This air fryer chicken is juicy and cooked to perfection. It's fall-off-the-bone tender and the skin out-of-this-world crispy. Air frying chicken is an easy and convenient process, and the results are amazing. I'll show you how to cook rotisserie-style chicken in the air fryer with minimal prep time! This recipe works with fresh and frozen chicken. Shred leftover chicken and serve on buttery dinner rolls or with Alfredo sauce!
- Chicken size and weight
- Dry brine the chicken
- Air fryer settings
- How to cook frozen chicken in the air fryer
- How to carve a whole cooked chicken
- What to do with chicken drippings
- Dry rub variations
- Top tips for extra crispy chicken skin
- How long does it last in the fridge
- Photo tutorial
- More air fryer recipes to try
Chicken size and weight
I have an Instant Vortex Plus, and the basket is big enough (6 quarts) to hold a medium-sized roaster chicken of around 4 to 4.5 pounds. If your air fryer is smaller, you will need to go with a smaller chicken, around 3 to 3.5 pounds to ensure enough space for air to circulate.
Dry brine the chicken
Dry bringing means rubbing the chicken with salt and spices and refrigerating it uncovered in the fridge for up to 24 hours to dry out the skin and infuse the meat with flavor. This makes for extra crispy chicken skin and delicious, tender chicken meat. I recommend chilling it for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Make sure the chicken is still within its use-by date if you dry brine it overnight.
Air fryer settings
Different air fryer models come with different presets such as air fry, roast, bake, etc. Most of these presets do basically the same thing, circulate hot air, and only differ in time and temperature. So, the most important settings for air frying roast chicken are time and temperature. I mostly use "Air Fry" and set it to 360°F (182°C) and 60 minutes.
How to cook frozen chicken in the air fryer
Whenever possible, I recommend choosing fresh raw chicken over frozen chicken. Air-frying fresh chicken results in the juiciest meat and the crispiest skin. However, you can also cook frozen chicken in the air fryer. You just need to adjust the cooking steps as follows.
- Thaw the frozen chicken in the air fryer at 200°F (93°C) or the lowest possible temperature for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the air fryer, pat dry, and rub with the spice mix.
- Cook at 360°F (182°C) for 60-70 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Flip halfway through.
How to carve a whole cooked chicken
The easiest and best method to carve a chicken is to use a long sharp knife and a carving fork to cut the whole chicken into breast, wings, leg, and thigh pieces. Make sure that the blade is long and sharp enough to cut through the joints.
What to do with chicken drippings
In my family, we usually serve the chicken fat drippings in a small bowl so you can dip your chicken or drizzle over your side dishes like rice or vegetables. You can also use it for sauces, stews, or for roasting veggies to add flavor. It's also great to add some of the chicken drippings to shredded chicken so it doesn't get too dry.
Note: Some air fryer models may start to smoke due to dripping fat. To prevent this, you can put a piece of bread at the bottom to soak up the drippings.
Dry rub variations
Feel free to add additional spices and herbs such as Italian seasoning, or substitute some of the spices if you wish. You can also go minimal and just use salt, pepper, and baking powder. The baking powder is the secret weapon for extra crispy skin. So don't skip it! In addition to salt, pepper, and baking powder, I recommend no more than 2-3 teaspoon of additional seasoning depending on the size of the chicken.
Top tips for extra crispy chicken skin
- Pat the chicken dry thoroughly (including under the wings and thighs) before applying the dry rub.
- Rub and press the seasoning into the skin until all of the rub sticks to the chicken skin.
- Dry brine for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Start cooking breast side down and turn the chicken halfway through cooking. This ensures extra crispy skin on all sides and keeps the chicken juicy!
How long does it last in the fridge
Leftover roast chicken can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer at 360°F for about 5 minutes (depending on the size of the leftover pieces) or shred and use in casseroles, burritos, sandwiches, or salads.
Mix the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside. Pat dry the chicken on all sides with paper towels, including under the wings and legs.
Rub and press the spice mix into the chicken skin until it's covered on all sides. Chill uncovered for 2 to 24 hours.
Place the chicken breast-side down in the preheated air fryer and cook for 30 minutes.
Then flip with two large forks and cook for another 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
Carve the chicken and serve immediately.
More air fryer recipes to try
If you love to cook with your air fryer, you've come to the right place. Try the following recipes, which are specially designed for the air fryer.
Air Fryer Whole Chicken (Rotisserie Style)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 whole chicken (about 4-4.5lb)
- Mix the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and baking powder in a small bowl.
- Pat the chicken dry on all sides with paper towels, including under the wings and legs.
- Rub and press the spice mix into the chicken skin until it's covered on all sides. Chill uncovered for 2 to 24 hours.
- Preheat the air fryer to 360°F (182°C).
- Place the chicken breast-side down in the preheated air fryer and cook for 30 minutes. Then flip with two large forks and cook for another 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Carve the chicken and serve immediately with your favorite side dishes.
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