Cold Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs


  • 8 bone-in organic chicken thighs (you can also use 1 whole chicken)
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled but kept whole
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 to 5 fresh sage leaves
  • Peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and rub it all over with coarse sea salt.
  2. Lift the skin to rub salt between the skin and meat.
  3. Let the salted chicken rest for 15 minutes. If you have time to do this for longer, even overnight in the refrigerator, do!
  4. Coat the bottom of a lidded cast iron pot or dutch oven with the olive oil. Choose a large pot with enough room that the chicken won't be too packed in—it should have a bit of room to breathe around each piece.
  5. Add garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, sage and lemon peel.
  6. Place the chicken on top - skin side up for thighs, breast side up for whole chicken.
  7. Squeeze the lemon juice over it, and then season with salt and pepper.
  8. Cover the pot with the lid and place in a cold oven.
  9. Turn up the temperature to 450°F and cook for 30 minutes for thighs or 45 minutes for whole chicken, then remove the lid and cook until the skin is golden and crisped, about 15 minutes. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reads 165° F with an instant-read thermometer. If the juices in the bottom evaporate too quickly and look like they're beginning to burn, you can pour a little water in the bottom of the pan.
  10. Remove the pot from the oven and let the chicken cool to warm or room temperature to serve. Serve with spoonfuls of the pan juices and garlic.