Can You Cook Chicken Legs In The Air Fryer?

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chicken legs

Chicken Seasoning

Seasoning chicken legs is a great way to infuse them with flavour.

Here are some simple seasoning suggestions:

Basic Seasoning: Start with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle these evenly over the chicken legs.

Aromatic Herbs: Add a blend of dried or fresh herbs for a fragrant touch. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage work well with chicken.

Garlic and Onion: Try garlic powder and onion powder for depth of flavour. These pantry staples add a savoury and slightly sweet taste to the chicken legs.

Paprika: For a subtle smokiness and vibrant colour, use sweet or smoked paprika. This seasoning goes particularly well with chicken.

Chilli Powder: For a touch of heat, add a pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper. Adjust the amount based on your spice preference.

Citrus Zest: Freshly grated lemon or orange zest can brighten up the dish and add a citrusy aroma. Sprinkle a small amount for a tangy twist.

Olive Oil: Drizzle a light layer of olive oil over the chicken legs to help the seasoning stick and crisp up the skin.

Optional Sweetness: For a hint of sweetness, add a touch of brown sugar or honey.

Marination: If time allows, marinate the thawed chicken legs in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and your chosen seasonings for a few hours before air frying. This step enhances the flavours and tenderises the meat.

Customise: Feel free to experiment with other spices and seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Whether it’s cumin, coriander, ginger, or a touch of smoky barbecue rub, the options are endless.

To season the chicken legs, simply combine your chosen spices in a bowl and mix well.

Pat the chicken legs dry with kitchen paper, then rub the legs with olive oil and sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the legs, ensuring all sides are coated.

For more seasoning and marinades: Easily Cook Succulent ChickenThe Thighs In The Air Fryer

How Long To Cook Chicken Legs In The Air Fryer?

Chicken legs require a cooking time of about 25-30 minutes at a temperature of 200C / 400F.

It’s important to preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before placing the chicken legs inside.

Remember to turn the chicken legs halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking and a crispy exterior.

Cooking times may vary based on the size of the chicken legs and the specific model of your air fryer, so always check using a meat thermometer that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 74C /165F for safe consumption.

crispy cooked chicken legs

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 4 Chicken Legs (skin on bone in)
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of light brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

How To Air Fry Chicken Legs

  • Prepare your chicken legs by patting the chicken legs dry with kitchen paper. The dryer the skin the crispier the result.
  • In a large bowl mix the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, light brown sugar and oregano.
  • Rub the chicken legs with the olive oil. Dip each chicken leg into the seasoning making sure they are fully coated.
  • Place the seasoned chicken legs into the basket. Ensure enough room is left between the chicken legs to allow the air to circulate. Don’t overcrowd. Depending on the size of your basket you may have to batch cook.
  • Air fry at 200C/400F for 25-30 minutes. Turn halfway through cooking time.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken legs are thoroughly cooked. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the leg when cooked it will read 74C /165F.
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Chicken Legs In The Air Fryer From Frozen

If you’re anything like me I often forget to remove the chicken from the freezer to defrost ready for the evening meal.

Thanks to the air fryer this is no longer a problem!

The only difference between air frying fresh and frozen chicken is the air fryer temperature.

These instructions will work for any cut of frozen chicken.

frozen chicken legs

Preparing Your Frozen Chicken Legs

Start by preheating your air fryer to 190C / 380F for 5 minutes.

While the air fryer is preheating, you can prepare the frozen chicken legs.

Seasoning

Season the frozen chicken legs with your spices or herbs. Remember, frozen chicken legs may require slightly more seasoning than fresh ones.

NOTE: I wouldn’t recommend marinating frozen chicken legs unless completely thawed.

Arrangement

Place the seasoned frozen chicken legs in a single layer in the basket. Avoid overcrowding to ensure proper air circulation and even cooking.

How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken Legs In The Air Fryer

Air fry the frozen chicken legs for approximately 30-35 minutes. Turn the chicken legs occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.

Check Doneness

To ensure the chicken legs are fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken should reach a safe internal temperature of 74C /165°F.

Crispiness

If you want extra crispy skin, you can increase the cooking temperature to 220C/400F for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. This will help achieve lovely crispy skin.

More Air Fryer Recipes

How To Air Fry The Best Crispy Chicken Wings

Chicken Drumsticks Made Quickly In The Air Fryer

Easily Cook Succulent Chicken Thighs In The Air Fryer

How to Make Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breasts Every Time

Air Fryer Chicken Tips

  1. Preheating: Always preheat your air fryer before cooking chicken. This helps ensure even cooking and a crispy exterior.
  2. Pat Dry: Before seasoning, pat the chicken pieces dry with kitchen paper. Removing excess moisture allows for better browning and crispiness.
  3. Seasoning: Season the chicken generously with your preferred spices, herbs, and marinades. Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavours.
  4. Single Layer: Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the basket. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and less crispy results.
  5. Cooking Time and Temperature: Follow recommended cooking times and temperatures based on the specific type and size of chicken pieces. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) for safety.
  6. Turning: Turn the chicken halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking on both sides.
  7. Oil Spray: Lightly spray the chicken with cooking oil. This helps achieve a golden and crispy texture.
  8. Rack: Consider using an air fryer rack to elevate the chicken and allow air to circulate freely, resulting in better crispiness. Also allows you to air fry more at the same time.
  9. Frozen Chicken: When cooking frozen chicken, add a few extra minutes to the cooking time, and ensure the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature.
  10. Marination: Marinating the chicken beforehand can enhance flavour and tenderness. Keep in mind that excess marinade can create excess smoke in the air fryer, so pat the chicken dry before cooking.
  11. Check Doneness: To ensure the chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to verify the internal temperature. The thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding bones and will reach 74C /165°F when cooked.
  12. Resting: Allow the cooked chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps retain juiciness and ensures the flavours are evenly distributed.
  13. Cleanup: Line the bottom of the basket with aluminium foil or use a disposable liner to make cleanup easier, especially when dealing with marinades.

Air Fryer Chicken Leg Q and A

Yes, you can cook frozen chicken legs in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer, season the frozen legs, and adjust the cooking time slightly (190C /380C) to ensure they’re thoroughly cooked.

Cooking times vary, but generally, chicken legs take about 25-30 minutes at 200C/400F. Check the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

Yes, turning the chicken legs halfway through the cooking time ensures even browning and crispiness on both sides.

While some natural fats in the chicken skin may melt during cooking, lightly spraying or brushing the chicken with oil can help with the crispiness.

Marinating can add flavour and tenderise the chicken, but excess marinade can lead to smoke. Pat the chicken dry before cooking if marinating.

Preheating helps promote even cooking. Preheat the air fryer for a few minutes before placing the chicken legs inside.

You can cook different foods together, but be mindful of flavours and cooking times. Make sure there’s enough space for air circulation.

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken legs should reach 74C / 165F for safe consumption.

Yes, the air fryer can produce crispy skin. For extra crispiness, increase the temperature for the last few minutes of cooking.

Boneless chicken legs can be air fried. Adjust cooking times as boneless cuts may cook faster.

Cooking chicken legs in the air fryer is safe as long as you follow recommended temperatures and ensure they reach the proper internal temperature.

Allow your frozen chicken to thaw thoroughly before you marinate.

This is crucial to stop bacteria from growing; even a small amount of freezing can cause the marinade’s liquid to develop bacteria.

Annemarie

Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself yearning for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those seeking quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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