SO FRIENDS. let's kick off the food posts i promised you with something that made my instagram explode! AIR FRYER BONELESS CHICKEN. yep. it's a real thing and it's FREAKING delicious. i swear.
this wasn't going to be the first thing i posted but then i got SO MANY QUESTIONS about HOW it worked. soooo i'm here to tell you.
over the past year my style of cooking has shifted. first off im eating cleaner and i'm more conscious about the QUALITY of meat i'm eating (i try to buy organic/free range when i can). i'm working out myself and virtually coaching clients toward their health/fitness goals and this takes up a lot of my time – in order for me to WANT to make something it has to fit a few pre-requisites now. it HAS to be first delicious, second pretty clean, and third relatively easy. those are my three rules right now and this fits all of those. ALL OF THEM.
i know you're sitting there like get out of here ash it's just chicken what's “delicious” about that.
WELL LET ME TELL YOU. (besides the AMAZING tj's seasoning i use – a whole30 lemon pepper ftw!) idk what sorcery the air fryer uses, but WITHOUT FAIL this method of cooking my chicken yields the JUICIEST CHICKEN i've ever made. every damn time.
like. every time i do this i say to frankie “i just don't GET IT. HOW” .
^^^ it's been a while since we REALLY chatted food but i promise i'm not pulling your leg i really do say this every time.
TWO QUICK THINGS BEFORE WE MOVE ON. i have this labeled as a whole30 recipe BUT you need to make sure your seasoning is compliant AND i'd use an olive oil mister (not a canned spray) if you're on whole30.
SECOND. and this is IMPORTANT. this chicken for some reason comes out better with a spice/seasoning blend NOT a marinade. that isn't to say a marinade will ruin this (it won't) but i've just had better luck with less moisture if that makes sense. idk guys. it's sorcery. my GO-TO is lemon pepper, but really any dry seasoning will work here!
another small thing – YOU DO NOT want your tenders to touch in the basket. no compromising positions up in here. let them breathe. let them have space to do their thing. it's okay it's mainly down time anyway so while they're cooking just chop up other veggies for meal prep or whatever you've got going on.
you do you. but like don't let them touch.
whichhhhhh brings me to another KEY point – the FLIP!
it's CRUCIAL. and i've timed it out perfectly in the instructions for you based on the first batch and any subsequent batches… cause like i don't have time to “pre-heat” the air fryer this is supposed to be quick and easy. (and i'm lazy)
OH OH one more CRUCIAL thing and then i promise i'll stop talking and give you the recipe – please use tenders. if you use full chicken breasts i can't promise the results will be the same and the cooking times will DEFINITELY be different because they'll be thicker. just trust me on this one. get the tenders. (or if you're like some magic butcher cut your chicken breast into tenders?)
YEPPPP OKAY i'm ready to stop talking now. but just know… we're talking about life changing stuff here. LIFE CHANGING.
exactly how i make my salad chicken
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Cook Time: 21 minutes
- Total Time: 24 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Method: Air Fryer
1.5 pounds boneless chicken tenders
seasoning of your choice
olive oil spray
prep work: Lay the chicken out on a cutting board and liberally season both sides with your seasoning. Then spray both sides of the chicken with the olive oil.
first batch: Spread the chicken out in the the air fryer basket. Set the air fryer to the poultry setting (360 degrees for 12 minutes is my brand's poultry setting as an FYI in case yours is different) and let the chicken cook for 6 minutes then flip it over. If the chicken looks like it's drying out you can spray it again with olive oil, but usually mine is okay. Let it cook for another 3 minutes then let it rest on a cutting board. I always test the thickest tender by cutting into it to make sure it's fully cooked!
following batches: The following batches don't need to cook as long because the air fryer is already heated! You can just increase the cooking timer and cook each side for 3 minutes, flipping in between. Again, always test the thickest tender to make sure it's fully cooked. If i'm making 1.5 pounds i usually have to do three batches, but you can make as much as you want with this recipe!
storage/use: You can store the chicken in and air-tight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. I always dice the chicken before storing so it's good to just throw into a salad container for lunches/dinners quickly. I generally don't reheat the chicken when i'm using it in my salads, i just keep it cold!
can't you just seeeeeeeeee the juiciness??