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Oven Roasted Greek Chicken Breasts marinated in an herb and garlic yogurt sauce then slow roasted to juicy perfection. This incredibly flavorful recipe is so versatile you can make it with any variety of chicken pieces or even a whole bird.
Mediterranean inspired meaty marinated chicken breasts
There’s no boring chicken here! This chicken has so much flavor and the juicy, tender meat with crispy skin is sure to appeal to the whole family. You’ll want to put this on your regular dinner rotation.
Do you love easy and flavorful dinner recipes? Me too! If you’re a little tired of the same old boring bird, jump on down and print this recipe. I can’t wait for you to try it!
What’s the best kind of poultry to use in this Greek chicken recipe?
I prefer to keep the chicken pieces all the same size for even cooking. I often use thighs or breasts, but this will also work for legs or even quarters. You can also use this marinade for grilling skinless chicken breasts or thighs, and these incredibly tender chicken skewers too. It’s all great!
Ingredients needed to make Greek Chicken:
For the marinade:
- plain whole milk Greek yogurt
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- lemon zest
- white balsamic vinegar
- fresh or dried oregano leaves
- fresh or dried thyme leaves
- red pepper flakes
- olives, optional for adding in at the end
For the chicken:
- bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs, legs or quarters work well. You can also prepare an entire chicken with this same marinade.
How to make Greek Chicken:
- First, combine all the Greek chicken marinade ingredients in a large zipper bag.
- Next, loosen the skin on top of the chicken pieces and spoon some of the marinade under the skin. Place the chicken in the bag, seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake. Preheat the oven. Place the chicken skin-side up in a roasting pan or large oven-proof skillet.
- Roast the chicken, uncovered, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
- Add olives to the pan, drizzle the chicken with the juices and serve.
Make Oven-Roasted Greek Chicken Breasts for an easy weeknight family meal.
When I’m feeling really uninspired I sprinkle a little seasoned salt blend or Mrs. Dash on the chicken and call it dinner. But when I manage to think about dinner early in the day, or even the day before, I whip up this easy marinade and let it work the magic on my favorite chicken breasts.
Once marinated for at least 4 hours or up to 24, all you have to do is put it in an oven-proof dish and pop it in the oven! While the chicken roasts in the oven steam some vegetables or make a quick Greek salad. Dinner’s done.
Even though this recipe is simple enough for a weeknight meal, it also makes an impressive dinner party main course. With all the prep work done well in advance, you’ll have more more time to finish the meal without feeling stressed.
Toss in a few olives at the end for nice visual appeal and a nice briny flavor. The aroma of the fresh herbs and garlic is amazing, practically enticing everyone to the dinner table in record time.
Why use yogurt in the marinade?
Yogurt has always been revered as a healthy way to start the day. In addition to being high in protein and loaded with calcium, vitamins and probiotics, yogurt can also tenderize meats and chicken.
In an article by Tommy Werner, he describes how the microbes and lactic acid in yogurt are responsible for breaking down the proteins in chicken, making it tender and moist.
The active bacteria in Greek yogurt works slowly to tenderize the chicken without making the flesh mushy and soft. This mild form of lactic acid is a favorite with Middle Eastern and Indian inspired recipes too.
You’ll find yogurt is also used to marinate our luscious Indian Butter Chicken Recipe and this popular and flavorful Chicken Tikka Masala recipe too. Yogurt’s not just for breakfast bowls and smoothies!
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Oven-Roasted Greek Chicken Breasts
For the marinade:
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoons dried
- 6 medium garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the chicken:
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Loosen the skin on top of the breasts by poking a finger under between the skin and breast making a small opening. Don’t detach it completely. Spoon a little marinade into the pocket and smash it around to distribute. Place the chicken breasts in the bag with the remaining marinade, turning to coat. Marinate for 4-24 hours. Turn the bag a few times while marinating.
- When ready to roast, remove the bag of chicken from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. Place chicken breasts skin-side up in a roasting pan or large oven-proof skillet.
- Reserve marinade to baste chicken halfway through roasting if desired..
- Roast the breasts (uncovered) until they register 160°F, about 50-60 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Baste with additional marinade halfway through roasting if desired. Remove the pan from the oven and spoon the pan juices over the top of the chicken. Serve and enjoy!
- This marinade works great for grilled boneless, skinless chicken and skewers too.
- If you use bone-in thighs or legs, adjust roasting time to allow for smaller pieces.
What to serve with Greek Chicken
Greek Lemon Potatoes are the perfect side dish with this chicken along with a nice fresh green vegetable or salad.
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, remove the chicken from the bone, chop and add to a salad bowl with fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers and a dollop of tzatziki. Serve with pita bread for scooping every last bite.