With simple steps and common ingredients, today’s marinated air fryer chicken recipe guarantees a mouth-watering tasting experience without making a mess.
The chicken is soaked up in a perfect blend of olive oil, mustard, honey, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce to make the meat juicy and delicious. It is then cooked in an air fryer to golden perfection, bursting with flavor.
Is Air-Fried Marinated Chicken Healthy?
Yes, our marinated air fryer chicken recipe is healthy.
By using the air fryer to cook the chicken, we reduce the amount of added fat in the recipe. To be specific, there is only 0.5 tablespoon of olive oil used for each serving, keeping the saturated fat content at 3.6 grams.
Furthermore, we tried to use as little salt and honey as possible, while still ensuring the dish delivers a great balance of flavors. As a result, the chicken comes out tasty and the nutritional content, including fat, sodium, and calories is in line with the USDA Dietary Guidelines.
We also recommend serving the dish with some green salad and juice, which provides extra fiber and micronutrients.
If you are interested in other healthy air-fried chicken ideas, check out our air fryer chicken tenders and air fryer buttermilk fried chicken recipe.
Ingredients for our Marinated Air Fryer Recipe
Chicken: This recipe will work for any cut of chicken, though it is especially great with chicken breast since the citrus-based marinade acts as a flavor injector providing extra juiciness to the lean cut of meat.
Marinade: A great marinade should have a balanced flavor and combine three basic components: fat, acid, and seasoning. Vinegar, citrus juice, or enzyme-rich fruits like pineapple will soften the meat’s surface and allow the flavor to be absorbed more easily. Fat acts as a moistening agent while the seasoning imparts flavor.
Marinating is a wonderful way to experiment with ingredients while still using the cooking techniques that you are familiar with. Read on for details about the marinade we used in this recipe.
Marinated Chicken Sauce
Common ingredients are sometimes the hardest ones to prep and cook, and chicken breast is a perfect example. Since the meat is so lean, once cooked, it easily turns out hard, dry, and bland.
A simple trick to save your chicken breasts from drying out is to marinate your chicken in a flavorful sauce before cooking it. The marinade ensures tender and juicy meat everytime and the recipe is quick and easy.
Lemon juice is the key element in our marinade. Besides tenderizing the lean meat, it gives the chicken a slight lemon flavor without overpowering the other spices in the sauce.
The olive oil keeps the chicken moist and juicy while the Worcestershire sauce gives it a savory depth. Honey adds sweetness and gives the meat an irresistible golden brown crust once cooked.
And finally, a touch of herbs and spices beautifully rounds off the perfect chicken dish.
How To Cook Marinated Chicken
1. Can You Cook Marinated Chicken From Frozen?
Technically, you can cook marinated chicken from frozen but the result might not be satisfying.
Frozen chicken will release water into the marinade as it thaws, leaving the sauce watery and bland. Therefore, we recommend you let the meat thaw completely before marinating it. That way, the meat will be able to absorb all the goodness from your marinade.
2. What Happens If You Marinate Chicken Too Long?
You might think that the longer you marinate the chicken the more delicious it will be but that’s not always the case. The citrus element in the marinade could essentially break down the proteins in the meat, turning your chicken soft and mushy.
The size of the cut and the ingredients in the marinade also make a huge difference in the marinating time, so don’t assume that all marinades need the same length of time. For this skinless chicken breast recipe, it’s possible to add decent flavoring in 10 – 30 minutes.
The chicken thickness: Usually, one end of the chicken breast is thicker than the other. Once cooked in the air fryer, the breast could end up drying out at the thinner end while still being raw in the thicker part.
To solve this, place the meat in a plastic bag or wrap it in a plastic wrapper and pound it with a rolling pin. The more evenly shaped your chicken breasts are, the easier they will cook through at the same time.
The temperature: Your chicken breast is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. This is where an instant thermometer comes in handy. It is not an expensive kitchen tool but will ensure your chicken is cooked through without any guesswork.
While food safety experts recommend home cooks use a thermometer to check if the food is done, we understand that not everyone has a one to hand. But there are other ways to do the job, a simple one being to pierce the chicken and see what color juice comes out.
When chicken is cooked properly, the juice will run clear. This means that it is fully cooked and ready to be served. If the juice is red or pink, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer.
Can You Freeze Marinated Chicken?
Yes, marinated chicken can be easily frozen and can last for up to 3 months. However, to avoid multiple pieces of chicken getting stuck together once frozen, wrap each chicken piece in an individual wrapper before placing them in an airtight container or Ziplock bag. This also allows you to defrost only the desired amount of chicken instead of thawing the whole container.
What To Serve With Air-Fried Marinated Chicken
Because the chicken sucks up the marinade and traps all the moist goodness inside, making it extra juicy, you are not going to need any sauce or soup here. Some salad, mashed potatoes and lemon watermelon juice to wash it down are all you’ll need for this filling and nutritious dinner.
Marinated Air Fryer Chicken Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey divided
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic chopped
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp traditional Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice divided
- 26 oz skinless boneless chicken breast 4 breasts
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- 2 oz arugula
- 6 oz canned chickpeas
- 6 oz fennel
- 0.5 oz radishes sliced
- 0.5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 oz pistachio
- Prepare the marinade sauce: whisk together 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of honey, 1 tsp thyme, ½ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp ground pepper, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, and ½ tbsp of lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Place the chicken on a plate and pour the marinade over the top of the chicken, making sure it is covered. Let it marinate for 10 minutes.
- Add chicken breast to the air fryer and brush it with the remaining marinade from the plate. Cook at 360°F for 15 minutes.
- While the chicken is in the air fryer, make the salad. For the salad dressing: Stir together 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tbsp honey,1 tbsp lemon juice, and 2 tbsp cilantro.
- In a big bowl, add 2 oz arugula, 6 oz chickpeas, 6 oz fennel, 0.5 oz radishes, and the dressing. Gently stir until well combined.
- Then sprinkle 2 oz pistachio and 0.5 oz parmesan cheese over the salad.
- When the chicken is done, transfer it from the air fryer to a plate. Serve the chicken with salad.