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Brined Pan Roasted Chicken

By Chef John Ash

A new, delicate flavor profile is added to a family favorite recipe by adding feta cheese to the brine. Pair this dish with The Cutrer chardonnay.

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    Serves 6

    Total Time 9 hours

    Prep Time 8 hours

    Difficulty Level Medium


    6 oz feta cheese, crumbled

    Kosher salt

    6 large bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)

    3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

    2 tbsp dried oregano, preferably Greek

    Extra-virgin olive oil

    3 medium lemons, 2 sliced and the 3rd cut into wedges for serving

    6 peeled garlic cloves, cut in thirds lengthwise

    2/3 c black olives

    1 qt gently packed spicy greens such as arugula, upland cress, nasturtium leaves and flowers or a combination


    1. Combine 4 ounces feta, 2 teaspoons salt and 4 cups water in a blender and blend until smooth. Put chicken in a container or ziplock bag large enough to submerge chicken and cover with the feta brine. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

    2. Remove chicken from brine, discarding brine and pat chicken dry with paper towels.

    3. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, pepper, oregano and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Massage this mixture into the chicken thighs on all sides.

    4. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until it shimmers.

    5. Place thighs skin side down and cook for 5 – 8 minutes or until skin is nicely browned and crisp. Turn and cook for a couple of minutes on the flesh side. Place sliced lemons, garlic cloves and olives under and over the chicken and place pan in oven and cook until

    6. Remove pan from oven sprinkle remaining crumbled feta into juices in pan. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes and then serve on a bed of greens drizzled with the feta laced pan juices and lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over if desired.

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