Air Fryer Marinated Chicken Thighs

At the beginning of the year, one of my goals was to get more friendly with my air fryer. A recipe for chicken breasts in NY Times Cooking looked promising, and combining it with a recipe for making chicken thighs in the air fryer seemed like a great idea. Game changer? See below. Serves 4:

Air Fryer Marinated Chicken Thighs

  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder, like ground cayenne
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder), optional
  • 4-6 chicken thighs (with skin and bone) or 4 boneless breasts (about 2 pounds/1 kilo)

Make the marinade:

If you feel like chopping and mincing, fine. Otherwise, toss the garlic, ginger, mint and cilantro into a mini-chopper and process until they’re finely chopped. Add the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the ground coriander, turmeric, amchur (if using), cayenne and salt and pulse until just combined. Pour into a Ziploc bag, add the chicken, massage to coat the chicken and seal the bag tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat air fryer to 400°F (200°C).

Place the chicken, skin-side down, in the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes. Use tongs to turn chicken thighs over, then continue cooking them until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F, about 10 minutes more. Remove chicken thighs from the air fryer and let them rest for 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with mint and cilantro, serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

The chicken was delicious! The marinade was great and would work well on a number of things (lamb came to mind). I didn’t use amchur but might look for some for the next time. If you don’t have an air fryer, sauté the thighs skin side down in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 10 minutes on medium high heat. Turn and cook for another 10 minutes until they’re cooked through.   This would also be good on the grill. The chicken was cooked after about 25 minutes, but these were pretty big thighs. The skin was only a little bit crispy on the very edges which was disappointing (and kind of the point of using the air fryer).

The air fryer is still a challenge for me. Talking with a friend who has the same model (a combi toaster oven, broiler, air fryer etc.) made me think I should be using it on a higher temperature, 220°C and for a little longer time. There’s also the question of cooking things in the basket, or on a sheet pan, or with the sheet pan below to catch drips. My friend also confessed that she only uses hers to heat up fried food and doesn’t “cook” with it.

If you have any tips/advice, let me know in the comments, and thanks!


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