Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Air fryer chicken thighs is an easy recipe to make delicious bone in, skin on chicken thighs. This juicy dish makes the perfect main for any busy night of the week.
Chicken thighs are one of the most under appreciated main dish options out there. This dark meat has more fat and flavor than white meat. The natural fat and flavor make it so easy to cook. This air fryer recipe creates the perfect crunchy skin and tender, juicy interior that you and your family won’t be able to get enough of.
This simple dish makes a delicious family dinner. Serve it with stovetop creamed corn or strawberry spinach salad, or to keep it 100% keto try it with crispy air fryer Brussels sprouts, or cucumber tomato avocado salad.
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What You’ll Need
- Chicken thighs – Bone in, skin on chicken thighs are fantastic for this because the air fryer gives them such a crispy skin.
- Olive oil or cooking spray – Olive oil adds a little extra flavor and moisture to the recipe. Feel free to use your favorite oil.
- Seasonings – This recipe uses a blend of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt and pepper for loads of flavor.
How to Make It
Prepare the chicken. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This will give the skin that crisp golden exterior.
Season it. Add the spices to a small bowl and stir them together with a fork so they are evenly combined. Then brush or spray the meat with olive oil and rub the spices into it.
Arrange it in the air fryer. Put the chicken in the basket of the air fryer with the skin side up. I love this air fryer for its ease and results. Arrange the meat so it won’t be overcrowded in the fryer. The pieces of meat shouldn’t be touching each other. You might have to cook it in batches to do this.
Cook it. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5-8 mins or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
To make sure they are cooked through, take the temperature in the thickest part of the meat with an instant read thermometer, making sure the thermometer isn’t resting on bone. It should read 165 degrees F. If the thermometer reads under 165 degrees F, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes and recheck. Bigger thighs will take longer than smaller ones.
We prefer to use the bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs that you can find at your local grocery store. When you air fry them, the skin gets extra crispy and adds a bit more flavor. If you want to cut a few calories, you can use skinless thighs. And if you prefer, you can use boneless thighs.
When you cook chicken in the air fryer, you should make a single layer to help with even cooking. You should also leave a bit of space between each thigh to help all parts of the skin get crispy. The only exception we make to this rule is when you fry chicken wings. You can stack chicken wings, like in our Air Fryer Chicken Wing recipe.
Can I Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Air Fryer?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken thighs in the air fryer. You need to adjust the cooking time to 25 to 35 minutes and the heat to 400 degrees F. Make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before removing them from the fryer.
We recommend that before you freeze your chicken thighs, add our simple seasoning or your favorite marinade to them. If you do this, you don’t need to thaw them before cooking. You can just pop them right into the fryer.
Looking for More Chicken Recipes?
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Sheet Pan Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Peri Peri Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken and Mushrooms
- Keto Chicken Piccata
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- More Chicken Recipes…
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Combine the seasonings in a small bowl.
- Brush or spray the chicken with the olive oil or cooking spray, then rub the spice mix into both sides.
- Place the chicken in the air fryer basket skin side up in a single layer. Do not overcrowd the basket. This may require cooking it in two batches.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5-8 mins or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the size of the thighs used and whether they are bone-in or boneless.
- Once the internal temperature is 165 degrees F remove the chicken thighs from the basket and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.