Cold Oven Roast Chicken

Cold Roast Chicken.jpg

Makes 4 servings. 

I must confess that when I first heard of this recipe, I was intrigued and quite skeptical. I have since made it several times and marvel how easy, tasty and moist the chicken is.


  • 8 boneless organic chicken thighs with skin, each portion about 6 ounces (See Note)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled

  • 1 bunch thyme

  • Lemon peel from one lemon cut into thin strips (See Note)

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper.

  • Juice of 1 ½ lemons


  1. Choose a heavy pot, such as cast iron with a lid and large enough to fit the chicken with room in between the pieces. Coat the bottom with olive oil and add garlic, thyme and lemon peel.  

  2. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top, skin side up. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and cover the pot.   

  3. Place the pot into the cold oven, set the temperature to 450F and cook the chicken for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the skin is golden and crisped, 15 -20 minutes.


Organic chicken thighs tend to be small, therefore in order to get 6 ounces boned portions per person, I use 2 thighs.

To cut the lemon peel, I use a lemon peeler and then I cut the peel into very thin strips. 

Serve the chicken with spoonfuls of pan juices and garlic.