Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano
I love this Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano, and this is a perfect recipe for an easy summer dinner.
I got home late last night from a long weekend in Savannah, where I had a great time with my friend Donna. We had fun sampling the local food, and I even got a few ideas for recipes that I could adapt into a healthier version for the blog, which is always fun. One place where we absolutely loved the food was The Wyld. If you make it to Savannah, we both consider that a must-try!
And the okra dish we had there (with no breading!) was one of the healthiest and tastiest things we tried on our trip. I’ve never been a big okra fan, but the Fried Okra at The Wyld showed me how good it can be.
So today I’m easing back into work by reminding you of this favorite Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano. How do you feel about capers?
I’m a big fan of these little unripened flower buds that are used in cooking to add flavor to salads, dressings, sauces, vegetables, and meat dishes, so this recipe that adds capers and some caper brine to the marinade is one of my favorites. The recipe also has dried oregano and lemon, two ingredients that I think really bring out the flavors of grilled chicken.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- boneless-skinless chicken breasts
- olive oil
- fresh squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
- Dried Oregano (affiliate link)
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link), or crushed fresh garlic
- caper juice (brine from the jar)
- Capers (affiliate link)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
Tips for Making Juicy Grilled Chicken Breasts:
This recipe was created as part of a series on how to make juicy grilled chicken breasts, and if you’re not that experienced at making grilled chicken breasts (or especially if your chicken breasts get dry on the grill) you may want to read that post before you make this.
What are Capers?
The Spruce Eats can tell you what capers are if you’re not familiar with them. And my blogging friend Lydia has also done a great job writing about capers at the Perfect Pantry, so read that too if you’re not familiar with this favorite ingredient of mine.
How can you tell when grilled chicken is fully cooked?
I love to use anInstant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) to test my check to make sure it’s done. Chicken needs to cook to 165F/75C on the grill. If you don’t have a thermometer like that, fully cooked grilled chicken should be firm but not hard to the touch when you press down with a finger.
What if you don’t have an outdoor grill?
How to make Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano:
(Scroll down for complete printable recipe, including nutritional information.)
- Trim the chicken breasts; then cut small slits crosswise going down each breast.
- Chop up the capers well so they’ll mix with other ingredients in the marinade.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, garlic puree, caper juice, chopped capers, and black pepper to make the flavorful marinade.
- Put chicken in a large Ziploc bag, add the marinade, and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator, preferably 4-6 hours or longer.
- When you’re ready to cook, dump the chicken into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain well while you spray the grill with oil or non-stick grilling spray and preheat to medium-high.
- You want to lay the chicken diagonally across the grill grates to get those nice marks, then cook 3-4 minutes on the first angle.
- Lift up one piece of chicken to see if the grill marks are as dark as you’d like them, and when they are, rotate each piece of chicken so it’s going at the opposite angle and cook 3-4 minutes more.
- Then turn each piece of chicken over and cook 2-3 minutes more, or until the chicken feels firm (but not hard) to the touch when you press down on it with your finger.
- Don’t overcook! Serve the chicken hot and wait for compliments.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
In the photo the chicken is served with a simple salad of cucumber and olives tossed with Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing (affiliate link). It would also be great with Grilled Zucchini, Grilled Mushrooms, Easy Grilled Vegetables, Air Fryer Turnip Fries, or Stir-Fried Spinach with Garlic and Parmesan on the side.
More Delicious Dinners with Chicken:
- 4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
- 1 tsp. garlic puree (or crushed fresh garlic)
- 1/2 T caper juice
- 2 T finely chopped capers (or use less if you’re not wild about capers)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Trim all fat and tendons from chicken breasts and trim underneath side if needed so chicken pieces are all the same thickness.
- Make small slits crosswise going down each chicken breast to help the marinade penetrate.
- Use a chef’s knife to finely chop capers.
- Crush the oregano with a rolling pin or meat mallet.
- Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic puree, caper juice, chopped capers, and black pepper. (You could also put all the marinade ingredients in a blender and process them rather than chopping the capers and crushing the oregano.)
- Lay chicken flat in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator, preferably 4-6 hours or longer.
- When you're ready to cook, drain chicken well in a colander placed in the sink.
- Spray the grill grates with non-stick spray, then preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that temperature.)
- Lay the chicken pieces at an angle to the grill grates and cook for 3-4 minutes without moving.
- Then lift the edge of one piece of chicken to see if grill marks are as dark as you’d like them.
- When they look good, rotate the chicken to the opposite angle and cook 3-4 minutes more on the first side.
- When you have good grill marks, turn chicken to the opposite side and cook 2-3 minutes more (or longer for very thick chicken breasts.)
- Chicken is done when it feels firm (but not hard) to the touch when you press down on it with your finger.
- Don’t overcook. Serve hot.
- This chicken could also be cooked in a stove-top grill pan with ridges or a George Foreman Grill with good results (affiliate links).
You might want to read how to make juicy and perfect grilled chicken breasts before you make this.
This recipe is adapted from 2001 Chicken Recipes. (affiliate link)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 252mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 38g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano would make a great main course for a low-carb, Keto, or low-glycemic meal, or for any phase of the original South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to see more tasty ideas for grilled chicken! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2007. I’ve made it over and over since then, and the recipe was last updated with more information in 2022.