Upgrade your chicken game with tender, juicy air fryer chicken legs. Experience the convenience of cooking without sacrificing taste or texture.
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These succulent chicken legs are a healthier alternative to deep-fried versions and offer endless possibilities for seasoning and flavoring.
With an air fryer, you can enjoy the crispy goodness of fried chicken without all the fat. The magic of circulating hot air produces perfectly cooked chicken with a satisfying crunch.
Reasons to Love
- Crispy on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside. The hot air cooks the chicken legs evenly, resulting in a perfectly golden and crunchy exterior similar to deep-fried chicken.
- Healthier than traditional frying. By using little to no oil, you can indulge in crispy chicken without all the excess calories and fat typically associated with deep-frying. The air fryer also helps render some unhealthy fats from the skin.
- Customizable seasonings. Whether you prefer a simple salt and pepper rub or a flavor-packed marinade, you can easily customize your seasonings based on your taste preferences.
You only need a few simple budget-friendly ingredients to make delicious air fryer chicken legs.
Here are the things you'll need to make the recipe:
- chicken leg quarters
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- smoked paprika
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- olive oil
Scroll down to the recipe card for quantities used.
Just a few simple steps are required to create perfectly cooked chicken legs. So gather your ingredients, preheat air fryer, and get ready to savor some mouthwatering goodness.
Place chicken leg quarters on a large plate, skin side down. Lightly brush with oil. Season with salt, black pepper, and the garlic mixture. Carefully flip the chicken, skin side up, and season this side.
Transfer chicken onto the tray or air fryer basket, skin side down. Place the chicken in the preheated fryer with a cook time of 35 minutes.
Cook the chicken legs in the air fryer until internal temperature reaches 165°F, flipping each piece at the last ten minutes.
Hint: When turning the chicken leg quarters, remove the tray and close the door. This will prevent the air fryer from changing the temperature. Use kitchen tongs and spatula when turning each chicken leg quarter.
Giving the visitor ideas on how they can change this recipe to better suit their dinner guests, or their cultural cuisine, is a great way to increase the chances they make the recipe
- Coat the chicken legs with a mixture of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese for an added crunch and cheesy flavor.
- Experiment with different seasonings like a smoked chicken rub.
- Lightly coat them with a thin layer of flour before placing them in the air fryer for an extra crispy exterior. The flour creates an additional barrier that results in an even crisper texture.
- Try marinating the chicken for at least 30 minutes. A simple olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper marinade works wonders. This not only adds flavor to the chicken but also helps tenderize it.
- Use white meat. Chicken breasts can be air fried using the same method if you prefer white meat.
You can also make BBQ boneless chicken thighs in the air fryer instead of grilling.
Top tip: Make sure to evenly coat the chicken legs with a thin layer of oil before air frying to achieve a crispy skin texture. The oil creates a barrier that locks in moisture, making the skin golden and crunchy.
You'll have juicy meat, crispy skin, and a flavorful meal in no time by following these three key steps:
- Pat dry the chicken legs before seasoning: Before adding any seasonings, pat dry the chicken drumsticks. This prevents energy from being wasted on evaporating surface moisture rather than browning, ensuring a crispier result.
- Place chicken legs in a single layer. This allows the hot air to circulate evenly and ensures that each piece gets that desired crunch.
- Flip halfway through cooking. This simple action helps to distribute heat evenly and ensures that both sides of the chicken legs are beautifully golden and delicious.
These tips will ensure you get perfectly cooked chicken every time. Say goodbye to greasy fried chicken and hello to healthier yet equally satisfying meals.
Hot out of the air fryer, these chicken legs pair perfectly with your favorite dipping sauce. Whether it's tangy barbecue sauce, zesty honey mustard, or Mexican adobo sauce, choose whatever suits your taste buds. Add a side of red potato salad for a satisfying meal.
Allow the chicken legs to cool down completely before storing them. Then, place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Place them in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking and consume them within three to four days.
If you want to keep them for a more extended period, freezing is an option. Transfer the chicken legs into freezer-safe containers or bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Frozen air-fried chicken legs can last up to three months without compromising quality.
If you love air frying, here are a few more recipes you can try.
- Bacon-wrapped little smokies are incredibly flavorful.
- Frozen chicken wings in an air fryer cook with minimal effort.
- Shrimp skewers have a crispy texture and delicious flavor.
- Air fryer chicken nuggets are simple to make from scratch.
- Bacon-wrapped onion rings are a tasty snack or appetizer.
Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- 2 pieces chicken leg quarters
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- kosher salt to taste
- ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil or olive oil
- Pre-heat Air Fryer at 370°F (188C). Set at 35 minutes.
- Pat dry chicken.
- In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked sweet paprika.
- Place chicken leg quarters on a large plate, skin side down. Lightly brush with oil. Season with salt, black pepper, and the garlic mixture. Carefully flip chicken, skin side up and season this side.
- Gently transfer chicken leg quarters onto the Air Fryer tray, skin side down.
- Slowly insert Air Fryer tray into the middle cooking chamber, near the rotisserie catch.
- At the last 10 minutes, turn the chicken leg quarters skin side up. Skin will turn crisp and golden. No need to follow the “turn food” reminder provided by the Air Fryer.
- Remove chicken leg quarters after 35 minutes, ensuring the internal temperature is at 165°F on the thickest part.
- Transfer chicken leg quarters and serve on a large plate with your favorite dipping sauce or gravy for chicken.