Air Fryer Hen Thighs – WellPlated.com

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Crispy-skinned, spectacularly juicy, and garlic paprika-rubbed Air Fryer Hen Thighs are a no-effort recipe that earns unanimous reward and augments kitchen swagger.

Crispy air fryer chicken thigh on a plate

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Of the handfuls of air fryer recipes I’ve examined, these air fryer hen thighs earned the very best honor awarded in our family: my husband requested them for dinner each week.

In truth, he referred to as them the very best hen I’ve ever made!

Between all of the methods I prepare dinner hen—Baked Hen Thighs, Pan-Fried Hen Breast, and all of those wholesome hen recipes—that’s fairly an announcement.

I do know he means it too, as a result of, whereas he will get jazzed about different proteins like Air Fryer Salmon or Air Fryer Pork Chops, hen not often causes a coronary heart flutter.

(Until it’s Air Fryer Hen Wings, however let’s be actual—that’s extra concerning the Buffalo sauce.)

Four air fryer chicken thighs on a plate with lemon slices

The whole lot You Must Know About Air Fryer Hen Thighs

On the diner’s finish, these juicy hen thighs have all the things going for them.

  • The meat is juicier than you ever thought hen might be.
  • The seasoning tastes frivolously smoky and complicated, a super profile for hen.
  • The pores and skin is so shatteringly crispy, even those that often don’t eat hen pores and skin (me), will discover themselves nibbling crunchy items.

However that’s not the tip of the story.

From the prepare dinner’s perspective (that’s me and also you), this quick and straightforward dinner is a transparent winner.

  • Bone-in hen thighs prepare dinner in 16 to twenty minutes within the air fryer at 400 levels F.
  • You don’t must spend time marinating the hen thighs earlier than air frying.
  • The rub is created from frequent spices you doubtless have already got in your pantry, like paprika and garlic powder.
The best air fryer chicken thighs on a plate

Tips on how to Make Crispy Hen Thighs within the Air Fryer

For this recipe, you should use bone-in or boneless hen thighs (I’ve included occasions for each), however I extremely advocate utilizing bone-in, skin-on hen for this recipe.

  • As with this Baked Bone-In Hen Breast and Air Fryer Entire Hen, the pores and skin locks in moisture, so you don’t must spend time brining the meat for wonderful outcomes, the way in which you’d with boneless Air Fryer Hen Breast.
  • The bone flavors the meat from inside and makes it tougher to overcook the hen.
  • Bone-in, skin-on hen thighs are a cut price in comparison with boneless.
  • Hen thighs are wholesome! They don’t deserve the dangerous rap they often get. Ready the appropriate approach (like within the air fryer), they’re a superb, lean supply of protein and comprise necessary vitamins like zinc and iron.

The Most Necessary Device for Cooking Meat

Whereas utilizing bone-in, skin-on hen thighs offers you higher safety from dry meat than for those who had been to make use of boneless skinless hen thighs, you possibly can nonetheless overcook hen thighs. For finest outcomes use an instantaneous learn thermometer.


The Elements

  • Hen Thighs. Bone-in, skin-on hen thighs are perfect for the air fryer. The meat stays tender and juicy throughout cooking, and the pores and skin turns into crackly and crispy.
  • Paprika + Smoked Paprika. The mix of paprika and smoked paprika gives the proper steadiness of sweetness and smokiness.
  • Garlic Powder. For a contact of addictive garlicky taste.
  • Salt + Pepper. Basic, can’t-miss taste additions.
  • Olive Oil. Helps the spice combination adhere to the hen thighs and the pores and skin to crisp. No cooking spray wanted.

The Instructions

Spices in a bowl
  1. Stir the spice combination collectively in a bowl.
Raw meat covered in spices in a bowl
  1. Pat dry the thighs with paper towel, then add them to the bowl. Coat the hen with oil and the spices.
Raw chicken thighs in an air fryer
  1. Place hen thighs pores and skin aspect down within the air fryer basket.
  2. Air fry hen thighs for 16 to 22 minutes at 400 levels F, flip midway via. Use a meat thermometer to verify for doneness. Let relaxation for five minutes. ENJOY! High with recent parsley, cilantro, or thyme.

A Be aware on Hen Temperature

Per the FDA, hen thighs ought to be cooked to an inner temperature of 165 levels F on an instantaneous learn thermometer inserted on the thickest a part of the thigh, not touching the bone.

That mentioned, the hen’s temperature will proceed to rise because it rests. Resting meat is important for juicy outcomes.

