Feta-Brined Grilled Chicken

Chicken thighs are enhanced by the salty and delicious brine made of Feta, which keeps the meat moist while using all the containers of Feta contains.

Chicken marinade

Two containers of feta cheese each month at our house, and I’ve started to utilize the zingy brine for marinades and rice pilafs instead of throwing it away. In this recipe, the brine is enriched by chicken thighs, while the brine’s salt will carry the aromatic ingredients beneath the surface. To get the maximum benefit from the brine flavor, you can use a slotted spoon to separate any leftover pieces of Feta before making the marinade.

If you are buying only crumbly Feta that’s not packed in brine, you can substitute it for a one-quarter cup each of brine with dill, plain yogurt here. Adjust the salt according to your preference. You can also follow the cookbook’s author Melissa Clark’s instructions and blend several ounces of Feta itself using water.


  • 1/2 cup feta brine (from 1 [14-ounce] container) (such as Valbreso)
  • One small shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • Three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Two teaspoons honey
  • Two medium cloves of garlic chopped or grated (about one teaspoon)
  • One teaspoon dried oregano, or one tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about eight thighs)
  • Cooking spray
  • Kosher salt


  1. Mix feta brine, shallot lemon juice, zest oil, honey oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper, using the help of a fork inside a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Incorporate chicken into marinade; mix to coat. Close the bag and store it for at least four hours up to 24 hours, rotating it now and then.
  2. Make a medium-hot flame on charcoal grills or heat a charcoal grill to medium heat (450degF or 500degF). Remove the chicken from the bag and scrape away the excess marinade. Sprinkle chickens with cooking spray, then grill covered on well-oiled grills, turning frequently until slightly charred and cooked to perfection, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chop into large pieces. Serve with your favorite salad.


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