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It’s the perfect time of year for all kinds of marinated chicken pieces. Wait, isn’t any time of year the perfect time? Don’t like wings? No worries – use drumsticks or thighs! These Greek-style easy marinated drumsticks (or thighs or wings!) are a great crowd pleaser for your next party or picnic.
You’ve got a birthday party coming up. You’ve been asked to take something to share along to an event. You need New Year’s Eve finger food. You’re going on a picnic with friends.
We all need some go-to appetizer or stellar party food ideas. If we can come up with something that’s both easy and tasty, like these Greek marinated chicken wings, drumsticks and thighs, then we know we’re on to a winner.
So what’s so great about this marinated chicken?
- It’s a recipe from the super talented Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats. I first posted this recipe of hers back in 2015. I’ve very slightly tweaked the recipe since then and made it work for chicken pieces rather than just wings. But this is still fairly and squarely Nagi’s brainchild from her amazing book ‘Baked Wings‘.
- There are just 5 marinade ingredients (plus salt and pepper).
- The Greek flavours in the simple Greek chicken marinade just work. There’s a perfect balance between the olive oil, garlic, lemon, honey and oregano.
- It’s a crowd pleaser. The flavours are subtle, but there. There’s no spice so children will love them too.
- Did I mention it’s a super easy idea (my kind of recipe)? Just throw the Greek marinade ingredients together in a ziploc bag, add the chicken pieces and marinate for just an hour. Overnight is better, but in a pinch an hour will be fine.
- Scatter with optional (but recommended) olives and feta cheese to send your roasted chicken soaring from good to amazing. Arrange them on a bed of greens and they look even more stunning!
How to make an easy Greek marinade for chicken
You won’t believe how easy it is. Just whisk up an easy chicken wing marinade with these FIVE classic Greek flavours:
- OLIVE OIL
Plus a bit of salt and pepper of course.
How long to marinate the chicken for
I’ll be honest with you. It puts me off somewhat if I read through a recipe and I find out I have to do something the night before.
IF you remember and have the time, throw the marinade ingredients into a Ziploc bag the night before you want to eat. Then add the drumsticks, thighs or wings (or a mixture!).
Zip the top of the bag then SQUISH and massage the bag with your hands until all the pieces are covered in the marinade.
Place on a plate and pop in the fridge until you’re ready to cook the chicken the next day.
If you don’t remember the night before though (ME), or you’re just too exhausted (ME AGAIN), no worries… Just make sure you marinate the chicken for at least an hour.
I’ll let you into a secret though. I have marinated the chicken for as little as around 15 minutes, and the chicken still turned out delicious. So don’t worry about this part too much.
How to cook it
From here it’s as easy as these 5 steps:
Step 1: Grab a wire rack and a large baking tray with a rim. Line the baking tray with foil (for drip catching!).
Step 2: Use small BBQ tongs to grab the chicken pieces out of the bag and place them on the wire rack.
Step 3: Bake for 35 to 50 minutes. The amount of time you bake for will depend on the chicken pieces you have and their size of course. I’ve added a guide to cooking times below, but it isn’t an exact science. Just bake until your chicken pieces are golden, sticky and delicious looking!
Step 4: Pour the leftover marinade into a small bowl and add a tablespoon more of honey.
So… how long does it take to cook marinated chicken drumsticks, wings and thighs at 350 degrees? (180C)
Hmmm. Great question, right?
As a general rule I cook all kinds of marinated chicken pieces for 35 to 55 minutes, depending on their size.
For chicken wings…
40 minutes is about right for perfect golden and sticky wings. This is how long Nagi cooks hers for in her original recipe!
For chicken drumsticks…
Depending on the size of the drumsticks, I cook them for 40 to 55 minutes. Supermarket drumsticks in Australia seem to be quite big for some reason – I cook those for 55 minutes for delicious golden and sticky chicken legs.
For chicken thighs…
I find that bone in skin on chicken thighs need 40 to 50 minutes depending on their size.
I bake skinless boneless chicken thighs for a bit less time – around 30 to 35 minutes. I find that thighs don’t always look as golden and sticky when they’re cooked as the wings and drumsticks, but they’re still delicious.
For a mixture of drumsticks, thighs and wings
You can even mix it up if you like! In this case, I’d just use the above guide as a general rule and remove the different pieces of chicken from the oven with tongs when they are lovely and golden and sticky looking.
Or just keep it simple and bake for around 45 minutes. Check any of the larger pieces of chicken are done after this time. You can even use a meat thermometer if it makes you feel better.
