Feta Brined Roast Chicken
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- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 - 2 tablespoons cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano
- 2 large lemons
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 large bunch arugula or other salad greens, for serving
- One 3 1/2 to 4 pound whole chicken
1. Prepare your brine a day ahead. Combine 2 ounces feta cheese, with teaspoons salt, and 4 cups of water in a blender until smooth. Place whole chicken in a large freezer bag or container, then cover with feta brine. Let marinate in fridge for at least 8 hours.
2. Prior to cooking, remove chicken from brine and place on a paper towel lined tray (discard brine). Pat chicken dry with paper towels, and let sit for 1 hour to bring to room temperature.
3. In a small mixing bowl, mix 1 ½ teaspoons salt, pepper, oregano, 1 tablespoons worth of lemon zest. Cover the chicken in the herb mix, massaging it into the entire bird. Cut lemons in half and place 3 halves in chicken cavity (save remaining half for serving). Tie legs together using kitchen twine.
4. Heat oven to 450F. On the stove, heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat until the oil begins to smoke. Place chicken breast side up in the pan. Transfer entire pan to oven. Cook for about 50-60 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165F, and the juices run clear when pierced.
5. When cooked, remove from oven and crumble remaining feta into juices in pan, giving everything a stir. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve over a bed of greens, with feta pan juices on top, and squeeze of lemon juice from the reserved half lemon.