I recently acquired a Ninja Foodi electric multicooker and have spent some time experimenting with various recipes, all of which have been very successful. Perhaps one of the most enticing features of the foodi is its ability to perform a multitude of tasks in a single machine. This means you can cook a whole chicken in around 35 minutes by first using the pressure cook function before finishing the chicken on ‘air fry’ mode to help it develop a crispy skin. The results are spectacularly good and I honestly can’t see myself using the standard kitchen oven for Sunday roasts any longer.
For smaller chicken pieces (drumsticks / thighs), the air fry mode can be used on its own, resulting in crispy chicken pieces in around 25 minutes. Whilst you can of course simply add seasoned chicken pieces to the machine (and make some of the best roast chicken you’ve ever eaten), by pressing the marinated chicken pieces in seasoned flour and brushing / spraying with a little oil, the end results are much more akin to proper deep fried chicken. I have tried using a buttermilk soak prior to pressing the chicken pieces into seasoned flour (as would be traditional in fried chicken destined to be deep fried in hot oil) – however the end results were more on the crunchy / dry side (see comparison pictures below). After numerous different recipe experiments, I’ve been most pleased with the results using the marinade & seasoned flour shown in picture 3
The simple recipe below adds just a mild seasoning to your chicken pieces, enough to be noticed but not enough to take over the delicious flavour of the fried chicken pieces themselves. The ninja foodi does an excellent job of cooking these chicken pieces in less than 30 minutes and the end results are crispy on the outside and deliciously juicy on the inside.
I’ve made this ninja foodi air fried chicken several times now and, as is often the case, the flavour of the chicken is improved by marinating with the spices overnight if possible. If time is short however, marinating for 1 hour at room temperature before cooking will do just fine.
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon msg optional
- 4 pieces bone in, skin on chicken (drumsticks or thighs)
- 150 grams plain flour
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
In a bowl, add the sea salt, black pepper, white pepper, cumin powder, paprika, garlic powder and msg if using. Mix well.
Add half of the prepared seasoning to the chicken pieces and mix well until evenly coated. Cover and set aside in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight. Remove the chicken pieces from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
In a large bowl, add the plain flour and the remaining prepared seasoning. Mix thoroughly.
Set the ninja foodi to 'air fry' mode and adjust the temperature to 190c. Brush the air frying basket with a little oil. Preheat the ninja foodi on this setting for 5 minutes.
Press each marinated chicken piece into the seasoned flour, pressing down hard on all sides until the chicken piece is fully coated in flour. Gently shake off any excess flour and arrange the breaded chicken pieces into the air frying basket in the ninja foodi. Spray generously with oil, or use a silicon brush to gently coat each breaded chicken piece with a little oil.
Air fry the chicken at 190c for around 25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. As you turn the chicken pieces, brush any floury spots on the chicken with a little more oil.
When the chicken is fully cooked, open the ninja foodi lid, carefully remove the fried chicken pieces and set aside on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Season with a little sea salt and serve.
If you like this ninja foodi air fried chicken recipe, you might be interested in buying my book The Takeaway Secret (2nd edition) which is packed full of over 120 takeaway & fast-food recipes and is available to buy in kindle or paperback form here.