But don’t stress too much about exact cooking times. I find it’s quite hard to ruin the chicken. Again, it’s usually done when it’s lovely and golden and sticky looking, and of course the juices run clear when you poke it and it’s no longer pink inside.
Pro tip: If in doubt, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The thermometer should read 165 Fahrenheit (if you’re in the USA) or 75 Celsius (if you’re in the UK or Australia!).
Where to buy chicken wings… and how to prepare them
I ask this question because… in the two countries I’ve lived in most recently (the UK and Australia) supermarkets don’t always seem to sell plain old chicken wings.
So if you’d like to use this recipe to make chicken wings (for a Superbowl or New Year’s Eve party, maybe?), and you can’t find them in the supermarket, pop into your local butcher. Even the butcher may only have frozen wings, but that’s OK…
Another point to mention about chicken wings. If like me you didn’t know too much about chicken wings until you came across this recipe (!), you didn’t know that sometimes you buy them ‘whole’ and other times they are separated into the drumettes and the wingettes.
Here in Australia they tend to be whole, so if you’d like to separate them into drumettes and wingettes, there’s an excellent photo tutorial in this post from Nagi at Recipe Tin Eats. It’s just below her recipe at the bottom of the post! She also has a video that shows the process really clearly.
Pro tip for using frozen chicken wings: You can use frozen chicken wings if you like. To defrost them quickly and easily, just soak them in cold water for half an hour, then dry on kitchen paper. Then marinate and cook as normal.
Can you freeze marinated chicken?
Absolutely. In fact, as it defrosts, it will continue to marinate. So, yum…
Just prepare as normal and then throw the sealed bag of marinated meat into the freezer until you want to use it. In an ideal world, I’d recommend taking the marinated meat out of the freezer the day before you want to cook it. Defrost it in the fridge overnight.
Don’t do this however if you bought the meat frozen. It’s best not to refreeze it for food safety reasons.
You can also freeze any leftover cooked chicken if you like – for up to 4 months. As long as it hasn’t been hanging around out of the fridge for very long.
What to serve with it
This chicken is incredibly versatile. I cook it ahead and take it on picnics.
Alternatively you can serve them as part as a Greek style ‘mezze’ or sharing platter. These crispy brussels sprouts with tahini sauce and almonds are incredible, or grab more ideas below!
Psst… you could even cook it on a BBQ!
An even easier chicken recipe
If you like this recipe but you’re interested in a chicken recipe that’s EVEN EASIER, may I suggest these easy baked chicken thighs? They’re our go-to chicken thigh recipe!
More amazing Mediterranean recipes that you must try!
- Our favourite Greek baked eggplant with tomato and feta
- These life-changing fried halloumi bites (perfect appetizers for guests!)
- Crispy fried chickpeas (great on salads or soups!)
- Ever made a proper Spanish omelette, otherwise known as a tortilla de patatas? Prepare to have your mind blown!
- Another Spanish one… try this traditional ‘pan con tomate’ or Spanish bruschetta. It’s incredible, and unbelievably easy to make!
- Did you know you can fry olives, and that they’re delicious? You do now!
IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, LET ME KNOW HOW YOU GET ON BY LEAVING A COMMENT AND RATING BELOW… AND DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP TO RECEIVE ALL MY NEW RECIPES BY EMAIL!
6-ingredient Greek marinated chicken drumsticks, wings or thighs
Equipment (affiliate links)
- 3 pounds chicken pieces (drumsticks, wings and/or thighs – see notes)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 small lemon for squeezing over at the end
- a good sprinkle of crumbled feta & a big handful of olives optional
- Pierce a few holes in the chicken wings with a skewer to help the marinade infuse into the flesh.
- Put all the marinade ingredients into a big ziplock bag, then add the chicken pieces to the bag. Massage the bag to make sure all the chicken gets well coated in the marinade. Leave for the flavours to infuse for at least half an hour (overnight is even better!).
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a rimmed baking tray with foil or baking paper and put a metal rack on the tray. Spray the rack with oil.
- Shake any excess marinade off the chicken (reserve the marinade) and place on the rack (skin side up if using wings or thighs). Bake for 35 to 55 minutes or until sticky and golden and the juices run clear when the chicken is poked.
- Mix the tablespoon of honey into the reserved marinade. Then turn and baste the chicken all over 2 to 3 times during cooking.
- Pile the cooked chicken pieces into a bowl. Drizzle with the juice of ½ a lemon and garnish with lemon slices and the feta and olives, if using.