and that’s dinner. Or, leave the feta off of the chicken and put it in the rice instead, with my Garden Fresh Rice. It’s the perfect accompaniment. Either way, it’s Yum!
I like to pound the chicken breasts first. This helps them to take up the flavours of the marinade quicker. It also makes them cook quicker and more even, with them being the same thickness all over. Don’t pound them too much. About an inch thick is fine. Get all of your ingredients together. I didn’t have a whole lemon, so I just supplemented with bottled lemon juice.
Grate the lemon zest into a shallow dish. Add the herbs and garlic. I used dry herbs today, so I rub them between my hands before adding to the dish to bring out the flavour.
Stir all remaining ingredients into the marinade. I was originally going to only do 2 chicken breasts, which would have fit into the dish with the marinade. If you have a dish that fits, coat both sides of the breasts with the marinade, then press plastic wrap down to touch the top of the meat and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. At the last minute, we invited another couple, so we quickly pounded two more chicken breasts, and they wouldn’t fit into the dish, so I put the marinade and the chicken into a large ziplock plastic bag and squished it around with my hands until the marinade was evenly distributed over all the chicken pieces. Then we waited 30 minutes. I made the rice and the salad while I was waiting.
Steve put the chicken on the BBQ, about 4 minutes per side, and voila! I almost forgot to take the picture of the finished product! We were all sitting at the table filling our plates, and I yelled WAIT! I grabbed the plate with the meat that was left on it, and quickly took a picture before we ate it all. Whew, that was close! And, even better – I have some left over to put in wraps for lunch the next day.
Served as is or topped with warm feta cheese, this is a Greek staple. Serve with rice and a green salad.
- 1 fresh lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves, crushed (or 1 Tbsp dried oregano)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 tsp grainy mustard
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Pound the chicken breasts to about 1 inch thick. Grate the zest from the lemon, and squeeze the juice from the lemon. Put into a large, flat dish, add the rest of the marinade ingredients and mix well. Place the chicken breasts into the mixture, turning a few times to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour. (or for even better coverage of the marinade, put the chicken and all the marinade ingredients into a large plastic sealer bag. Squeeze around so that the chicken breasts are all covered with marinade.
- BBQ on preheated grill on med-low heat with lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes per side (4 to 6 minutes per side if you have pounded them).
- If desired, place thinly sliced feta cheese onto the chicken right after turning the meat over. The feta won’t melt like other cheeses, but it will become warm and soft, and it really compliments the flavours in the marinade.
Pounding the chicken breasts is optional, but I find it helps the meat to take up the flavours of the marinade better. It also cooks quicker, so be careful not to overcook the meat or it will be dry.