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featured image dutch oven chicken thighs

Dutch Oven Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Sage Butter Sauce

There is nothing worse than dry, flavorless chicken and Dutch Oven Chicken thighs with Lemon and Sage Butter Sauce is anything but that. Perfectly browned and moist, this chicken dish is bursting with bright lemon, earthy sage, and rich butter flavor.
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 Pieces
Calories 318kcal
Author Diana Reis


  • 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 Garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Sage 1 Tablespoon dry
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika


  • Preheat your oven to 350°.
  • 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.
  • Make a dredge by mixing the flour and spices together in a shallow pan.
  • Dredge the chicken thigh pieces, evenly coating each piece in the seasoned flour.
  • Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet on medium/high heat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Turn the heat down, and add butter to the pan. As the butter melts, it will deglaze or loosen the stuck on bits from the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to work up all the flavorful stuck on pieces.
  • Once the butter is completely melted, add minced garlic and sage and let them brown slightly.
  • Next, add the juice from one lemon and ¼ cup of water and mix together.
  • Place the browned chicken back into the pan skin side up.
  • Place fresh lemon slices around the pan and cover.
  • 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 the 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. Neatly trimmed chicken pieces will also make the dish look more like it was cooked in a restaurant, and have more eye appeal. 
  • 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 all 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.


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 2706mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg