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Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken

Greek Lemon Chicken marinates all day while you’re at work, and when you get home dinner is ready to go in the oven! This Greek Lemon Chicken is absolutely delicious and it’s also low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, and Whole 30! Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken found on KalynsKitchen.com
Anyone who visits this blog regularly (and thank you for that!) will know that I’ve been updating older recipe with better photos for quite a few years now, and even though I’m pretty systematic and diligent about those updates, occasionally I still stumble on a recipe back in the archives with a pretty bad photo.  And recently when I saw this recipe for Greek Lemon Chicken that I first posted in 2007, it went right to the top of my “must update photos” list.  

I don’t know how many people still roast chicken at home now that it’s so inexpensive to just grab a rotisserie chicken at the store, but I promise that not only is this chicken delicious, but the wonderful smell that fills your house while the chicken is roasting makes it worth the little bit of extra effort.  Greek Lemon Chicken marinates all day in a plastic bag in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, and Greek spices, and in the evening you just pop it in the oven for an easy dinner in about an hour.

Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
Mix the fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, Greek seasoning, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make the marinade.  Tying the chicken is optional, but I like to do it. Put the chicken in a plastic bag with the marinade and let it marinate all day in the fridge.

Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
I rig up a roasting pan by putting a rack inside a baking dish, which lets the hot air circulate under the chicken, but you can roast it just on a baking sheet as well.  Start the chicken with breast side down and cook at 450F/220C for 25 minutes.

Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
Then turn the chicken over, lower the heat to 350F/180C and cook 35-45 minutes more.  (I use an Instant-Read Meat Thermometerto cook until the chicken reaches 170F.)

Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
You can broil the chicken for a couple of minutes if you’d like to brown the top a bit more, but even if you skip that step, this chicken is pretty photogenic!

Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken Recipe found on KalynsKitchen.com
This would taste great with Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine NutsSlow Roasted Asparagus (which can cook at the same time as the chicken), or Mary’s Perfect Salad Dressing on spring lettuce mix for a low-carb meal.

Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
Whole chicken, about 4-5 pounds (I used a chicken from Costco for this photo)

Marinade Ingredients:
1/3 cup olive oil, good quality
1/4 cup lemon juice (You could use fresh-frozen lemon juice for this recipe)
1 T Greek seasoning, see note below
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional but recommended)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

I usually tie the chicken with string, but you don’t have to. Mix marinade ingredients in measuring cup. Put chicken in large Ziploc bag, pour marinade over, then zip bag shut and mix well, until chicken is well coated. Put in fridge all day while you’re at work.

After work, preheat oven to 450F/220C, drain marinade off and put chicken in glass or heavy metal roasting pan, breast side down. (I like to use a pan with a rack in it so the hot air circulates under the chicken, but any roasting pan or baking dish will work.)

Roast about 25 minutes, then turn breast side up and baste with pan juices. Lower heat to 350 and roast about another 35-45 minutes, or until top is browned and Instant-Read Meat Thermometer reads about 170. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes for a 5 pound chicken. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Greek Seasoning:
I like Sunny Greek Islands Salt-Free Seasoning from The Spice House for this recipe, but any Greek Seasoning will work.  If you don’t have Greek Seasoning, I’d use 1 tsp each oregano, garlic powder and marjoram; or other spices you like on chicken.  (The Spice House has not paid me to mention their Greek Seasoning, and they have no idea I’m writing about it here.)  

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Those who are South Beach Dieters should let other family members have the legs and thighs and eat the breast meat, which has less saturated fat. With that caution, this would be a great dish for the South Beach Diet, and it would also work for most low-carb eating plans, even Keto.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Low-Carb Ideas for Chicken:
Pan-Grilled Chicken with Green Olive, Caper, and Lemon Relish ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Low-Carb Thai Curry Chicken Wings ~ All Day I Dream About Food

Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Clean Eating Low-Carb Bok Choy Cashew Chicken ~ The Gracious Pantry

Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Oven Baked Crispy Chicken ~ Barefeet in the Kitchen

Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken found on KalynsKitchen.com
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54 comments on “Marinate-All-Day Greek Lemon Chicken”

  1. Hi Kaylan,

    I’ve been visiting for a couple of weeks now and decided to let you know. Very nice site you have here. Beautiful photos, delicious looking recipes and great low-carb information. I had been thinking of going low-carb for a couple of months and finally started on Monday (Jan 9), so your site is really a great find.