I choose to tug my hen thighs out of the air fryer at 155 to 160 levels F and allow them to relaxation for five to 10 minutes, permitting the carryover cooking to complete the job. I’ve by no means had a problem with undercooked hen.

An air fryer with chicken thighs inside

Extra Methods to Season Air Fryer Hen Thighs Recipe

  • Parmesan Air Fryer Hen Thighs. Add 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese to your spice combination. (I’ll have this with Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, please.)
  • Spicy Air Fryer Hen Thighs. Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the spice combination.
  • Brown Sugar Air Fryer Hen Thighs. Add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar to the spice combination. (For a BBQ-like end, serve the thighs with my delicious Barbecue Sauce or any bbq sauce.)
  • Italian Air Fryer Hen Thighs. Add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning to the spice combination.
  • Curry Air Fryer Hen Thighs. Add 2 teaspoons curry powder to the spice combination. (This is able to be delish with Turmeric Rice.)
  • Garlic Butter Air Fryer Hen Thighs. Omit the smoked paprika, add an additional teaspoon of garlic powder, and swap the olive oil for melted butter. (Excellent for pairing with Garlic Pasta.)
  • Lemon Air Fryer Hen Thighs. Add zest of 1 lemon to the spice combination. (Do that with Pasta al Limone or Lemon Rice. YUM!)

Storage Suggestions

  • To Retailer. Refrigerate hen in an hermetic container for as much as 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish within the oven at 350 levels F or within the air fryer.
  • To Freeze. Freeze thighs in an hermetic freezer-safe storage container for as much as 3 months. Let thaw in a single day within the fridge earlier than reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

As much as 1 day upfront, coat the hen thighs within the oil and spice combination. Cowl and refrigerate till you’re able to prepare dinner.

Easy air fryer chicken thighs on a plate

What to Serve with Air Fryer Hen Thighs

Crispy air fryer chicken thigh on a plate

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Incessantly Requested Questions

Can You Air Fry Hen Thighs which can be Frozen?

Sure! Not like Crockpot Shredded Hen, it’s OK to place frozen hen in an air fryer. I might solely recommend this with boneless skinless thighs, because the bone-in could be troublesome to prepare dinner via. Air fry frozen hen thighs at 360 levels F for 12 minutes, flipping midway via, then verify for doneness.

Can I Use Boneless Hen Thighs?

Whereas I like utilizing bone-in, skin-on hen thighs for this recipe, you should use boneless thighs as a substitute. See the recipe notes for ideas.

Ought to I Marinade Hen Thighs?

Utilizing a rub or marinade is a superb technique to taste hen. For a rub, use the seasoning combination under, or you possibly can strive my favourite Hen Marinade or Hen Thigh Marinade.

Air Fryer Hen Thighs Video

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  • In a big bowl, mix the paprika, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.

  • Pat the hen thighs very dry on either side, then add to the bowl. Drizzle with the oil, then toss to coat within the spice combination.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Add the hen thighs in a single layer, skin-side down (be sure that they don’t seem to be touching; if they’re, prepare dinner the hen in batches).

  • Air fry the hen thighs for 16 to 22 minutes, flipping midway via, till an instantaneous learn thermometer inserted on the thickest a part of a thigh (however not touching bone) reaches 155°F. Put aside, cowl, and let relaxation for five minutes (hen is taken into account by the FDA cooked at 165°F, however the temperature will proceed to rise because it rests; air fryer fashions differ in cooking time, so verify early to be secure). Serve sizzling, with lemon wedges (squeeze them excessive of your serving) and sprinkled with recent herbs.

YouTube video

  • FOR BONELESS THIGHS: Coat with the spice combination as directed. Preheat the air fryer to 380°F, then add the hen smooth-side down. Prepare dinner for six to eight minutes, flipping midway via, till the hen reaches 155°F on an instantaneous learn thermometer. Let relaxation for five to 10 minutes (the temperature will proceed to rise), then take pleasure in heat.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate hen in an hermetic storage container for as much as 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish within the oven at 350°F or within the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze thighs in an hermetic, freezer-safe storage container for as much as 3 months. Let thaw in a single day within the fridge earlier than reheating. 

Serving: 1(of 4)Energy: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 24gFats: 31gSaturated Fats: 7gPolyunsaturated Fats: 6gMonounsaturated Fats: 15gTrans Fats: 1gLdl cholesterol: 142mgPotassium: 369mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1407IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 2mg

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