I am usually not a fan of darker meat in poultry. It tends to have too many ligaments and an excess of fat that gives a texture I don’t enjoy chewing. This recipe however has been the best way to cook chicken thighs. And I found myself cooking them several days in a row. They are a perfect portion, go great in meal preps, and can be used for several meal options through the week.
Unfortunately, it is hard to find chicken thighs deboned with skin, so you will more than likely have to remove the bones yourself. This takes a little practice and a sharp knife but can easily be done if need be. If you can find them with the skin already deboned, you are lucky. We raised some of our own meat chickens this past spring, so I ended up dealing with the bones myself. The good thing is you can then use those bones to create a broth to cook rice in, that pairs perfectly with this chicken. Brining the chicken is important. This helps to tenderize and flavor the chicken meat. So do not skip that step! I know many will say, “just salt, pepper, and garlic!” Yes, those three flavors can go a long way and will allow you to then customize how you use the chicken. That way if you want to turn them into wraps, all you have to do is add your favorite sauce to them. I like to add a little Japanese BBQ sauce over the top after they are cooked.
You can pair this simple flavored chicken with any sauces you prefer. I use our countertop Ninja cooker. It has more than just an air fryer setting and comes with a wire basket and drip pan. I usually line the drip pan in foil for easy clean up after, and the basket usually cleans fairly easy with hot water and soap. If you don’t have this brand, you can use any air fryer setting or oven, just be sure to have it elevated for air circulation and a drip pan below. The times for cooking can vary, so check after 15-20 minutes and add any extra time as needed to reach the right internal temperatures. Remember darker meat can cook to a higher temperature in order to help get it more tender. Try this out for your next dinner and Enjoy!
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- 4-8 chicken thighs with skin
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Prepare chicken by removing the bones and placing in a container with lid. Save the bones for making a chicken broth to use in cooking rice for a side. Fill the container of chicken with cold water and 1 ½ tbs salt. Set in fridge over night to brine. The next day remove the water and pat all chicken dry with paper towels.
- Rub the dry chicken with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place chicken skin side up in your air fryer basket with a lined pan below. It is best to use a cooker with the option of allowing drippings to drip down onto a separate pan. (If using regular oven place chicken on a wire rack with a pan underneath to catch drippings. Set oven on convection bake or air fry setting.) Cook in Air fryer at 400’F until internal temperature of minimum 165’F preferably 180-190 for dark meat. This time can vary in your oven. Start at 20 minutes and check temperature. Continue cooking until it reaches above temperatures. You do not flip these, which allows the skin on top to get a nice crisp texture. Serve over rice with your favorite vegetable.