Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – Three Ways Recipe

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – Three Ways Recipe

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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – Three Ways Recipe
4.3 - 11 vote[s]

Whole chicken thighs are really the tastiest part of the bird, in my opinion. They are juicy and the skin crisps up beautifully. My favorite way to cook bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs has always been to roast them in the oven in a cast iron skillet. The skillet retains the heat so nicely.

Once I got an air fryer and made chicken thighs in it, I have not gone back to the oven method. Chicken was the first thing I made in my fryer. The crisper plate in my fryer retains the heat as nicely as my cast iron skillet. The chicken cooks in about 17 minutes. The skin is crispy. And, the meat is juicy.

Note: There are hundreds of different air fryer models from a few dozen companies like Power, Nuwave, Emeril, Cuisinart, Phillips, Farberware and several others. Personally I use Ninja Air Fryer (AF101). Temperatures and cook times do vary so you will need to adjust the cooking times in these recipes to meet the personality of your fryer.

I highly recommend getting a digital meat thermometer, if you don’t already have one. You will want the chicken to be at an internal temperature of 165°F.

A Word about the Recipes

The first recipe is for vey basic chicken thighs. There are only 5 ingredients: chicken, olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. This is my go-to weeknight chicken dinner. Feel free to add any of your favorite herbs and spices.

The second is a take on a recipe that appeared in the New York Times. It called for cooking the chicken thighs in mustard with plenty of herbs and tomatoes added near the end. I love mustard but never considered using it with chicken thighs. The flavor is great. The thighs are marinated in olive oil, mustard, lemon, honey or maple syrup, and herbs before air frying.

The third recipe is for an Asian style chicken. The thighs are glazed in a sauce made with rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and aromatics. It’s sweet, salty, and sour – all the components of my favorite Asian dishes.

Basic Air Fryer Whole Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 tsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (optional)

Total time:22 minPrep time:5 min – Cook time:17 min – Serves:4 people
Author:

Directions:

1. Rinse the chicken thighs under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Allow them to come to room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat your air fryer to 360°F.

3. Coat the chicken with olive oil on all sides. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

4. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the crisper plate or basket of the air fryer. If they are too crowded, place in 2 layers if your fryer has a plate and grill rack above the plate. Cook for approximately 18 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F when checked with a digital meat thermometer. Check at 15 minutes.

5. Remove the thighs to a cutting board and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

6. Serve the whole thighs with air fryer French fries and a simple green salad.

Marinated Whole Chicken Thighs with Mustard and Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 tsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsps fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Total time: 27 minPrep time: 10 min + marinating for 3 hours – Cook time: 17 min – Serves: 4 people

Directions:

1. Rinse the chicken thighs under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Allow them to come to room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat your air fryer to 360°F.

3. Place the marinated chicken, skin side up, on the crisper plate or basket of the air fryer. If they are too crowded, place in 2 layers if your fryer has a plate and grill rack above the plate. Cook for approximately 18 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F when checked with a digital meat thermometer. Check at 15 minutes.

4. Remove the thighs to a cutting board and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

5. Serve the whole thighs over creamy polenta with a side of steamed green peas.

Asian Glazed Whole Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 TBS soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 1 TBS toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 scallions sliced thinly for garnish
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds for garnish

Total time: 27 minPrep time: 10 min – Cook time: 17 min – Serves: 4 people

Directions:

1. Rinse the chicken thighs under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the thighs into a shallow baking dish and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the glaze to simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and allow the sauce to cool for just a few minutes.

3. Preheat your air fryer to 360°F.

4. Pour 2/3 of the sauce over the chicken, rotating each thigh until evenly coated. Place the chicken, skin side down, on the crisper plate or basket of the air fryer. If they are too crowded, place in 2 layers if your fryer has a plate and grill rack above the plate. Cook for 8 minutes and turn the thighs over. Cook for another 7 to 12 minutes until the skin begins to get crispy, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F when checked with a digital meat thermometer. Check at 15 minutes.

5. Remove the thighs to a serving platter and brush the rest of the sauce over the cooked thighs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

6. Serve the whole thighs over Jasmine rice with herbs and butter (recipe follows) and a side of sautéed bok choy. Top with scallions and sesame seeds.

Easy Herbed Jasmine Rice with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white jasmine rice
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 2 TBS fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 TBS dill, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Total time: 25 minPrep time: 10 min – Cook time: 15 min – Serves: 4 people

Directions:

1. Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Allow to drain in a sieve of fine colander.

2. In a 3 quart saucepot over high heat, bring the water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil.

3. Add the rice and turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot. Cook the rice for approximately 15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

4. Remove the rice from the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Then, fluff gently with a fork.

5. Gently fold in the butter and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Serve while hot with your chicken thighs and vegetables.



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