You won't be able to resist this air fryer boneless chicken thighs recipe. It combines juicy chicken with tangy honey mustard seasoning.
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Each mouthwatering piece of chicken you get from this recipe is perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This deliciousness is achieved without the guilt of deep frying or grilling chicken thighs. That's where the magic of an air fryer comes in.
Why choose boneless chicken thighs? They are juicy, flavorful, and cook quickly, making them an ideal choice for weeknight dinners or last-minute cravings. And when you cook chicken thighs in the air fryer, they become even more amazing.
Reasons to Love
- Quick and easy preparation. With just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious meal ready in no time.
- Full of flavor. The honey mustard seasoning adds a burst of tanginess and sweetness that complements the crispy exterior perfectly.
- A healthier alternative to deep-frying. Compared to traditional deep-frying methods, you can enjoy the crispy texture of fried chicken without all the excess grease and calories.
You don't need a lot of ingredients to make this simple chicken recipe. Most of the items used are everyday pantry staples.
Here's what you'll need to make this easy recipe:
- boneless chicken thighs
- whole-grain mustard, or Dijon mustard
- raw honey
- yellow mustard
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- cayenne powder
- smoked sweet paprika
- olive oil
- fresh parsley
Scroll down to the recipe card for quantities used.
To start this air fryer chicken thigh recipe, preheat the air fryer to 380°F. Then follow the simple step-by-step directions below.
In a small container combine garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne powder, and smoked sweet paprika. Mix well. Pat dry boneless chicken thighs for this recipe then season with salt, ground black pepper, and the garlic mixture.
In a small bowl, combine whole grain mustard, yellow mustard, and olive oil. Mix well. Place over seasoned chicken.
Coat both sides of boneless chicken thighs with the mustard mixture. Scrape-off any excess mustard and return to the small bowl.
Marinate boneless thighs for at least 30 minutes.
Place chicken thighs onto air fryer basket or tray, skin side up and place in air fryer. After 5 minutes, lightly baste chicken with the mustard mixture. Flip and air fry the chicken skin side down in the air fryer.
Pour honey into the remaining mustard mixture. Mix well. After 10 minutes, brush both sides of chicken with the honey-mustard mixture. Return to the cooking chamber, skin side up. Cook the chicken at 390°F for the last 2 minutes.
Hint: Patting the chicken thighs dry helps the seasoning and marinade adhere better to the surface. Removing the excess mustard before marinating prevents it from dripping excessively when air frying later.
There are many ways to season and enhance the taste of your chicken thighs. Let's take a look at some delicious flavor variations and seasoning ideas you can try:
- Seasoning combinations - try out combinations like garlic herb, lemon pepper, or barbecue rubs.
- Marinades - create a simple marinade using ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Glazes - brush on a mixture of honey or maple syrup combined with soy sauce or balsamic vinegar during cooking for a sweet and savory glaze.
- Breading - Dip your seasoned chicken thighs in beaten egg before coating them in Panko breadcrumbs or finely chopped nuts.
Top tip: Keep an eye on the cooking time and temperature, as the honey in can cause the chicken to brown quickly.
- Flip the chicken thighs halfway through the cooking process to allow an even crispiness on both sides.
- Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer to test for doneness. I like to remove the meat at 175°F.
The chicken pairs well with a refreshing berry salad or flavorful garlic butter green beans. For an added touch of indulgence, you can top the chicken thighs with crispy bacon crumbles or a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs such as parsley or thyme to add an extra layer of flavor.
You can also serve it with warm smashed potatoes or crispy potato wedges for a comforting yet nutritious accompaniment. To add a pop of color and freshness, add bright cherry tomatoes or pickled red onions as garnishes that offer an irresistible burst of flavor in every bite.
Place the cooled chicken thighs in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. They can be stored for up to 4 days. If you want to store them for longer periods, they can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
When reheating the chicken thighs, use an oven or air fryer for best results. This will help maintain the crispy outside and juicy interior while ensuring the honey mustard seasoning remains flavorful.
Yes, preheating your air fryer is recommended. Preheating helps ensure even cooking and allows the chicken thighs to develop that desirable crispy exterior.
While marinating is unnecessary, it can add extra flavor and tenderness to your chicken thighs. The meat should be marinated for at least 30 minutes before air frying.
Chicken thighs with bones can be used, but you must adjust the cooking time. It will take longer to cook them. You can even use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
Love chicken? Here are a few more dinner ideas for one or two you can try:
- Chicken Divan is a cheesy casserole that is sure to please.
- Whole chicken in air fryer produces a juicy inside and crispy outside.
- Black pepper chicken is a popular American Chinese dish.
- Creamy curry chicken is a delicious topping for white rice.
- Air fryer chicken legs are perfect for busy weeknights.
Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs with Honey Mustard
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 1 ½ raw honey
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley for garnishing
- In a small container combine garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne powder, and smoked sweet paprika. Mix well.
- In a small bowl, combine whole grain mustard, yellow mustard, and olive oil. Mix well.
- Pat dry boneless chicken thighs.
- Season boneless chicken thighs with salt, ground black pepper, and the garlic mixture.
- Coat both sides of boneless chicken thighs with the mustard mixture. Scrape-off any excess mustard and return to the small bowl.
- Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes.
- Gently transfer marinated boneless chicken thighs onto Air Fryer tray, skin side up.
- Then slowly insert Air Fryer tray into the pre-heated 380F (193C) middle cooking chamber, near the rotisserie catch. Set timer for 20 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, lightly baste chicken with the mustard mixture. Return boneless chicken thighs, skin side down, into the cooking chamber.
- No need to wait for the “turn food” reminder provided by the Air Fryer. See tips or notes when closing the door.
- Pour honey into the remaining mustard mixture. Mix well.
- After 10 minutes, brush both sides of chicken with the honey-mustard mixture. Return to the cooking chamber, skin side up.
- For the last 2 minutes, increase the Air Fryer temperature to 390F (199C).
- Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy.