Perfectly marinated chicken thighs air fried to golden crispy and extra lemony…how can you not stop eating them? As you pull out the fryer basket, you can hear the sizzling sound. The house smells so good and everyone’s waiting to dig-in! Serve with some fresh veggies or greens and you’ve got a nice meal.
- 2 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs, skin-on (very important for flavor/crispness)
- 1.5 tsp coarse sea salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- ¼ cup lemon juice, about 1 to 1 ½ whole lemons
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 sprays avocado oil, for the air fryer basket
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- Sprinkle Furikake, a Japanese seasoning, (substitutes: chili flakes to miso powder to shitake powder to poppy seeds)
- Extra lemon wedges on the side, about quarter to half of one whole lemon
- Debone the chicken thighs, and dice them to slightly larger than bite sizes. Look up how to debone chicken thighs if you’re not sure how – it’s important to take the time to do this, and your chicken pieces will retain so much flavor from the bone area. Transfer the chicken to a container that’s just big enough to hold all the pieces.
- Add the seasoning, from salt to olive oil. Gently mix them around to coat, and make sure all the pieces are in touch with lemon juice. Marinate overnight in the fridge and up to 24 hours.
To air fry*:
Lightly spray the air fryer basket with avocado oil. Place-in the chicken skin-side up. Try not to let the pieces touch each other too much (a little snuggle is fine just don’t overlap them) so each piece gets crisp up.
Air fry at 380F (193C) for 18-20 minutes. The skin should be golden crispy and the chicken should be cooked through but not overly cooked. If you want to be exact, the internal temperature should reach 165F (74C) on a digital meat thermometer.
*If you don’t have an air fryer – see instructions below.
Transfer the chicken bites to a medium size serving plate. Sprinkle with chives and furikake (or substitutes), and serve with lemon wedges on the side. Serve hot if possible.
You can use skinless/boneless chicken thighs but it won’t be as good! I mean who doesn’t love crispy chicken skin so it’s totally worth a little time to remove the bones. Chicken with skin-on will taste more tender.
*If using the oven, preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray with oil. Place the chicken skin side up and bake for 15 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the meat is cooked through. Then, set the oven to high broil and broil for 3 minutes to give a nice golden color.