There’s almost nothing that doesn’t benefit from a good rub, and this includes a chicken. Rub it all over a whole bird you’re going to oven roast (or use a rotisserie if you have one). Rub chicken thighs, breasts. Rub it all. There are many rubs to choose from on the market — you can buy them or you can make them. If you’re making your own, you’re in charge of ingredients. At the moment, we’re feeling fond of sage. It’s not a meek herb, it announces itself in everything it touches. This is why it’s good with fatty meats, and often makes an appearance in our sausages. For chicken, we like it blended with milder herbs and spices, but not so dulled down the sage doesn’t sing. So make up a batch and rub your chicken. Of course it’s also good with ribs, roasts, chops, and even fish. Rub away.


  • 1/3 cup coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup dried sage
  • 1/3 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion flakes
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne

In a large bowl, combine the salt, sage, garlic powder, onion flakes, paprika, thyme, black pepper, oregano, and cayenne. Rub the dried herbs between your palms to crush them as you add each to the mixture. This rub will keep in an airtight container for 6 months. Shake or mix well before using.


If you’re curious about the difference between dry and wet, look no further than this Bon Appetit article. The magazine does a great job of explaining the advantages of dry, specifically that rubs don’t add additional moisture to the exterior of a piece of meat like a marinade would. “Whenever you apply heat to chicken thighs, pork chops, or any other piece of protein, the moisture on the surface needs to evaporate before a sear can start to develop, so dousing them in liquid beforehand doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. A dry rub — which is, naturally, dry — is going to put you on a faster track to the beautifully-caramelized crust you’re after.” Our thoughts exactly.