Kota Riganati: Greek Chicken

Greek Chicken - Kota Riganati. Photo © Lynn Livanos Athan
  • 69 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 54 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ratings (13)

A traditional favorite that is known the world over, Greek Chicken, or Kota Riganati, features the quintessential Greek flavors of olive oil, lemon, garlic and oregano. There should be no measurements for the oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a traditional version of this recipe--that's because a seasoned Greek cook would just add them by sight, smell and instinct. If you are not comfortable working this way, start with a tablespoon of oregano, a tablespoon or two of salt and a teaspoon of pepper and garlic powder. Smell the dish--if it seems too mild add a bit more.

Most oregano on the supermarket shelves is Mediterranean oregano. You want to be sure to use this variety--or, better yet, specifically the Greek variety--and not Mexican oregano, which has some notes of licorice and citrus. Greek oregano has an earthy and savory tone to it and will make this dish truly authentic.

What You'll Need

  • 4 lbs. chicken (whole fryer cut up or pieces, bone in)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons lemon juice (Juice of 4 lemons, plus more for serving if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
  • 6 to 8 tbsp. butter (or butter substitute)
  • 1/2 cup water

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. After washing and patting chicken dry with paper towels, place pieces skin-side up in a large, non-reactive baking pan. (stainless steel is best).
  3. Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and the lemon juice.
  4. Generously season with oregano, salt and pepper and sprinkle moderately with garlic powder.
  5. Place a small pat of butter (about a tablespoon) or butter substitute on each piece of chicken.
  1. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Flip chicken pieces over and baste generously with pan juices. Bake an additional 20 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from oven and change oven heat setting to broil. Move oven rack to upper third of oven.
  4. Baste chicken again and broil skin side down until chicken is lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from the oven. Carefully drain pan juices and reserve in a heat-proof cup or bowl. The fat will separate from the pan juices and can be discarded.
  6. Flip chicken pieces again (skin side up) and broil an additional 5 to 7 minutes until chicken is nicely golden brown. Be careful not to scorch.
  7. Transfer chicken to a platter and drizzle with de-fatted pan juices. Squeeze additional lemon juice over chicken if desired.