Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin Recipe

Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin

Whole chicken cooked in an air fryer results in the most incredible crispy skin you’ve ever tasted, all without much fuss. I first tried making chicken this way on a busy weeknight when I didn’t have time for a long roast. What a revelation – the air fryer circulates hot air so efficiently that the entire bird was fall off the-bone tender in just over an hour. And the skin! Crunchy and golden without any oil needed. Now it’s one of my favorite simple dinners. I think you’ll love how the air fryer transforms whole chicken into the most satisfying meal. Let me walk you through the simple steps to air fryer chicken nirvana!

Recipe ingredients

  • 1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges), a small bunch of fresh thyme, 1 shallot (cut into quarters)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

How to Make This Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin Recipe

Preparation

  • Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  • Rinse the chicken inside and out under cool water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. This helps the skin get extra crispy.
  • If using stuffing, place the lemon, thyme and shallot inside the chicken cavity. Truss the legs together with kitchen string.
  • In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, fennel, and red pepper flakes until a paste forms. Generously rub this all over the chicken.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper all over as well, including under the skin. Gently loosen the skin from the breast meat and rub seasoning between the skin and meat.
  • Place the chicken, breast side up, in the air fryer basket.

Cooking

  • Air fry at 375°F (190°C) for 60-70 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) when measured at the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Halfway through, baste the chicken with any oil mixture left in the bowl.
  • If the skin starts to brown too quickly, tent the chicken with foil.
  • The skin should be a deep golden brown when done. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Serving Instructions

This chicken is a showstopper as the centerpiece of any meal. I like to serve it family style right from the air fryer basket, with the crispy skin pieces passed around. Accompany it with your favorite sides, such as roasted potatoes, sautéed greens or a fresh salad. Slice the meat and arrange it artfully on a large platter with the stuffing and any pan juices.

Storage and Freezing Instructions

Leftover chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To freeze, let the cooked chicken cool completely, then portion and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. The skin may lose some of its crispness, so you can re crisp frozen pieces in a 400°F oven for 10-15 minutes before serving. For the best texture and flavor, I don’t recommend freezing the whole bird.

Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin

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FAQs

How long does it take to cook?

For a 3-4 pound whole chicken, plan on 60-70 minutes of cooking time at 375°F. The size and weight of your bird can affect timing slightly, so use an instant-read meat thermometer to check that the inner thigh temperature reaches 165°F.

Will the skin get crispy?

The air fryer’s convection heat and minimal oil are perfect for achieving incredibly crispy skin. Be sure to thoroughly dry the chicken, loosen the skin, and rub seasoning underneath for maximum crispness. Keep an eye on it so the skin doesn’t burn.

Can I use seasoning mixes?

Feel free to substitute your favorite store-bought seasoning blends in place of the homemade rub. Just be aware that pre-made blends often contain salt, so you may not need to add more.

How do I reheat leftovers?

Leftover chicken can be reheated in a 400°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until hot all the way through. The skin may lose some crispness upon reheating, so you can recrisp pieces separately if desired.

Can I cook a cut-up chicken instead?

While whole chicken is ideal for the air fryer, you can certainly cook chicken parts too. Just reduce the cooking time to match the size of the pieces – about 45-50 minutes for breasts or thighs.

air fryer whole chicken with crispy skin

Air Fryer Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin

Whole chicken cooked in an air fryer results in the most incredible crispy skin you've ever tasted, all without much fuss. I first tried making chicken this way on a busy weeknight when I didn't have time for a long roast.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 257 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pound whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 lemon (cut in half)
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 whole onion (cut in half)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 375°F. Pat the chicken dry and season generously all over with salt, pepper and your favorite herbs. Loosen the skin and rub more seasoning between the skin and meat.
  • Place the chicken breast-side down in the air fryer basket. Cook for 30 minutes, then flip and baste with olive oil or melted butter. Continue cooking another 30-40 minutes until the thigh reaches 165°F.
  • For the last 10 minutes of cook time, turn the chicken breast-side up to allow the skin to crisp nicely. Keep a close eye to avoid burning.
  • Once fully cooked, remove from air fryer and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. The meat will be fall-off-the-bone tender and the skin irresistibly crispy.
  • Serve family style or slice and arrange on a platter with your choice of sides. Enjoy your perfectly air fried whole chicken.
Keyword Air fryer whole chicken, crispy skin air fryer chicken, Easy Air Fryer Recipes, healthy air fryer dinners
Hey there! I'm Betty Spangler. I love food, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple.