17 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

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.

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Ingredients

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

Directions

  • 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.

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  • 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

825 calories; 74.4 g total fat; 145 mg cholesterol; 347 mg sodium. 3 g carbohydrates; 34.9 g protein; Full Nutrition


Reviews (16)

Read All Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/12/2018
I have made this twice almost following the recipe exactly tweaks were due to available ingredients (first time my husband accidentally threw away lemon juice trying to help tidy second time I had no fresh oregano/Rosemary to hand so used fresh sage because it was in house). I did put 1/4 onion and 1/2 of squeezed lemon in body cavity. Fabulous recipe we'll make again and again. Read More
(2)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 4 stars
09/21/2018
First off I did not have the whole chicken on hand but the recipe sounded great and I didn't want to wait. So used five bone-in skin-one chicken thighs that I had on hand. Three of five family members liked it. I enjoyed the dish as it made ordinarily bland chicken more interesting with a nice mediterranean twist. Read More
(4)
17 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
09/21/2018
First off I did not have the whole chicken on hand but the recipe sounded great and I didn't want to wait. So used five bone-in skin-one chicken thighs that I had on hand. Three of five family members liked it. I enjoyed the dish as it made ordinarily bland chicken more interesting with a nice mediterranean twist. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
11/12/2018
I have made this twice almost following the recipe exactly tweaks were due to available ingredients (first time my husband accidentally threw away lemon juice trying to help tidy second time I had no fresh oregano/Rosemary to hand so used fresh sage because it was in house). I did put 1/4 onion and 1/2 of squeezed lemon in body cavity. Fabulous recipe we'll make again and again. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
10/15/2018
This was an easy recipe and turned out pretty good! I loved the feta/garlic flavor with the chicken. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 4 stars
10/10/2018
I think I used too much garlic and my feta was not really strong enough but all in all very good chicken Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2019
Did not have any feta but did have some soft garlic flavored goat cheese worked great so much great flavor Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2019
I made this tonight and it was delicious. I did not change a thing! I served it with a cauliflower riced risotto with asparagus and mushrooms instead of pasta or a potato. A big hit. Thank you Chef John. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
03/19/2019
Chef John here are two thoughts. First what about a mixture of cream cheese and the dried feta? I think that would improve the texture and appearance of the cheese.. Secondly regarding the off color from the cooked cheese and fresh herbs perhaps using dried herbs might improve the appearance although I still prefer the fresh rosemary over dried. Furthermore perhaps finely diced dried tomatoes that are soaked in olive oil may add another contrasting color that improves that appearance and add more flavor to that filling under the skin. What do you think? Cheers very good tasting chicken. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/04/2019
My husband and son said this was the best roast chicken I ve ever made! It was so moist and full of flavor. Served with green beans roasted rosemary potatoes and salad. Couldn t be easier. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2019
Super easy and super delicious. I took Chef John s advice and used a creamy feta. Made alongside oven roasted potatoes Chef John s recipe for (Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes). The leftovers were just as good using the leftover potatoes as home fries alongside a feta omelette. Thanks Chef John! Read More