    I’m very new to food blogging (started in Oct ’05) and was wondering if “Weekend Herb Blogging” is open to all who are interested or if it is only for a particular group of food bloggers. It seems interesting and I was thinking I might like to try it.

    Glad I found your site, though I don’t remember how I ran across it. Thanks for being here!

  2. Aw, that comment above is so sweet. (Psst: Mixed Masala! You can join in Weekend Herb Blogging! C’mon!)
    Kalyn: You’re tagged!

  3. Oh, I LOVE Greek Chicken! I make a slow cooker version and it is the only recipe I know that can make me salivate just from the aroma. YUM!

  4. Hi Kalyn,
    It made me smile reading that you had to resist to baste the chicken with melted butter 😉 Because that’s what I learned from my grandma and as much as I try to cut back on excessive use of butter, I just love it too much to be successful in doing so…

  5. Great looking roast chicken. I will def try this recipe. I’ve bookmarked already…

  6. Awesome picture! kalyn, your dishes are always flavoured with a balanced and aromatic choice of seasonings with herbs, as always, it’s very tempting! happy weekend!

  7. Hey, thanks to all my friends for their nice comments. Everyone, this is sooooo delicious, I do hope you will try it.

  8. Hello,

    I tried this recipe and i want everybody to know that low carb do taste good.

  9. Historical update: Comments before this one are from the original post in early 2006. Fun to see some familiar names!

  10. This sounds delicious! The picture is making my mouth water – the chicken looks wonderful and crispy.

  11. I’ve been roasting my chickens just about like this for many years now. The first time I tried it with lemon and thyme and was just totally blown away with such incredible flavor! It was a stunning discovery.

  12. Kaylan,

    This recipe took me back! My yia-yia (Greek grandma) used to make Greek chicken all the time when I was little and I used to think “Do we have to eat this all the time?”. Now I would love to eat it ALL THE TIME!

    I love reading your blog, it’s like food porn.

  13. Ohhh my goodness this chicken looks YUMMY and actually like something I can do too 😀 Always looking for good chicken recipes, thank you SO SO much, Carm

  14. I lost 20 pounds last year on SBD, but alas, feel off the wagon last October. I gained back 10 pounts. So now it is back to the grindstone for 2009! This recipe looks fantastic and will be a good way to get back into the swing of things. My husband will be sure to love it as well. Thanks for a GREAT site!

  15. I also love Grecian Cvhicken, and today I am going to try to make some myself. I have been studying this recipe for a while and finally decided to grill it. Thanks for the tips!!!!

  16. Hope you like it. This should be good on the grill. (And this is a very old post, and I'm hating that top photo; must make it again!)

  17. I prepared this recipe last night and let me just tell you, between three people, that chicken got DEMOLISHED! Delicious, healthy, and from now on, a staple in our household. Great recipe!

  18. Glad you liked it. (And wow, does this need a new photo!)

  19. Roast chicken is great any way you do it! I want to know recipes on what to do with the left overs? I bag them in 4 oz baggies for daily eating but I need ideas on how to make tasty small meals with it. I also make broth/stock with the bones and guts! I make sure it is fat free and it usually take me 2 days to make it. But chicken with salad is getting a little tiresome. I love your blog! It gives me inspiration to keep on losing weight and cooking well.

  20. You can enter "diced chicken" or "leftover chicken" into the blog search bar and find all the recipes for cooked chicken.

  21. I'm still a roast chicken fan, and I make one nearly every week. And you know I'm a fan of Greek seasoning, too!

  22. Wowza, this looks amazing!!

  23. I'd eat a large portion of this right now for an amazing breakfast if I could! Wow, Kalyn! The thing about store-bought rotisserie chickens for those of us who are gluten free is so often they are not gluten free. We'll be told they're gluten free and then have a reaction to only find out that they've been cooked under the gluten-full chickens (or have been "glutenated" in some other way). So finding an easy and fabulous recipe so we can make divine roast chicken at home is very important. Absolutely love this recipe, Kalyn! And I think it's perfect for dinner with a friend who'll be visiting next week. With salad and a vegetable dish, it will make for a very lovely meal.

    Thanks, dear!
    Shirley

    • Thanks Shirley. I've heard that about rotisserie chicken and I am so puzzled as t owhy they need to add something with gluten to roasted chicken. So wrong. Glad you like this recipe.

