Grilled Greek chicken is a flavorful, easy to make grilled chicken dinner. Chicken breasts or thighs are flavored with Greek spices, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, then grilled until tender.
The first time I visited Greece, I was alone, as new graduate. I stopped off in Corfu, a small island just off the coast.I remember hiking with a few other, post-college kids, I’d met on the ferry over from Brindisi. We’d heard of Greek “wineries” (more like guys who made wine), nestled in the foothills overlooking the Ionian Sea, and decided to see if we could find and taste some of the fabled retsina.
We found an old gentleman who made his retsina, the same way his father and his grandfather had made it, by stomping on the grapes, “I Love Lucy” style. We tasted the strong pine-resin flavored wine, which wasn’t really very good. But that was beside the point, it was the experience we were after. He used a funnel to fill up clean glass bottles. We bought 3 or 4, for the four of us and sat on the top of the hill drinking in the beautiful view, nibbling on cheese and bread and sipping retsina.
I hope you enjoy this grilled Greek chicken recipe!
Grilled Greek Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts or thighs (skin and bone-on or skinless and boneless)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- 1-2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs oregano, thyme and rosemary
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
- Optional Greek seasoning to taste
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Coat chicken pieces.
- Marinate chicken for 30 minutes to several hours for maximum flavor.
- Grill or broil chicken depending on cooking method, until done. This will depend on the thickness of your chicken, and whether or not it has a bone.
- Make ahead tip. Add your marinade to a zip-lock bag with chicken pieces and freeze. The day before you are ready to cook chicken, defrost bag in fridge. It will defrost and marinate all at once.
On to Athens, Santorini and finally Crete, I tasted my first Greek Salad, with tangy, creamy feta, delicious Greek Chicken, Moussaka, Patsitsio and ouzo.
My taste buds were never the same again. Since then, my go-to marinade for just about anything is Greek inspired – olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and lots of fresh herbs. Oregano is a signature herb in lots of Greek dishes, but I also use rosemary and thyme. Sometimes I’ll use a tablespoon or so, of my favorite Greek seasoning.
When I want a Greek inspired side dish, I make this simple Greek rice, with a handful of fresh parsley, some oregano and drizzle of olive oil and lemon. You can make it a heartier vegetarian side dish by substituting water for the chicken broth, adding some feta and cannelini beans, making a tabbouleh.
This Greek rice is the perfect side dish with the grilled Greek chicken.
- 2 cups chicken broth substitute water for vegetarian
- 1 cup white rice
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2-3 Tablespoons parsley and oregano chopped
- 1 or 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- In a medium saucepan, bring broth or water to a boil with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Add rice, reduce to low and cook, covered for 18-20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes.
- Fluff rice with fork, drizzle with olive oil, stir in fresh herbs.
- Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Looking for more Greek dishes?