Air fryers are similar to ovens as they use a heating element to heat the air in the pot, and then a fan circulates the hot air that cooks the food.
With the heating element being directly above the food, you also can get some browning.
When cooking chicken breasts in an air fryer, they need to be juicy on the inside and have a nice, light sear on the outside.
Alyssa Rivers, the expert behind The Recipe Critic blog has shared how to cook “tender and juicy air fryer chicken” in just “18 minutes”, claiming that the recipe is “so easy and fail-proof”.
She said: “Tender and juicy air fryer chicken is golden crispy outside and moist and delicate on the inside. This is bursting with flavour and so good.”
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Two boneless and skinless chicken breasts
One tablespoon olive oil
One tablespoon Italian seasoning
One teaspoon garlic powder
Half a teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper
1. Place the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket and rub olive oil on them. Olive oil helps to “crisp the skin” and helps the spices and herbs to adhere to the meat.
2. In a small bowl add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Rub on both sides of the chicken.
3. Cook the chicken in the air fryer at 360 degrees for nine minutes. Open the air fryer and flip the chicken. Cook for another nine minutes or the temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
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4. Let the chicken rest before cutting into it – about five minutes at least. This “allows the juices to reabsorb into the chicken” instead of spilling onto the plate.
It’s worth checking the temperature earlier than you think so you don’t accidentally overcook the chicken. Appliances can vary so go by the temperature of the chicken to ensure it’s done.
When placing the chicken in the air fryer, make sure to create room between the chicken breasts to ensure even cooking. Cook in batches if needed as it is important not to overcrowd.
For those who want to make sure their chicken is “super moist and tender”, Alyssa suggests marinating or brining it for “even greater juiciness and flavour”.
The expert explained that during the process of brining, the salt “helps the meat to absorb extra liquid through the process of osmosis”.
She said: “Soaking the chicken in salted water, results in a juicier and more flavourful final dish because the is able to hold on to more of its moisture.”
The “basic ratio” of salt to water for a brine is four tablespoons of salt per six cups of water.
To brine the chicken, fill a large bowl with about four cups of lukewarm water and add a quarter cup of salt, stirring to dissolve. Alyssa pointed out that although this may sound like a lot of salt, “only a small amount is absorbed”.
She instructed: “Add the chicken breasts to the water and let them sit at least one and a half hours or up to six hours to brine. Remove from water, pat dry with paper towels and discard the water.”
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