If you've never had Feta-Brined Roast Chicken before, you are in for the surprise of your life, because it's THAT GOOD. All other chicken roasting methods should bow before it.
For the brine and chicken:
- 2 ounces feta cheese
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cups water
- 3 1/2 to 4 pounds whole chicken
For the spice rub:
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, Greek or Mediterranean-style preferred
- 2 large lemons
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
To roast and finish:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 5 ounces mixed baby greens
1 Make the feta brine: Place the feta cheese, salt, and water in a blender. Process until the feta cheese has broken down into small bits and the salt is dissolved.
2 Brine the chicken: Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag or other container. Pour the brine into the bag or container and seal. If the chicken is not fully submerged, turn the chicken over once or twice during the brining time. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
3 Dry the chicken, and bring it to room temperature: When the chicken has finished brining, place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the chicken from the brine, letting as much of the brine drip off the chicken and back into the bag or container. Place the chicken on the wire rack and discard the brine.
Using paper towels, pat dry the chicken as much as possible all over. Let the chicken dry on the rack and come to room temperature for an hour.
4 Preheat the oven to 450°F.
5 Season the chicken: Make the spice rub by combining the parsley, salt, pepper, and oregano in large bowl. Zest both lemons and stir into the rub. Slice the lemons in half.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil all over the chicken, then sprinkle and massage the rub into and all over the chicken skin. Place three of the lemon halves into the cavity of the chicken, reserving the fourth half for serving. Truss and tie the chicken legs together.
6 Roast the chicken: Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a large 12-inch cast iron skillet. Heat on high until the oil starts to smoke. Carefully place the herb-rubbed chicken, breast up, into the skillet, then place it in the oven.
Roast the chicken, basting once or twice, for 50 to 60 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F. If you do not have a thermometer, pierce the thigh with a skewer or a knife. The chicken is done if the juice runs clear.
7 Let the chicken rest: After the chicken has finished cooking and you've removed it from the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes in the pan. While the chicken is resting, sprinkle the feta cheese into the pan juices all around the chicken.
8 Serve: When the chicken is ready to be served, place the mixed greens on a serving platter. Serve the chicken on the mixed greens with the pan juices and feta cheese drizzled all over the chicken and greens, along with the juice from the reserved lemon half.