I frequently see memes on line asking who survived the pandemic without getting pregnant, divorced, or buying an air-fryer. I’m still married, definitely not pregnant, but I did buy an air-fryer and I love it. Aside from grilling hotdogs, heating frozen snacks, and making nice, crispy homemade french fries without deep frying it performs many other functions very well. It is great for roasting peppers, vegetables in general, and does a great job on chicken. An air-fryer is pretty much an amped up convection oven that sits on your countertop. They work on the same principal. Also great on hot summer days when you don’t want to turn on the air conditioning.
My friend Jane came across a recipe for cooking a whole chicken in the air-fryer using a great seasoning mix. I used it on a whole chicken that I spatchcocked out of necessity because my hen couldn’t sit upright in my air-fryer. Spatchcocking is simply the technique of cutting out the backbone (I use my Pampered Chef kitchen shears), opening the chicken up and flattening it. Be sure to save the backbone for making broth. A spatchcocked chicken cooks faster and more evenly whether you’re doing it on a grill, in the oven, or in the air-fryer. What makes this recipe is the seasoning. I’ve done whole chickens and I’ve also done just skin on, bone in chicken thighs, because we both prefer the dark meat. I misplaced the recipe after I used it the first time, but now I’ll know exactly where to find it.
2 T avocado oil
1 T salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
This spice blend is the perfect amount for a whole chicken. If you are doing ”parts” use less and store the remainder away in a sealed container.
Rub the avocado oil on both sides of the chicken.
Cook for 7-8 minutes before turning. For a whole chicken cook for 20-25 minutes before turning. Total cook time for parts is 10-12 minutes, 30-35 for a whole spatchcocked chicken. You want the internal temperature to reach 160 so it’s best to use an instant read thermometer to ensure your chicken has reached a safe temp.
NOTE: Refer to the instructions/recipes provided with your air-fryer. You’ll find recommended cook times for all kinds of dishes. Air-fryers vary and as I mentioned earlier, have different function settings and temperature settings. My air-fryer is a Ninja.
If you survived the pandemic WITHOUT buying an air-fryer, this seasoning mix will probably work just as well in your regular oven!
This recipe reminded me of one I’ve had in my little recipe book for who knows how many years. It’s written in my daughter’s handwriting and it’s title ”Old People Chicken.” Ingredients include 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sweet paprika, 2 T fresh ground black pepper, and 2 T oregano. The recipes have a similar flavor profile. My Christmas cookie baking friend and I have a cookie recipe (that we only used once) titled ”Old Lady Cookies,” also written in my daughter’s handwriting. Seeing a theme here.