A Greek restaurant in our neighborhood makes an outstanding lemon and oregano chicken. I have been trying to replicate it for a while, trying a variety of recipes. This is the best. It is also super easy.
This one is based on an Ina Garten recipe. She has several roasted chicken recipes. I like her method in this skillet roasted recipe. She has different spices, and I don’t use as much olive oil, but this was my starting point.
One key to this recipe is a butterflied chicken (also called spatchcocked chicken). We have our butcher do this, which speeds up the prep time. It isn’t too tough to do at home though. Butterflying means cutting the backbone out of the chicken. Lay the chicken on a cutting board with the breast side down, and use a chef’s knife to make cuts along both sides of backbone. Pull the backbone out, flip the cut side down, and press the bird into the cutting board. This flattens the chicken which is key to cooking quickly and evenly. A whole roasted chicken would take about 75 minutes to cook, so this saves about 25-30 minutes.
If you want to change things up, this recipe can work with thyme instead of oregano. Adding carrots cut to 2 inch chunks to the pan and/or a sliced bulb of fennel and works well with the thyme too.