These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are going to have you forgetting that fried chicken is even a thing! You’ll love how perfectly juicy, crispy, and downright easy this chicken is to make.
Once you use your air fryer for this recipe, make certain that you check out this Copycat Air Fryer KFC Chicken, too!
CHICKEN THIGHS IN THE AIR FRYER
I’m a big fan of this air fryer chicken thigh recipe because it’s a healthier way to get that crispy chicken texture and taste. While I LOVE fried chicken, I don’t love everything that comes along with it like the extra grease, fat, and calories.
But the best part about using your air fryer to make up this chicken dish is that you use way less oil but still get that “fried” crispy texture! I call that a win!
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My favorite way to make this recipe is with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Not only are they a healthier version, but you can get the same amazing flavors without the extra skin.
AIR FRYER CHICKEN THIGHS
Since you only need a few simple ingredients to rock this tasty recipe, there’s really no reason to delay. I know that we enjoy this dish so much that we make it part of our meal-planning rotation.
- Cooks easily and quickly without constant supervision.
- No splatter of grease everywhere.
- Healthier because it’s made in the Air Fryer!
Best of all, it literally pairs up with any type of side dish or time of year. The kids love eating it with corn on the cob during the summer or pairing it up with some hearty mashed potatoes during the winner. It really is a versatile chicken recipe!
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WHAT IS THE MOST TENDER PART OF THE CHICKEN?
You know it’s going to be the thighs! This dark meat offers some really tender bites that are tasty, too. Thigh meat is such a great part of the chicken to cook up in the air fryer. But why are chicken thighs so tender?
Since dark meat has more tendons and fat than white meat, it becomes more tender and juicy when cooked properly.
It’s also hard to overcook chicken thighs, so it’s also a very forgiving piece of meat.
WHAT IS THE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE THAT CHICKEN NEEDS TO BE COOKED TO?
In order for chicken to be considered safe to eat, you need to be certain that it’s cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. You can double-check this by investing in a meat thermometer.
WHAT AIR FRYER SHOULD I USE?
The Ninja Foodi is a grill and has several different options. It’s also called an air crisper, and you can learn more about that here. I like this for larger projects. You can open the top and check on what’s cooking, and you can also use the temperature probe and never undercook or overcook anything again.
The Cosori has a basket, is an actual air fryer, and makes it easy to shake things around while cooking. The handle on the basket makes removing the basket easier, and it’s very easy to clean. Each works very well and I use them both with this big family of mine. I can have them both working and have dinner done FAST.
They both really do work great and I love to use them on an almost daily basis. One last thing I would recommend with whichever air fryer you choose, make sure to get some basket liners. They are amazing and help make cleanup a breeze!
Chicken Thighs : I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this air fryer recipe.
Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil to help coat the thighs and spread around the seasonings.
Red pepper flakes: Adds a little spice to the crispy outside.
White pepper: Adds a little extra spice to the chicken and adds even more flavor.
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER CHICKEN THIGHS
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
Coat the chicken. Add the chicken thighs, olive oil, and seasonings to a large sealable bag. Do not remove the air. Seal the bag and then toss to coat the thighs with oil and seasonings.
Spray basket with nonstick cooking spray or add a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Place chicken thighs in the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes. Turning the chicken thighs when they are halfway done.
Flip chicken thighs and cook an additional 1-2 minutes if needed for extra crispy thighs or until the temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove chicken thighs from the air fryer and serve immediately.
I think you’re really going to love this simple Air Fryer Chicken Thigh recipe as much as we do. And just in case you need more easy dinner ideas, here are some other chicken recipes to check out, too.
MORE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LOVE:
- Chicken Breasts
- Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
- Crock Pot Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Blackened Chicken Thighs in Garlic Butter Sauce
HOW DO YOU USE UP LEFTOVER CHICKEN THIGH MEAT?
There are so many ways to use leftover thigh meat. I like to cut it up and add it to salads for a quick and simple dose of protein. You can also shred it up and make a delicious sandwich out of it as well.
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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- 4-5 chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Preheat the Air Fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Coat and season the chicken thighs by adding the olive oil, chicken thighs, and seasoning to a large sealable bag. Do not remove the air. Toss the chicken thighs in the bag to ensure they are all evenly covered.
- Add oil to the basket or a piece of parchment paper and then add the seasoned chicken thighs. Set the timer for 15 minutes and cook. Flip the thighs after 7-8 minutes. After 15 minutes, add an additional minute or two to get the thighs extra crispy.
- Add a 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper to increase the spice in this recipe.
- Save any leftover chicken thighs in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.