Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Grilled Lemon Oregano Chicken Thighs

This recipe was based around a zested lemon and some open red wine. I used them as a marinade, but sliced half the lemon instead of using just the juice. I then added the slices to the grill, allowing them to caramelize and become sweet and chewy, while still retaining their acidity. The remaining half lemon was juiced to dress the salad.

This was served with a Greek orzo and spinach salad, which made enough for dinner the next night. You have to love summer food... make ahead salads and grilled meat. Simple and tasty!

Make the marinade by combining the following in a resealable plastic bag:

1/4 cup red wine
1/2 lemon, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of dried chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt


5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Close the bag, removing as much air as possible.

Place it into the fridge to marinade for 2 - 4 hours.

On the barbecue, or in a grill pan, cook the chicken, turning often and basting with the marinade.

Add the lemon slices from the marinade for the last 10 minutes of cooking, turning often, but allowing them to caramelize nicely.

Remove the chicken and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Leave the lemon slices on the heat if needed.

Add diced grape tomato, red pepper, cucumber, green onion and shredded fresh spinach to cooked and cooled orzo. Use the juice from the other lemon half and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste to dress the salad. Crumble feta cheese on top.

Serve the hot chicken alongside the warm orzo salad. Garnish the plate with some of the grilled lemon slices.

  • As I am only cooking for two people right now, 5 chicken thighs was more than enough. Of course, you can multiply the recipe as many times as you wish.
  • You can also use the marinade for other meats such as chicken breasts; cubed chicken breast, beef or lamb for kebabs; pork tenderloin; leg of lamb; prawns.
  • Grilling the lemon slices allows the natural sugars to caramelize. It also softens the rind, turning it nice and chewy.
  • Using skin on chicken thighs will add a crunchiness to the meat as the skin will crisp up during cooking.
  • If you don't have whole lemons, use juice instead. Add 1 tablespoon to the marinade.
  • Limes, oranges or grapefruit can be substituted for the lemon.
  • For a recipe such as this I prefer to use dried oregano; it has a very different taste to fresh. The choice is completely yours to make. Other herbs can be used instead of, or as well as, oregano...rosemary, basil or tarragon.

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