Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven)

Thursday 19 August 2021

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 
When I first moved into my new home I decided to buy myself an air fryer.  They are all the rage at the moment.   

I had one of the older T-Fal ones in the UK and I am rather ashamed to say I really didn't use it like I should have done. It was overly large and my kitchen too small. It did great chips and wings, etc. but it was so large I couldn't keep it in my kitchen

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 
It got relegated to our bedroom closet with all of the other things which were too large for storage down stairs and I have to admit, it never got used again.  Sad but true. 

I am that person. That person who only uses things that are easily accessible to me.  If I need help to get something out to use, the truth is I just will rarely if ever use it.

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 
Its not that I didn't want to use it, its more like it was more trouble to dig it out than it was worth.  In any case I got myself an air fryer when I moved into my new home and made a promise to myself that I was going to use it.  Regularly.

And I have done. I bought a Cuisinart toaster oven air fryer, which had good reviews from ATK (America's Test Kitchen).  I figured I could use it for more than one purpose. 

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 
I call it the Cremator.  That's because almost everything I have tried to cook in it burns and rather quickly too. Its very fierce.  I've been playing with it for months now and have still not come to terms with it.

I recently decided to buy myself a smaller one and see if I could work that one out any better.  Today I decided to try to fry some chicken in it and I am happy to say, I managed to do a half decent job.

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 
I based my recipe loosely on one I found on a blog called Recipes Worth Repeating.  I did make a few changes.

I came near to cremating it, but managed to stop just shy of that, and ended up with tender, juicy, well flavored chicken.  A tiny tad bit darker than I would have liked. 

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven)  
I used smaller chicken thighs than she did and adjusted the cook time accordingly.  I wanted a recipe to feed two.  

I used four small bone in, skin on chicken thighs, whereas she used 5 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  I did remove the skin and discard it, but I kept the bone in. 

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 

I did that for several reasons.  One bone in chicken stays moister.  Two, bone in chicken has better flavor than bone out. 

I discarded the skin because I was trying to be healthier, but you could leave the skin on if you wanted to.

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 
Having removed the skin, I knew that the coating would have a problem sticking to the chicken.  What is the point of using panko bread crumbs if you can't make them stick.

I therefore soaked the chicken in some water before shaking it with the crumb and spice mixture. I wanted my crumbs to stick.  I suppose you could do the same with some buttermilk.

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 
The spice mixture is a really nice combination. You would think it would be ultra spicy, but it just isn't.

There is ground cumin, sweet paprika, curry powder (I used medium), sweet paprika, mild chili powder, salt and pepper.  This was just perfect.

 If you wanted it really spicy you could amp up the heat a bit by using hot paprika, and a stronger curry powder, also a stronger chili powder.

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven) 
I am a huge wimp when it comes to food that bites you back. I just don't like it. I want to be able to taste all the flavors in what I am eating. I don't want to burn my mouth.

Or worse yet, at my age anyways, get a huge case of indigestion, a very real problem with me.  I have gastric disease.  When I was younger, the hotter the better!  I prided myself on being able to eat hot peppers and all sorts without any problem. 

This is no longer the case.  

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven)
But cutting back a bit on the timings, using bone in chicken and dampening the chicken so that the coating adhered I ended up with some pretty tasty, crisp and juicy chicken. 

I served it with some corn on the cob, mashed squash and a kale salad.  Yes, that does sound healthy.  Well, it did to me anyways. 

I think that when you live on your own you can have a tendency to not eat properly, or at proper times.  I found myself getting into that habit.  I am trying to change that now.  

I have spent so many years taking care of everyone else, now I need to be a bit more selfish and take care of me.  In any case, this was really tasty!  I highly recommend and if you don't have an air fryer, never fear. You can still cook it in the oven if you wish, with successful results.

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven)

Small Batch Fried Chicken (air fryer or oven)

Yield: 2
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 25 Min
Crisp, moist and delicious with a beautiful blend of spices.


You will need:
  • 4 smallish bone in, skin on chicken thighs
For the coating:
  • 1/2 cup (60g) Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mild chili powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Place the breadcrumbs and all of the seasonings into a large zip lock bag. 
  2. Have a bowl of water ready.  Remove the skin from the chicken and discard.  Put the skinned chicken into the bowl of water.  
  3. Remove the chicken one piece at a time and place into the bag with the crumbs and seasonings.  Shake to coat really well.  Place into the basket of your air fryer (see note if oven baking).  Repeat until all the pieces of chicken have been coated. Take care not to overlap the chicken pieces.
  4. Set the temperature on your air fryer to 350*F/180*C.  Preheat if necessary.  Insert the basket holding the chicken into the air fryer, top side down.
  5. Air fry for 10 minutes.  Using a pair of tongs, carefully turn the chicken over and then air fry for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the air fryer and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


It is possible to cook this in a regular oven if you don't have an air fryer. You will still end up with incredibly delicious chicken. Prepare chicken as above and place onto a baking sheet you have sprayed with some non-stick low fat cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 400*F/200*C/ gas mark 6. Bake the chicken bottom side up for 15 minutes, flip the chicken over and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

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  1. I have a Cusinart Air fryer toaster oven as well and had the same issues at first. What I have found that seems to work is to preheat for at least 5 minutes and adjust the temp downwards by 25-50 degrees and then set my regular oven timer for half the time required by the recipe and then at that point I stir or flip the item being cooked. Then I reset the timer for a few minutes more and just keep checking until it looks right. The timer on the toaster oven is not accurate at all. It's more hassle to use this way but at least I don't waste the food and we do get a decent product in the end. My main complaint with air fryers in general is that they seem to work best with processed foods (think frozen french fries or frozen egg rolls etc) and not as well with homemade food so that is an issue when you are cooking from scratch. If I was buying again I wouldn't bother with an air fryer period. You can get a similar cook if you use a convection oven at a higher temp. and a pan that allows air to circulate around the food.

    1. I think you could be right, but I do want to try to make things from scratch in there if I can! Much cheaper than buying a convection oven for me! It’s an adventure in the making! Watch this space! Xoxo

  2. Haven’t tried an air fryer, sounds like it takes getting used to. I do love chicken, not spicy though.

    1. This isn’t “spicy” spicy, just nice if you know what I mean! Xoxo

  3. I was burning everything also.
    I changed putting things on a tray, to using a deeper pan and covering the food with foil for the 1st half of the cook, and then removing the foil so it browns.

  4. Hi Marie...I am an elder living alone so just cooking for myself. I can't wait to try this recipe! I don't have an air fryer but will try the oven method. Looks so good! I love fried chicken!

    1. It will be just as tasty in the oven I am sure! Xoxo


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