Recipes Main Courses Poultry and Game Chicken with Lemon and Oregano
Chicken with Lemon and Oregano

Chicken with Lemon and Oregano

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 80 minutes
Servings: 4 Serves 4.

This chicken is enhanced with a wonderful sauce seasoned with the simple flavors of the Mediterranean–lemon, olives, garlic and oregano.


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb., cut into 8 serving pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, such as Kalamata, slivered
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth


Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a 3-quart deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until nearly smoking. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the oregano evenly over the pieces. Working in batches, arrange the chicken skin side down in the pan and cook, turning once, until crispy and golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken pieces to a platter as they are browned.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and half of the lemon zest to the pan. Sauté, stirring often, until the garlic is tender and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, return the chicken to the pan and transfer to the oven.

Roast the chicken, turning occasionally to coat with the pan juices, until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. About 15 minutes before the chicken is done, add the olives, sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbs. oregano over the top and continue roasting.

When the chicken is done, transfer the pieces to a warmed platter and set the pan over medium heat. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Cook until the juices are reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Pour juices over chicken, garnish with the remaining zest and serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Inspired by Williams-Sonoma, Savoring Italy, by Michele Scicolone (Time-Life Books, 1999).