Rating: 4.5 stars
18 Ratings
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  • 4 star values: 5
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A tangy, savory feta cheese filling is stuffed under the skin of this roast chicken. Though the filling appears dry after baking, the taste and texture are anything but.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

1 hr 10 mins
15 mins
1 hr 55 mins
30 mins
1 5-pound chicken


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Crumble feta cheese into a bowl. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, lemon zest, oregano, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Mix and smear into a smooth paste with the back of a spoon. Reserve lemon juice for the sauce.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  • Season chicken cavity with salt and stuff rosemary and oregano inside. Tie legs together with string, season surface with salt, and tuck wingtips under. Place chicken in a roasting pan.

  • Tuck fingers under the skin where the breast starts and lift it away from the flesh. Push a small rubber spatula between the skin and flesh and continue loosening the skin all the way down towards the wing. Repeat on the other side. Push a spoonful of the feta filling under the skin. Smooth over the surface of the skin to distribute filling evenly underneath. Repeat until filling is used up.

  • Rub 2 teaspoons olive oil onto the chicken, smoothing over the skin. Dust the top with cayenne and season with kosher salt.

  • Roast in the preheated oven until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 155 to 160 degrees F (68 to 71 degrees C), about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes.

  • While the chicken is resting, pour off all, some, or none of the fat from the pan, and add lemon juice. Set over medium heat, and use the juice to deglaze the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a splash of broth and adjust seasonings. Slice chicken and spoon sauce on top.

Chef's Notes:

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.

Any 3- to 5-pound chicken will work in this. 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.

Nutrition Facts

826 calories; protein 34.9g; carbohydrates 3g; fat 74.4g; cholesterol 145.2mg; sodium 346.9mg. Full Nutrition