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As I’m sitting here writing today’s post, I’m already looking forward to the next time my husband Jack makes this Mediterranean Grilled Chicken!
Super juicy chicken thighs that were first marinated in an unusual (but incredibly delicious) zesty, paste-like brine made from feta cheese, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, capers and fresh oregano. The chicken is grilled to perfection – then topped with an equally zesty mix of capers, olives, feta cheese, tomatoes and pepperoncini.
(As I write this, I’m licking my lips just remembering how delicious this dish tasted!)
We served this Mediterranean Grilled Chicken over rice – which is the perfect accompaniment because all of those flavorful juices from the chicken and the Mediterranean-inspired topped are absorbed by the rice. So – you can enjoy every last wonderful taste!
We prepared this Mediterranean Grilled Chicken using bone-in chicken thighs, but the brine will work equally as well with any other bone-in chicken pieces, or with chicken wings served as an appetizer. Enjoy!
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Mediterranean Grilled Chicken
- 1/2 cup shallots
- 2 large garlic cloves
- Juice and zest from one lemon
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup stemmed jarred pepperoncini
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1 small to medium bunch fresh parsley with stems
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano
- 8 whole peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of liquid taken from a mix of the capers, olives and pepperoncini jars
- 1/4 pound feta cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups water
- 3–5 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, legs or wings)
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons pepperoncini, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/4 pound crumbled feta cheese
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Few grinds black pepper
- Olive oil – to brush chicken before grilling
- Kosher salt – to top chicken before grilling
- Black pepper – to coat chicken before grilling
- In the bowl of a food processor, place shallots and process until finely chopped. Add garlic, lemon zest and juice, olives, pepperoncini, capers, parsley, oregano, peppercorns, salt, liquid from jars and feta cheese. Process to form a thick paste then slowly add oil with motor running. Add water and mix to combine. The mixture will be thick.
- Place chicken pieces in one or more gallon zip lock bags and pour in brine. Seal and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight.
- Remove from bags and rinse chicken. Discard brine.
- Place paper towels on a tray and place rinsed chicken onto the paper towels. Use more paper towels to dry the tops. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- While chicken is resting, make white rice according to package directions.
- Also heat your outdoor grill to high.
- Finally mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until later.
- When ready to grill, brush both sides of the chicken in oil and sprinkle the skin side with salt and pepper. (Always oil your food, never the grill)
- Grill skin down for just two minutes to crisp skin. (Be careful with thighs as they are fatty and may cause a flare up and burn).
- After two minutes, reduce grill to a low heat and move chicken to an upper rack if possible or to a cooler side of the grill, skin side up. Cover grill and cook for 13-15 more minutes until cooked through. If your grill has a thermometer, try to keep in the 350 to 400 degree F range.
- Remove from grill and serve over the cooked rice and topped with the topping.
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