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Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

RECIPE: Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
RECIPE: Air Fryer Chicken ThighsBecca Jacobs
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
5 mins

Chef notes

Chicken thighs are universally beloved in my household and are typically eaten for dinner at least once a week. I consistently have a pound of these in my freezer waiting to be defrosted. I prefer a chicken thigh to a breast; they're easier to cook and so much more flavorful. Chicken thighs are considered dark meat and have more fat on them than a chicken breast would. Think of this extra fat as wiggle room on the chicken's cooking time; you don't have to worry about overcooking and drying the meat out. As another differentiator, this recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, which have additional fat and flavor from the bone and skin than the alternatives. 

This tasty batch of lemon-rosemary chicken thighs relies heavily on a fantastic spice rub. The spice rub combines a delicious combination of fresh rosemary with lemon zest and garlic. All these flavors come together when you rub them between your fingers with salt. The salt acts as an abrasive, further breaking down the ingredients to get more flavor. This salt and herb mixture is mixed with oil to form a paste, which is then rubbed all over the chicken, coating it thoroughly. The chicken then enters the air fryer for twenty minutes until the skin is a crispy golden brown and the meat is juicy. I love this as a dinner idea on deck without needing specialty ingredients. 

Technique Tip: The chicken can be assembled with the herb rub ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until dinner time. 

Swap Option: You can use dried rosemary and garlic instead of fresh but make sure to sniff them before using. If your spices don’t smell like the ingredient they are supposed to be, they’re probably too old!


  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated (about 1-2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as avocado or canola
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1½ pounds), patted dry
Fulfilled by



In a medium bowl, combine the rosemary, lemon zest, garlic and salt. Use your hands to rub the ingredients together, infusing the salt with the rosemary, lemon and garlic. Add the oil and mix to form a paste. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat.


Preheat the air fryer to 375 F.


Add the seasoned chicken thighs to an air fryer basket, skin side up, and cook for 20 minutes. You don’t need to flip the chicken thighs.


Remove the chicken thighs from the air fryer basket and let them rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.