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Dutch Oven Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Sage Butter Sauce Recipe

There is nothing worse than dry, flavorless chicken and this recipe is anything but that! Perfectly browned and moist, this chicken dish is bursting with bright lemon, earth sage, and rich butter flavors.

Servings: 8 Pieces

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 8 chicken thighs (bone-in with skin)
  • 2 lemons (one for slices, and one for juice)
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage (or 1 tablespoon dry)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Clean the chicken thighs by removing excess skin around the edges of the thighs. I find kitchen scissors to be the best tool for this, but a sharp knife will work as well. 
  3. Make a dredge by mixing the flour and spices together in a shallow pan. 
  4. Dredge the chicken thigh pieces, evenly coating each piece in the seasoned flour.
  5. Heat a dutch oven or large skillet on medium/high heat.
  6. Add olive oil to the hot pan. Place the coated chicken into the hot pan skin side down. Adjust the heat as needed. The skin should sizzle without popping and sputtering. 
  7. Brown the chicken on each side. It takes 5-7 minutes on the skin side and 3 minutes on the underside to get well browned pieces.
  8. Remove the browned chicken thighs from the heat and place them on a plate for later. The chicken is not fully cooked at this point.
  9. Turn the heat down, and add butter to the pan. As the butter melts, it will deglaze or loosen the stuck bits from the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to work up all the flavorful stuck pieces.
  10. Once the butter is completely melted, add minced garlic and sage and let them brown slightly. 
  11. Next, add the juice from one lemon and ¼ cup of water and mix together.
  12. Place the browned chicken back into the pan skin side up.
  13. Place fresh lemon slices around the pan and cover. 
  14. Finish cooking in the oven for 40 minutes.


Do you need to brown chicken thighs before braising?

Browning chicken thighs is ideal before braising. When you brown the skin, you render away some of the fat and give the skin a beautiful color, extra flavor, and a more tender texture. Unbrowned chicken skin can be rubbery, and that texture can ruin an otherwise good piece of meat.

What does it mean to dredge chicken?

Dredging is just giving a piece of meat a light coating of flour. Adding seasoning to the flour adds extra flavor. The flour helps prevent sticking to the pan and will make food brown more evenly. 

  • Do remove the excess skin from around the edges of the chicken. The excess skin can be hard to brown and stay chewy. 
  • Mince the garlic and sage, and juice the lemon while the chicken is browning. You want to be able to assemble the sauce quickly because the garlic, sage, and butter can go from brown to burnt quickly.
  • If you don’t have a Dutch Oven, you can use a deep skillet that can go in the oven. You can even finish this dish on the stove if you prefer. You can cover the skillet and leave on a very low setting to simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 318 kcal

Carbohydrates: 16 g

Protein: 20 g

Fat: 19 g

Saturated Fat: 5 g

Trans Fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: 111 mg

Sodium: 2706 mg

Potassium: 306 mg

Fiber: 1 g

Sugar: 1 g

Vitamin A: 222 IU

Vitamin C: 15 mg

Calcium: 34 mg

Iron: 2 mg

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