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Whole Chicken in Air Fryer with Crispy Skin

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This whole chicken cooked in Air Fryer is packed with flavor and has extra crispy skin with juicy, tender meat.

It’s incredibly easy to make with just a few basic ingredients and is ready in an hour. Ideal for a weeknight family dinner, small gatherings, or a leisurely Sunday lunch.

whole chicken cooked in an air fryer

Here’s a little trick I use to speed things up: I tuck some carrots or swede under the chicken so the juices can drip over them, making the veggies extra tasty with crispy edges and juicy insides.

And while the chicken rests, I throw in some cauliflower, peas, or broccoli. That way, I’ve got a delicious meal for the whole family ready in just an hour!

Please continue scrolling down to find the recipe card below, which contains the complete list of ingredients with measurements, detailed recipe instructions, additional notes, and nutritional information.

air fryer whole chicken served with side vegetables and roast potatoes

Chicken is probably my favorite protein and I already shared a variety of air fryer chicken recipes in my blog.

From Crispy Breaded Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets to Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer, Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas, and Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings, you’ll find something for every occasion.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Labelled picture of ingredients for whole air fryer chicken recipe
  • Chicken – I prefer free-range, or Corn fed chicken that weighs between 1.5 kg and 2 kg (3.5 to 4.5 pounds) for this recipe. They are packed with flavor and cook quickly. Always check the best-by date before buying to ensure the freshness of the bird. Also, check if there are any neck and giblets in the cavity and remove them.
  • Olive Oil – It helps the chicken skin crisp and brown easily. You only need a tablespoon and you can replace it with melted butter or vegetable oil.
  • Vegetables – I select vegetables like carrots, swede, or parsnips that cook at the same time as the chicken and place them underneath. I use quicker-cooking vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or peas to cook while the chicken rests.
  • Seasoning – I use a generous amount of salt for chicken, especially for the cavity and the skin. Salt helps brown the skin and make it crispy. Freshly ground black pepper and paprika add extra flavor. You can pick your favorite seasoning or spice blend to suit your taste.

How to Make Whole Chicken in Air Fryer with Crispy Skin?

Important Note

Before you start cooking, note that times may differ among air fryers. I develop my recipes using a Cosori 6.8 air fryer. If you’re using a different air fryer, view my recipes as a general guide and tweak the cooking time—add a bit more or cook slightly less as needed.

Air frying a whole chicken is extremely easy and straightforward. 

However, you need to follow a few simple steps to achieve the best results:

Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before air frying to let it reach room temperature.

Preheat the air fryer to 360°F (180°C) for about 5 minutes.

To prepare the chicken, pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with olive oil, ensuring it’s evenly coated. 

In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, and paprika. Season the chicken all over, including inside the cavity, with the spice mixture

whole chicken is seasoned and covered with olive oil

Chop the carrots into chunks. Take out the grate from the bottom and arrange the carrots in the air fryer basket. 

Quick Tip!

If you prefer your carrots less cooked and crunchier, you can add them to your air fryer when you flip your chicken breast side up!

carrots are placed in air fryer basket

Then, reinsert the grate and place the chicken breast-side down in the air fryer basket. If there isn’t enough space, you can remove the grate and directly place the chicken on top of the veggies.

whole chicken is placed in air fryer basket breast side down

Air fry at 360°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken breast side up using tongs or oven mitts. Continue air frying for another 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) and the skin is golden brown and crispy.

whole chicken cooked in an air fryer

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the air fryer, lightly cover it with tin foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. 

Add the cauliflower to the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes while the chicken is resting.

cauliflower fleurons are added to air fryer basket

Expert Tips From the Chef

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before air frying to let it reach room temperature. This helps the chicken cook evenly, preventing the outside from drying out before the inside is done.
  • Avoid washing the chicken; cooking it until the core temperature reaches 74°C (165°F) will kill the bacteria.
  • Check if there are any neck and giblets in the cavity and remove them.
  • Coat the chicken’s skin with olive oil, and season the cavity and skin generously with your favorite herbs and spices.
  • Place the chicken breast-side down in the air fryer basket to start cooking, then flip it halfway through to crisp up the skin.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Let the chicken rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute for juicier meat.
  • Always remember that the cooking time depends on the size of your chicken as well as your air fryer. Have your meat thermometer ready and check it at the 45-minute mark, then adjust accordingly from there.

