Air Fryer Spatchcock Chicken is juicy and tender. For winner winner chicken dinner, you can't beat this quick and easy recipe. Butterflied chicken in the oven results in crispy roast chicken that will melt in your mouth.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
This recipe is not only quick and easy, but it is full of flavour.
With a quick cook time, crispy skin and succulent chicken, you will never want to use the oven again!
Requiring no marinade time, we simply brush on the lemon herb mix for a tasty combo that is reminiscent of a good roast chook!
Save heating up the whole house, press a few buttons on the air fryer and put your feet up whilst dinner cooks.
We use everyday, easy to find ingredients and a step by step method that shows you exactly what to do.
Serve the recipe with a salad, side or Gravy Fries for a feast that you will make again and again!
The ingredients needed for the recipe are shown in the photo below. This is super handy for you to use at the shops when getting the ingredients. For the full measurements and instructions, please refer to the recipe card below.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Whole chicken: I recommend using a free range chicken. The size of the chicken will make a difference to the total cook time. However, due to the rapid speed of the Air Fryer and the fact that we are flattening the chicken, it will still take less time than roasting a chicken in the oven!
- Lemons: there is no marinade time needed for this recipe as we use simple, flavourful ingredients that sing. By using the juice of fresh lemons, we keep the chicken zesty and fresh!
- Olive oil: we only need a small amount of oil. If you are looking for an alternative, you can substitute chicken stock
- Italian herbs: we add these to the recipe to give the chicken the rotisserie/roasted flavour and texture. The herbs not only help with flavour, but also the appearance of the freshly air fried chicken
- Salt and black pepper: we add the salt and pepper to the lemon juice, herbs and olive oil prior to brushing onto the chicken. These help season both the chicken and the marinade
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We need a chopping board, knife or kitchen scissors (kitchen shears).
- Use a chopping board and hand held juicer for the lemons (Photo 1)
- Combine the marinade/seasoning ingredients by whisking (Photo 2)
- Pat the raw chicken dry using paper towels (Photo 3)
- Use kitchen scissors (shears) and start down one side of the chicken (Photo 4)
As a measured amount, the lemon juice is equivalent to ⅓ cup of lemon juice.
It brings freshness, a delightful citrus tang and flavour.
Use regular paper towel to gently pat the chicken dry to remove excess moisture.
Then use kitchen scissors (or a sharp knife) with chopping board to remove the backbone of the chicken.
- Repeat for the other side to remove the back bone (Photo 5)
- Flip chicken to breast side up and push down hard in the centre (Photo 6)
- Add raw spatchcock chicken to baking tray (Photo 7)
- Pour lemon herb olive oil over raw chicken (Photo 8)
👩🍳 How to Make Air Fryer Butterflied Chicken
Once the backbone is removed from the chicken and you have flipped it to breast side up, you need to push down in the centre to get the chicken to flatten.
Then you need to add it to a baking tray, simply to allow for marinading or seasoning the chicken.
On a chopping board, the liquids would run off in each direction, however, in the baking tray, they pool and then can be used with a pastry brush to ensure that the whole chicken is seasoned!
You can marinade the chicken for 30 mins once it is coated in the lemon, olive oil mix, however, I find that it is just as flavourful when you cook it without any marinade time.
- Use a pastry brush to ensure entire chicken is seasoned (Photo 9)
- Once it is fully marinated/seasoned we transfer to Air Fryer (Photo 10)
- Place seasoned chicken into Air Fryer basket (Photo 11)
- Cook for 50 mins to 1 hour (Photo 12)
🍖 How long does it take to air fryer chicken
The size of your chicken WILL affect the recipe for a couple of reasons.
One is that a larger chicken will take a lot longer to cook than a smaller one.
Another is that a smaller chicken will lay flatter in the Air Fryer.
You will still be able to test that the chicken is fully cooked by seeing that the juices run clear (ie not pink) and or by using a kitchen thermometer.
If in doubt, remove the chicken, examine closely and cook for a further 5 to 10 mins as necessary.
The results will be finger licking, winner winner, Chicken dinner with succulent, fall off the bone, juicy tender chicken!
You will find that once rested for a couple of mins after cooking, the chicken is juicy, tender and falls off the bone!
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most commonly asked questions and answers that you will come across when making this recipe.
How long does it take to Air Fryer Chicken?
The cook time for the chicken will depend on the size.
A smaller chicken will take less time to cook than a larger chicken.
For this recipe, I use a 2kg whole raw chicken and it takes 50 mins at a temperature of 180 degrees to be fully cooked.
Watch that the juices run clear and not pink as a sign of the chicken being fully cooked.
What temperature should chicken be in an Air Fryer?
The ideal temperature to cook chicken in the Air Fryer is 180 degrees or 356°F.
The Air Fryer will cook the chicken a lot more quickly that the oven or stove.
As the air moves and flows over and above the chicken, you will find that it cooks quickly and browns the skin as it cooks.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
There are so many sides and salads that pair well with chicken! Here are a few popular options:
The Gravy Fries will offer a take out style side and balance the protein with carbs.
😍 More Easy Chicken Recipes
If you love cooking chicken (me too!), then here are some more ideas that I think you will love:
- Sweet Chilli Chicken Thighs
- Oven Chicken Kabobs
- Chicken Mince Stir Fry
- Asian Chicken Pizza
- Chicken Yaki Udon
- Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Italian Herb Chicken Thighs
- Creamy Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Sausage Rolls
- Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti
Air Fryer Spatchcock Chicken
- 1 Air Fryer
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Kitchen scissors
- 1 Pastry Brush
- 1 Small measuring jug
- 1 kg/2 pounds whole chicken free range
- 3 lemons ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
- 1 tbs olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
- Turn the air fryer on to 180°C/350 F for 50 mins.
- Use a knife and kitchen scissors to cut the backbone out of the chicken
- Flip it to breast side up and use the ball of your palm to push down and flatted.
- Use a sharp knife to cut through the joint of each wing and discard the tips
- Use a knife, chopping board and juice to juice the lemons, discarding any pips and juiced halves.
- In a small jug, combine lemon juice, olive oil, Italian herbs, salt, pepper and whisk till consistently mixed together.
- Place spatchcock chicken into baking tray, pour over lemon herb mix and use a pastry brush to brush so that it is fully covered
- Place chicken into the basket (or lined tray) of the Air Fryer. Cook for 50 mins or until the juices run clear, not pink.
- Rest for 3-5 mins before serving
- Note 1 This is not the 1st step of the recipe, however, in my experience, it is the thing that everyone looks for the most when reading the recipe. If your Air Fryer does not require pre heating (most models do not), then simply turn on the Air Fryer and cook the chicken once you have place it into the basket or lined tray.