Air Fryer Chicken


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Air fryer chicken: Crispy skin, juicy meat, and so easy to make. My new favorite way to cook chicken is in the air fryer.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are healthy, hearty and full of flavor, but require almost zero prep work, and are super versatile. You can put a new spin on them with a fun sauce. Eat them as is for a crispy skin “fried chicken” experience, or debone and use in salads, tacos, etc. Suitable for Keto, Gluten-Free and Low Carb diets.

We also really love air fryer chicken wings, air fryer chicken breast, air fryer chicken drumsticks… you name it, we love it!

Crispy skin of air fryer chicken on a white plate with a striped napkin in the background

I love this air fryer fried chicken. It is such a simple recipe of just chicken with some salt and pepper to season it. Then you cook it in the air fryer and let the flavors of the chicken really shine through. But what is so great about air fryer chicken recipes is that the chicken is moist (I know you hate that word), and juicy. And most important–versatile.

This chicken is so perfectly cooked it becomes a go-to staple for making dishes with chicken in them. And like these oven baked chicken wings, it is a great vehicle for hosting your favorite sauces. Of course you could add more seasonings, but if I am going to add a sauce I keep to salt and pepper.

Want BBQ chicken? Great, add BBQ sauce.

Want an Asian sauce? Great, how about an oyster sauce or Hoison based sauce?

Want to use the chicken in a wrap? Debone it and add your favorite extra ingredients.

Or try using some paprika, garlic, and brown sugar in the rub, and eat a Mesquite chicken.

Air fryer chicken, 4 pieces, on a white plate with bbq sauce, and a blue and white striped napkin, with a gray background

What is an Air Fryer?

An air fryer is basically a small convection oven. Check them out here on Amazon or in stores selling small appliances. It uses the same technology for circulating air, and evaporating the moisture from the exterior of food to fry said food. The fan in the unit pushes hot air around the food, and it creates a crisp exterior, much like as if it were fried in oil. Only it is healthier because you can skip the oil.

Because it is such a compact space, with most air fryers being 5 qts of less, it facilitates faster, more even cooking.

Basically, it is a counter top fryer without oil. And it is so much fun to use. The biggest down side is the smaller capacity, but there are models that have a larger capacity.

Honestly, I bought two because I want to be able to make this chicken, along with fries too!

I love that I can make fried chicken without all the added calories from the frying oil.

How Long do you Air Fry Chicken?

How long you air fry chicken depends on a few factors:

  • Thickness
  • Bone in or out
  • Skin on or off
  • What heat you cook at

Generally speaking, air frying chicken at 350 degrees F takes roughly 20 minutes. But you always want to check the temperature of the chicken to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

How do you Make Crispy Chicken in an Air Fryer?

Using the air fryer is going to help you get a nice crispy skinned chicken without too much effort. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Flip half way through. If you want an even crispiness, flip the chicken over part way through the cooking time. I like to start cooking mine skin side down, then flip it over to finish it with the skin up.
  • Pat the skin dry before air frying. While the technology in the air fryer will circulate the air and help evaporate the moisture on the skin, you will get a crispier skin if you take time to remove some of that moisture yourself. Pat it dry with a paper towel before air frying.
  • Salt the skin of the chicken. For a great crispy, crunchy skin on your air fryer chicken, add a little salt. In this recipe, I kept it super simple with just salt and pepper, but you could add paprika, garlic, even a little brown sugar, parsley, oregano, or any of your favorite spices. I rubbed some down with curry powder a while ago and it was delicious. For this recipe, however, I kept it simple so the chicken could be dressed with a sauce after cooking.

4 pieces of air fried chicken thighs, skin on, with BBQ sauce brushed over the top, celery in the background

If you are going to add a sauce after cooking, one thing to keep in mind is that sometimes the best sauces are the ones that are sticky and shiny, because the sugars in the sauce melt and are crystallized. To achieve this with your air fryer chicken, simple pop the chicken back into the air fryer after saucing it, and cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the sauce to caramelize. Think of it like broiling it.

What Should I Serve with Air Fryer Chicken?

Oven baked steak fries are my favorite, and you could even pop these in an air fryer too for a crispy exterior and pillowy soft interior.

A beautiful easy kale salad is always a welcome addition to a crispy skinned, juicy chicken thigh.

Classic wedge salad is also really delicious with this air fryer chicken recipe.

More Recipes to Serve With Air Fried Chicken

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Rachael
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Deliciously crispy skin, juicy, tender meat, this air fryer chicken is versatile, and tastes like fried chicken but with much less fat.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs with bones and skin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

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Instructions

  1. Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
  2. Set air fryer to 350 degrees.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket, making sure there is room between them.
  4. Put basket into the air fryer, and close it. Then start the air fryer. Cook in air fryer for 18-22 minutes.

  5. Flip chicken thighs at 10 minutes, and cook for additional 8 minutes.
  6. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken, cook until it reaches 165 degrees F.

Recipe Notes

Cooking time depends on thickness and size of chicken thighs.
Leave plenty of space between thighs for even and faster cooking.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 248, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 110mg, Sodium: 377mg, Potassium: 231mg, Protein: 18g, Vitamin A: 1.8%, Calcium: 0.9%, Iron: 4.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword air fryer, air fryer chicken, Chicken

Do yourself a favor and make this totally versatile, and absolutely delicious air fryer chicken thigh recipe and see for yourself how easy it is to customize and personalize.

Air fryer chicken creates a crispy skin, juicy meat, and so easy to make. It is healthy, hearty and full of flavor, and requires almost zero prep work! #spendwithpennies #airfryerchicken #chicken #easydinner #dinner #airfryer #withchicken
Air fryer chicken creates a crispy skin, juicy meat, and so easy to make. It is healthy, hearty and full of flavor, and requires almost zero prep work! #spendwithpennies #airfryerchicken #chicken #easydinner #dinner #airfryer #withchicken

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About the author

Rachael

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Rachael is the creator of the food and travel blog Eazy Peazy Mealz where she shares simple to make recipes for busy families. She loves food and the power it has to create traditions, family bonds, and memories, and strives to share delicious, practical recipes with easy to find ingredients and simple instructions. Beyond food, her passion is travel, and she is regularly found away from home, with her 4 kids in tow, exploring the world. Her favorite way to experience a new place is through her tastebuds, and with hands on cooking classes. And she loves sharing what she has learned with her readers.

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