How to Use Leftover Roast Chicken?

I usually buy a larger chicken than we need as there are so many ways to make use of the leftover meat. They are perfect for making a quick weeknight meal or a packed lunch. 

You can shred the leftovers and try one of many recipes, such as Chicken and Eggplant Fatteh, Chicken Macaroni Salad, and Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas.

You can also make sandwiches or wraps, or make a chicken egg fried rice!

What to Serve with Whole Chicken in Air Fryer?

You can serve this crispy air-fried whole chicken with many side dishes such as Mini Tater Tots in Air Fryer, Crispy Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Easy Air Fryer Corn on the Cob, Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes, Air Fryer Hash Browns From Scratch, and Easy Air Fryer Eggplant Recipe.

How to Store the Leftovers?

Allow the chicken to cool completely at room temperature. Remove any remaining meat from the bones, divide it into portions, and place them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

You can use the carcass and bones to make homemade chicken stock.

You can keep the leftovers for up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Recipe FAQs

How can I tell if the chicken is cooked through in the air fryer?

The best way to determine if the chicken is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken (usually the thigh) and ensure it reads 165°F (74°C).
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can insert a fork or knife into the thickest part of the chicken, usually the thigh. If the juices run clear and there is no pinkness, it’s cooked. If the leg joint moves freely and the meat pulls away from the bone easily, the chicken is likely cooked.

What should I do if my air fryer is not large enough for a whole chicken?

If your air fryer is too small for a whole chicken, you can consider spatchcocking the chicken (removing the backbone and flattening it) to make it fit better.

Why resting the air fryer whole chicken is necessary before carving?

When you carve the chicken as soon as it comes out of the oven, all of the liquid is going to come out. Letting the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes allows everything to relax and redistribute the juices, seal in the moisture, and increase the flavor.

Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out! Please give us a five-star rating and leave a comment below.

I hope you enjoy the process of preparing this Whole Chicken in Air Fryer with Crispy Skin just as much as you enjoy eating it! 🙂 

Bon appétit! 

Whole Chicken in Air Fryer with Crispy Skin

Ayla Clulee
This whole chicken cooked in Air Fryer is packed with flavor and has extra crispy skin with juicy, tender meat.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 1 minute
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 people
Calories 410 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2100 g whole chicken (4.5 pounds)
  • 1 tbsp cooking olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 medium carrots (optional)
  • ½ head cauliflower (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 360°F (180°C) for about 5 minutes.
  • To prepare the chicken, pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Rub the chicken with olive oil, ensuring it's evenly coated.
  • In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, and paprika. Season the chicken all over, including inside the cavity, with the spice mixture
  • Chop the carrots into chunks. Take out the grate from the bottom and arrange the carrots in the air fryer basket.
  • Then, reinsert the grate and place the chicken breast-side down in the air fryer basket. If there isn't enough space, you can remove the grate and directly place the chicken on top of the veggies.
  • Air fry at 360°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken breast side up using tongs or oven mitts.
  • Continue air frying for another 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) and the skin is golden brown and crispy.
  • Once cooked, remove the chicken from the air fryer, lightly cover it with tin foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  • Add the cauliflower to the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes while the chicken is resting.

Notes

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before air frying to let it reach room temperature. This helps the chicken cook evenly, preventing the outside from drying out before the inside is done.
  • Avoid washing the chicken; cooking it until the core temperature reaches 74°C (165°F) will kill the bacteria.
  • Check if there are any neck and giblets in the cavity and remove them.
  • Coat the chicken’s skin with olive oil, and season the cavity and skin generously with your favorite herbs and spices.
  • Place the chicken breast-side down in the air fryer basket to start cooking, then flip it halfway through to crisp up the skin.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Let the chicken rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute for juicier meat.
  • Save the carcass for making homemade chicken stock.
  • Always remember that the cooking time depends on the size of your chicken as well as your air fryer. Have your meat thermometer ready and check it at the 45-minute mark, then adjust accordingly from there.
Keyword chicken recipes, main dish, sunday roast, weeknight meal

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