No kitchen should be without a Dutch oven. It’s the secret weapon of home cooks everywhere to create tasty single pot meals for their families. Known for their unique shape, their heavy domed lids lock in moisture during the cooking process. This marriage of form and function means that meals prepared in a Dutch oven are always tender, juicy and full of flavor.
Dutch oven chicken thighs are one staple that you’ll certainly want to try! Cooked with potatoes, carrots, garlic and rosemary, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the basics for making Dutch oven chicken thighs that everyone will love.
If your family loves this dish, they’ll also love these great chicken recipes.
How to Make Dutch-Oven Chicken Thighs
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 pounds)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound red potatoes (about 4 medium), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
Don’t have a Dutch oven yet? Check out our 5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven ($60) that’s Test Kitchen approved.
Step 1: Sear the Chicken
Preheat oven to 350°. Next, season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In an oven-safe Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the chicken skin-side down. Let your chicken cook for 5-6 minutes, until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Then flip and sear the other side until brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and discard drippings.
Editor’s Tip: For extra flavor, you can reserve the drippings in the pan rather than discarding. Use the drippings in place of the remaining tablespoon of olive oil for the next step.
Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home
Step 2: Add Veggies and Seasonings
Add the remaining ingredients to your Dutch oven. Toss the veggies to coat in oil and place the seared chicken thighs on top of them.
Step 3: Bake and Serve
Cover the Dutch oven with its lid and then bake for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables are tender. Test the chicken for doneness with an instant-read meat thermometer. The chicken is fully-cooked when the thermometer reads 170°-175°. Serve immediately.
Now that you’re done cooking, learn how to clean your Dutch oven to keep it looking new.
Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home
How to Keep Dutch-Oven Chicken Juicy
Adding a little liquid to the bottom of the Dutch oven can also help keep chicken thighs extra moist and juicy. We recommend adding 1/2 cup of cooking liquid before putting it in the oven. You can use chicken stock, lemon juice, beer, wine or fruit juice to flavor to the chicken.
Not all Dutch ovens are created equal. Check out our favorite Dutch oven brands.
How to Add More Flavor to Dutch-Oven Chicken Thighs
One of our all-time favorite seasoning blends is Rosemary Salt from Jacobsen Salt Co ($17). Substitute for regular salt before searing, for an extra blast of flavor.
You can also chop fresh rosemary, thyme, sage or oregano and tuck it under the skin of each chicken thigh. For an indulgent meal, mix the chopped fresh herbs with a few tablespoons of softened unsalted butter and garlic. This compound garlic-herb butter is delicious and will add an extra layer of moisture. Try an easy, flavored compound butter recipe with these chicken thighs.