This air fryer whole chicken recipe is just what you need for busy weeknights.
It’s quicker, easier, and requires less clean-up than the oven. Plus, the meat turns out way better overall.
The skin is crispier, and the meat is juicier and more tender. Everything about air fryer whole chicken is superior. Try it and see for yourself.
Why You’ll Love Whole Chicken in the Air Fryer
There are so many reasons to love the air fryer.
I mean, did you try these air fryer chicken thighs? They’re insanely good!
And this whole chicken recipe is just as scrummy. Here’s why I love it so much:
- Convenience. A conventional oven needs well over an hour to cook a whole chicken. This recipe has it done in under an hour. It’s also a very hands-off process, and clean-up is a breeze.
- The taste and texture are amazing. You can’t get the same crispy skin in a normal oven. And that ensures the moisture is locked in the meat, making it extra juicy.
- It’s energy efficient. I don’t know about you, but my oven takes at least 5-10 minutes to heat up. Plus, it always seems like a waste to heat up the whole oven for one thing. But that’s not the case with the air fryer, which is ready to cook in minutes.
As with any roast chicken recipe, you can adjust the following however you like. But if you’re unsure, stick with the ingredients below.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chicken. Be sure to get the right size chicken for your air fryer. It shouldn’t touch the element at the top.
- Oil. Olive oil or avocado oil both work well.
- Seasonings. Sweet paprika, garlic and onion powders, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Optional stuffing. Though optional, a lemon, some rosemary, and an onion will give your bird an even better taste.
How to Make Air Fryer Whole Chicken
Cooking a whole chicken in the air fryer isn’t difficult. Just follow these steps:
1. Prepare the chicken. Pat it dry, remove the giblets, and trim extra skin and fat. If you plan to stuff the chicken, do so now.
2. Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Mix the spices and coat the chicken. Be sure to get it all over, top and bottom.
4. Cook. Place the chicken breast side down in the basket. Cook for 40 minutes, then flip and cook for another 20-25 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Serve. Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, serve and enjoy!
Keep in mind: the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken and the size/brand of the air fryer.
Tips for Success
If you’ve ever made a whole chicken before, you’ll know it’s pretty simple. Still, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve:
- Make the skin extra crispy. Pat the chicken dry, then place it in the fridge, uncovered, for 1 hour or overnight. Then, season and cook it as instructed.
- Use a thermometer. It’s the best way to ensure the chicken is fully cooked. Check the thigh and the thickest part of the breast.
- Ensure the chicken fits in the basket. I know I said it already, but it’s important. The chicken shouldn’t be crowded tightly against the sides or touch the top. If it is, it won’t cook properly.
- Remember: Breast Side Down! It may not seem important, but it is. Cooking the chicken breast side down at first will ensure the white meat stays as juicy as possible.
- Don’t forget to let it rest. If you cut into a cooked chicken too soon, all the juices will run out. So, let it sit for about 10 minutes so it can reabsorb its juices and stay moist.
How to Store Leftovers
Wondering what to do with leftovers? I’ve got you!
To Store. Pull the meat from the bones and transfer it to an airtight container. Discard the bones, and refrigerate the meat for up to 5 days.
To Freeze. Store just the meat in a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To Reheat. Let frozen chicken thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, place it in a microwave-safe bowl with a damp paper towel on top. Reheat it on high until got. (Times will vary.)
Ways to Use Leftovers
When served with potatoes and air fryer carrots, this tasty chicken dinner won’t last long.
But if you do have some leftover and need dinner inspiration, you’re in luck. There are plenty of ways to use the extra meat. Such as:
- Creamy chicken salad.
- Make a tasty leafy green, veggie-packed salad.
- Make chicken noodle soup.
- Make wraps, chicken sandwiches, gyros, and more.
- Try chicken quesadillas or tacos.
- How about chicken casseroles or power bowls?
More Air Fryer Recipes To Try
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