    • You're welcome, of course! I know on the gluten factor … so wrong and so crazy. I'll admit that at times I really miss the convenience of being able to pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Costco has gluten-free rotisserie chicken, but Costco is a half hour away and not in a spot I visit. Admittedly the store-bought chickens never come close to a home-cooked chicken made from a recipe like this one though! Thanks again!

  24. Could you use chicken breasts in this marinade instead of the whole chicken – or would you need to make some adaptations? I love your site and use it all of the time.

    • Hi Susie, thanks for the nice feedback on the site. I do have a recipe where I marinate chicken breasts in something very similar to this and then grill it, but what is sometimes problematic with chicken breasts is the way they can dry out in the oven. What I would do (although it's a little unorthodox) is make the marinade, marinate the chicken in about 3/4 of it but save the rest. Then when it's time to cook, take the chicken out of the marinade, put in a baking pan, pour over the small amount of marinade you saved, and bake at about 400. Not sure how long it would take, you'd have to watch it.

      And I've never thought of it before, but I'm thinking that chicken breasts with this marinade and cooked in a stove-top grill pan would be really good. Might have to experiment with an actual recipe for that!

  25. I can never resist grabbing whole fryers when they are on sale, so I always have about 3-4 in the freezer. Even though rotisserie chicken is good, it can't compare with home roasted. Can I ask you a question about reposting and updated post – do you just update the published date? What happens to the old post and link?

  26. Yes, it does keep the same url (as long as you don't change the date, just edit and then "update" the post.) I how excited I was when Blogger made this change; what a great feature!

  27. Wow, this is definitely something that I could make andI know the whole family will love. I have thought about going back to redo photos from my older posts. Do you delete the old post? do you rename it? Or do you give it a new name?

    • Marlene, I have been updating older photos for about 6 or 7 years now. It depends on what blogging platform you use, but on Blogger you can just update the original post and it doesn't break the link. (E-mail me if you're using Blogger and I can share the instructions.)

  28. I've honestly never marinated a whole chicken before! And I love lemon + chicken, so this is a sure thing for certain. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ~ Anne

  29. It looks amazing! really the only reason i grow rosemary is for moments like this one:)

  30. Fantastic job Kalyn! Here's a small tip from us (being native Greeks). You can slide in a thick stick of feta in the chicken's belly. It will roast along with the chicken and will taste amazing when served along side the meat.
    Again, excellent work!
    Panos and Mirella

  31. I love the idea of using feta in the chicken from the other commenter ! My question is how long do you think this would take in a slow cooker ? Would love to make it during the summer without heating up the house. I'm positively drooling over this recipe ! BB

  32. I’m definitely going to make this recipe. We’ve always loved roast chicken. Even now that we’re empty nesters, one roast chicken gives us two meals. Thanks for the explanation of Greek seasoning. I personally don’t like to buy premixed herbs. I’d rather mix my own as needed. 

  33. Pingback: 78 Dairy Free Low Carb Keto Recipes - My Productive Backyard

  34. Your recipes are absolutely fabulous.  I find myself lost for hours just looking at your delicious offerings.  This one sounds so good I am going to go out tomorrow and buy a chicken just to make it.  Just FYI, I buy penzeys greek seasoning and it is really awesome too.  Thank goodness I have a brand new bottle to test on this recipe!

  35. Follow up comment…  I made the chicken the other night and during dinner my hunny asked me to make “a couple for the game” on Sunday!   I doubled the marinade and used the extra to marinate some quartered vidalia onions. I threw them  in a separate bag to marinate as well. I put them  on the bottom of the roasting pan I used and it made a great side addition to the dish.  This chicken was so moist and delicious. Definitely a keeper and yes I will be making three on Sunday for his football buddies!  P.S. Thanks about the name

  36. Trying this tonight! Ran out of marjoram. Used poultry seasoning instead. Love, love, love roast chicken! And the leftovers! Thanks so much! You do a wonderful job on your recipes, Kalyn!

  37. Hey Kayln,

    Tried this recipe and I loved it. I spatchedcocked the chicken, removed the backbone, broke he breast bone with my chef’s knife so that the chicken would lie flat (as-in butterflied). One, so that more skin area has a chance to crisp up and two, quicker cooking time. I shaved 15 minutes off the 45 minutes at 350. I used my own Greek seasoning as in I didn’t have specific Greek seasoning. I also used a fresh lemon and zest. Massively fragrant while cooking and potent flavor in eating. I love anything with lemon in it and this chicken is the bomb!

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