If the thought of making air fryer whole chicken at home is daunting, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to share my best tips to make this juicy chicken recipe with golden, crispy skin. My bird is 5 pounds and it perfectly fits on the bottom rack. If your bird is 4 pound or less then you can even use the fancy rotisserie spit that comes with the fryer.
Prep the lemon: Remove the stems and cut each lemon into 4 wedges. Set aside.
Wash the chicken: Remove the giblets inside the chicken. Carefully wash the entire chicken (inside and outside) without breaking the skin. To drain excess water from the chicken’s cavity, hold the chicken vertically. Place on a baking sheet. Using paper towel, gently dab the skin to remove excess water. (See tips)
Prep the chicken: Stuff the lemon wedges into the chicken’s cavity. Fold the excess skin to cover the opening. Using kitchen twine, tie up the legs. Using a brush or your hands, spread olive oil on the skin. Sprinkle McCormick Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning on the skin. Place the chicken on the Vortex air fryer cooking tray with breast side down. Set aside.
Instant Vortex air fryer oven settings: Put the drip pan on the bottom. (This will catch all the yummy chicken juices so you can make sauce later). Preheat the air fryer: press the air fryer setting, adjust cooking temperature to 375 F for 50 minutes. (It takes a few minutes to preheat.) When the oven is ready, it will beep and flash “Add Food” on the screen. Slide the chicken inside the oven on the bottom rack.
Flip the chicken after 30 minutes: Remove the chicken from the air fryer and flip it so the breast is facing upwards. (See tips)
Check the chicken at the 45 and 50 minute marks. The chicken is done when you insert a meat thermometer and it’s 165 F.
Let the chicken rest: This is an important step. Remove the chicken, place on a plate, and cover with tinfoil. Let it rest for 10 minutes so the meat retains the juice. Carve the chicken and serve.
Make the sauce (optional step): Remove the drip pan and pour the chicken drippings into a small saucer. Using a small spoon, skim the top surface to remove the oil. Heat on low to medium heat for 5 minutes. In a small cup, add the water and cornstarch. Stir until the clumps are gone. Add cornstarch mixture to the saucer and stir with a small whisk for 2-3 minutes or until it thickens. Pour on the sliced chicken meat.
Tip 1: Don't Tear The Chicken Skin The chicken skin helps keep all the juice inside when it cooks. When you’re removing excess moisture from the chicken, try to gently dab it with paper towel.Tip 2: Prep The Chicken Before You Cover It in Oil. Stuff the lemon wedges into the chicken’s cavity and tie the legs before you add the oil and seasoning. Once you add the oil the chicken is super slippery and your bird might fly off the counter. This may or may not have happened to me before! Plus it’s easy to wipe off the seasoning, so the less you touch it the better.Tip 3: Don’t Skip The Lemon I know it’s tempting to leave out the lemon if you don’t have it. Do you really need lemon wedges inside? Yes, yes you do. The lemon keeps the meat moist when it’s cooking.Tip 4: Very Important - Place The Chicken Breast Side Down, Then Flip It Later. The air fryer is smaller than a conventional oven. In an air fryer, your bird is a lot closer to the top heating element and will cook faster. To keep the breast meat moist, I like to place the chicken breast side down on the tray, then flip it after 30 minutes.The easiest way to flip the chicken is to remove the chicken while it’s on the tray and put it on a cookie sheet. Then, using tongs and and a large fork, flip the chicken so breast side is up and place it back on the tray. Now you can easily slide the entire thing back into the air fryer. If you only remove the chicken (ie. without the tray), it’s harder to put the chicken back into the air fryer.Tip 5: Remember The Drip Pan If you want to make gravy, remember to place the drip pan on the bottom of the air fryer. It will collect all the juices that you can turn into delecious gravy.Tip 6: Let the Meat Rest I know it’s tempting to carve into your fresh air fryer roast chicken. But if you want juicy chicken meat, let it rest first. You will thank me later.