Friday, September 14, 2018

Feta Roast Chicken – Making Chicken Betta with Feta

I really loved everything about this feta roast chicken, as long as I was eating with my eyes closed, and that’s because despite the juicy texture, and wonderful flavor, I had trouble getting past the grainy-looking appearance of the cooked cheese mixture. The good news is, it was mostly an aesthetic issue, and the mouthfeel wasn’t nearly as dry and grainy as it looked. Having said that, the next time I make this I will probably go with a little higher-end sheep’s milk feta which is much softer, and creamier. Speaking of the feta, you may need to add some salt to the mixture, depending how salty the one you use is.

As usual, your roasting time will depend on the size of your chicken, and the feta under the skin will increase the time needed, so check with a thermometer, and shoot for 155-160 F. in the thickest part of the thigh. Surprisingly, even though the feta was only under the breast, the thighs did actually pick up some of the flavor, which is enhanced even further if you create a simple pan sauce from the drippings.

While your chicken is resting, pour off all, some, or none of the fat from the pan, and squeeze in your lemon. Set over medium heat, and use the juice to deglaze the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. You may need/want to add a splash of broth or water, but once hot, and adjusted for seasoning, it’s ready to spoon over your sliced chicken. For an experiment, I thought this was very successful, if not triumphantly so, and I do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one large whole chicken:
1 large whole chicken
kosher salt, as needed
a few fresh rosemary and oregano sprigs
2 teaspoons olive oil for coating chicken
cayenne to taste
For the feta cheese mixture:
4 ounces feta cheese
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
zest from one lemon (save juice for pan sauce)
2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil, or enough to make a smooth paste
salt to taste

14 comments:

Susan A said...

Why not put the stuffing under the skin by the thigh and leg too?

sk8erin8er said...

Why not spread the mixture under the thighs/drumsticks? Would I have to make more of the feta mixture?

Bill said...

When I'm putting seasoning under a chicken's skin, I do it *before* tying the legs. I also go in from both ends -- neck as well as tail.

Scott Cook said...

I made this feta chicken this morning and I can say that it is really outstanding. It's super easy to make but please take your time stuffing the feta mixture under the skin, it'll easily tear.

Unknown said...

Chef John. I enjoyed this feta chicken video. Thank you so much for your work. I'm making friends with good food again. Your chicken recipe got me to thinking about my Mom's chicken paprikash and the ingredients were very simple. Something like roast a chicken seasoned with paprika and make sure to roast in a way that you get a good amount of jus to combine with sour cream to make the gravy. This gravy is awesome! The chicken gets cut up into serving portions. While all that's going on flour and egg dumplings are made. Serve chicken on dumplings with a generous portion of gravy. Probably there was salt and black pepper in there. Do you have a recipe for this or can you use your chef skills create one? Now that the nights are cooler here in the SF Bay Area (I'm south of you down the Peninsula in East Palo Alto) I think about comfort food like this. I a have time-saving idea. How about using pre-made gnocchi instead of homemade dumplings to save time?

Gina L said...

Nobody is going to forget the "Lemon Potato Peppers" slip up... so you'd better come up with a new recipe....! You can do it!

KBO said...

G'day Chef John, Your letter of commendation from the Greek Government should be in the mail any day now! If this isn't already one of the official dishes of Greece then I'll bet Athens to a brick that it soon will be, along with your honorary Greek citizenship! Outstanding combo of flavours or as they say in Greece: Απλά εύγευστος! Cheers, BH

Sheila Harms said...

Great Technique. I'll try it although my ingredients might vary. The commentary is my favorite part of this recipe!

Dax said...

I made this last night. Unfortunately, my butcher gave me a chicken with torn skin on the breast. I should have noticed. It turned out pretty well, and the lemon sauce was good too. Leftovers for lunch today.

frenahlahverreetay said...

I'm making this tonight. Got some nice "double cream" Danish feta.

jacrae said...

I made this for dinner tonight and am eating it right now. This is amazing! A triumph for sure!

shaman said...

Chef John! What a great recipe. Soooo easy and had leftovers for the next day. I loved the lemony, briny feta and oregano melding into the chicken. Will make this again!

Philip Ferrato said...

Nice recipe, one that I'm looking forward to making.

I'll probably blend a few tablespoons of buttermilk or creme fraiche into the feta to smooth it out.

Toklineman said...

I made this for Thanksgiving (I do not care for turkey), and it came out brilliantly. To reduce the cheese to a fine crumble, I used a pastry blender it worked a treat!