Greek Festival Lemon Chicken

by Hilary Gauntt on September 7, 2017

Every June the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego holds a three day festival of wonderful food and dancing. Church members spend weeks preparing all kinds of Greek food and pastries, with volunteers working the grills to prepare this classic Lemon chicken, with garlic and oregano. It’s a simple marinade, but after grilling each piece is dipped back into more of the warmed, reserved sauce and that’s what makes this special.

I poured the remaining delicious marinade over the chicken and the sauteed corn I was serving it with. I suggest you do the same!

1 cup vegetable oil

2 Tbs. dried oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Juice of 2 or 3 lemons

4 bone-in chicken breast halves (or whole chicken legs, or a combination)

Pour oil into a bowl and stir in oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Slowly add in lemon juice, stirring well. After adding juice of two lemons, taste and add more juice if you prefer the flavor to be more lemony. ( I did.)

Divide the marinade in half; use half to marinade the chicken and reserve the rest.

Put the chicken with half the marinade in a covered bowl or zip-top bag and place in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.

To grill chicken, use mesquite charcoal if possible. When fire is very hot, lay chicken pieces on grill, discarding the marinade. Grill chicken, turning once, (8-10 minutes per side, depending on thickness of the meat) until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. While chicken is grilling, warm up remaining marinade (you can do this in a pot on the grill if there’s space.) Remove chicken from grill and dunk each piece once into warm, reserved marinade. Serve right away. Serves 4.
Note: My breasts were quite large, so I cut each half breast in half before marinading. Added the full amount of lemon juice and a bit extra garlic powder. Considered using fresh garlic and oregano, but honestly this is so easy and delicious it doesn’t seem necessary!

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