You can cook any part of the chicken according to this recipe, not only the breast but the thigh, wings or drumsticks. If you want, you can remove the skin from a piece of chicken or leave it – after the air fryer it will be crispy, and the meat will be a little juicier.
Depending on the part of the chicken you are trying to marinate, your marinating time can vary. Marinating is a tenderizing method that also imparts flavors to any meat you marinate. This method dates way back to the 1300s and has been used to flavor their meat and make them even juicer. The tenderizing effects of this method come from the enzymes or acids you use. Enzymes usually come from pineapples which have the enzyme bromelain and papaya which have papain. These enzymes break down the proteins of the meat and make them more tender. Alternatively, acidic marinades also do the same but take longer.
For chicken, breasts are the part that can be marinated for the longest time – 2 days. This is followed by the thighs which can be marinated for a maximum time of 24 hours and the drumsticks and tenderloin for 12 hours. Marinating beyond these times will not make any significant results. Marinating for a longer time is more effective if you are using an acidic marinade such as those which contain citrus fruits, just like this recipe!
Aside from prolonging the marination time, you can also poke holes in the meat using a fork. This will help your chicken easily absorb the marinade. When you are in a rush, you don’t always have to marinate your chicken for a day or two. You can submerge your chicken or any meat in your marinade for at least an hour in the refrigerator. This will still impart flavors to your chicken! Better that than a flavorless air-fried chicken.
When marinating, always remember to keep the whole setup inside the refrigerator. This step will prevent any lingering bacteria from spoiling your chicken. Although some older methods call for marinating at room temperature, a refrigerate setup will always be safer. Marinating also helps your chicken gets cooked easily. No one wants to eat a raw or even a medium-rare chicken any time!
The marinade will also add moisture to the chicken you will be using, protecting it from losing moisture while inside the air fryer. This additional moisture will ensure that your chicken will stay juicy even after air frying.
Marinated chicken in air fryer recipeCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Chicken fillet skinless and boneless – 400 g
Olive oil – 2 tbsp.
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Spices – 1 tsp
- Prepare the food you need. Wash the chicken fillet and dry off excess moisture. Prepare the right spices.
- Cut the chicken fillet into strips and place it in a bowl. Add spices, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir and cover with plastic wrap, leave for 50-60 minutes. You can also refrigerate the chicken overnight.
- Place the marinated chicken strips in the air fryer. Do not put pieces on top one by one. Set the mode to Chicken (at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes).
- After the beep, remove the chicken pieces from the air fryer – they will be appetizing and fried on top.
- Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and serve. You can cut the slices into several pieces – the inside of the chicken will be soft and juicy, and the outside will be a thin toasted crust. You can serve any sauce you like with the chicken, as well as fresh vegetables and herbs.
Tips and tricks
- When choosing a chicken in a store, pay attention to the color – it should be pale pink, but not gray. Fresh chicken will have a neutral mild smell. If you are buying frozen chicken, let it thaw at room temperature.
- Leftover chicken pieces are best placed in a food container with a lid and placed in the refrigerator. Preheat the chicken in the microwave, oven, or air fryer before serving.
- You can make this dish less greasy by not using olive oil for pickling. In this case, it is better to give more time for marinating. Before cooking in an air fryer, it will be necessary to grease the grate with oil. This dish is perfect for a keto diet or protein diet.
- Marinated chicken can also be covered with corn starch to produce a crispy coating. The starch will adhere well into the moist surface of the chicken.
- For this method, marinating your chicken for 30 minutes will produce a poor result. Because your air fryer cannot have any too many juices inside, you will have to slightly pat them dry to avoid spills on the air fryer. The very short marination will lead to the removal of the marinate once you pat dry it.
- Removing the skin and air frying it separately will make the skin crisper.
- Although the different parts of a chicken benefit differently with varying times of marination, there is no need to marinate them separately.
- Adding ingredients rich in enzymes will speed up the marinating process (e.g., yogurt, milk, honey, pineapple juice).
- When marinating, use glass containers. The acidic nature of the marinade can cause metal containers to leech off metallic flavors into the marinade.
- Make sure your chicken pieces are fully submerged in the marinade to create equal flavors. Alternative to a container, you can put the chicken pieces and the marinade inside a zip lock back. This method will ensure complete submersion of the pieces.