This air fryer chicken thighs recipe takes less than 30 minutes, from getting the meat out of the fridge to plating it up. Plus, cleaning your air fryer takes almost no time, so you won’t find yourself spending half your evening in the kitchen cleaning.
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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
It is all too easy to reach for box meals and the take-out menu during the week, especially after a long and tiring day, despite knowing it is far from the healthiest option. The problem is that the meals that are good for use typically take much longer to prep and cook than the ones that aren’t.
It doesn’t to be this way, though; thanks to your air fryer, you can cook healthy, nutritious meals every night of the week for roughly the same effort as that boxed meal hidden at the back of the cupboard.
So, rather than opting for that unhealthy meal that you will regret the next day, why not try this quick, tasty, and much healthier chicken thigh recipe for a weeknight meal that feels like something you would only usually have at the weekend?
Could You Remove The Skin For A Healthier Dish?
Chicken thighs are many people’s favorite part of the bird and for a very good reason. Chicken thighs are rich in flavor as well as being the juiciest in terms of texture.
Unfortunately, this does come at a price, as chicken thighs are also the fattiest cut of the chicken and the most calorific.
One way to reduce the calories is to remove the skin. A lot of fat and extra calories are found within, so removing it makes sense when trying to make a slightly healthier meal.
The problem is that the skin is also where a lot of the flavor is, so removing it will obviously negatively impact the dish’s overall taste. You will also lose the crispy skin that is a big part of the dish’s texture, so it’s up to you what you should do.
Can You Use Chicken Breasts In Place Of Thighs?
Rather than removing the skin from chicken thighs, you could instead use chicken breasts if you’re worried about calories and looking to pack in as much protein as possible.
Chicken breasts are much leaner than thighs and have the highest quantity of protein by weight. Chicken breasts are the best meat option to cut fat from your diet and pack in that all-important protein for your next gym session.
You can easily adapt this recipe for chicken breasts by adjusting the cooking times. Chicken breasts cook slightly quicker than thighs and can turn chalky in texture when overcooked, so you will want to keep an eye on them.
The best way to ensure that your chicken breasts are safe to eat while also not being overcooked is to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. The Food Safety and Inspection Service state that the safe temperature for poultry is 165°F, or 74C, so make sure that they at least hit that internal temperature.
If you still want that deliciously crispy skin that you would get with chicken thighs, you can use skin-on chicken breasts for the same effect as well.
Healthy Sides To Pair With Your Thighs
As tasty as your air fryer chicken thighs might be, they will be even better when paired with a healthy veggie side for a complete meal.
One of the main advantages of any air fryer meal is that it is super quick both in terms of cooking and tidying up, making it perfect for those busy weeknights. Therefore, you will want to make sure you are pairing any equally convenient side with your chicken.
Here are several quick, healthy, and delicious veggie sides that pair perfectly with your chicken thighs.
Sweet potatoes are one of the first things that most people think of when they hear the term super foods and are an excellent alternative to potatoes when looking to make a meal a little healthier.
While sweet potatoes are delicious in almost any form, thanks to their natural sweetness, nothing beats turning them into French fries. Thanks to this air fryer sweet potato fries recipe making your own super healthy fries take less than 30 minutes.
Brussels sprouts often get a hard time, known as that one side dish that no one really enjoys at Christmas. But when cooked right, Brussels sprouts are a super tasty and nutritious vegetable.
Using this crispy air fryer Brussels sprouts recipe, you can cook moreish sprouts in less than fifteen minutes.
Kale is another vegetable often referred to as a super food, so it is nice to discover new ways of cooking it and including it in meals. This air fryer kale crisps recipe is a great way to add a healthy vegetable to your chicken thighs and add a crunchy texture to the dish.
Looking for more weeknight Air Fryer recipes? Try these out:
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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 30 minutes
- Main Course
- Karlynn Johnston
- 4 Chicken Thighs (Skin on)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons Chicken Seasoning
- Pre Heat the air fryer to 400° if necessary.
- With a paper towel pat dry the chicken thighs. Trim any excess skin that hangs over then brush them well with oil.
- Season the chicken thighs with the chicken seasoning and rub into both sides.
- Place them in the air fryer, skin side down and cook for 12 minutes.
- Flip them over and continue to cook for 12-13 more minutes, until golden and crispy and cooked to a minimum of 165° in the center.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and your favorite cooked vegetables.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.