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Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe {Spatchcock Chicken}

Preparing a whole chicken is one of the best ways to cook a flavorful and juicy chicken dinner. But did you know that you can cook a whole chicken in your air fryer? With this simple air fryer whole chicken recipe, you can whip up a delicious main course for dinner in just 30 minutes!
Air fryer butterfly chicken with lemon slices on top of it.

Preparing a whole chicken is one of the best ways to cook a flavorful and juicy chicken dinner. But did you know that you can cook a whole chicken in your air fryer? With this simple air fryer whole chicken recipe, you can whip up a delicious main course for dinner in just about 30 minutes!

Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe Pin.

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What Do I Need to Make This Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe?

The delicious combination of citrus and spices in this easy spatchcock chicken recipe is what makes a stand-out main course for any dinner. But the best thing about this simple air fryer recipe is the short list of simple ingredients. To make a whole chicken in your air fryer, you’ll need:

  • Whole chicken
  • Lemons
  • Orange juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • White wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Salt
  • Thyme

Overheadview of spatchcock chicken ingredients.

Looking for more delicious air fryer chicken recipes? Give these reader favorites a try!

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How Do You Make This Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe?

Preparing a whole chicken in your air fryer is so simple! Once you butterfly and season your chicken, all that’s left to do is let your air fryer do the hard work for you! To prepare a whole chicken using your air fryer, just follow these easy steps.

Step One: Prepare the Seasoning

To prepare the citrus seasoning for your butterfly chicken, start by slicing one of the lemons into whole slices. Add the slices to a large bowl, then combine them with the orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, and thyme. Stir the ingredients together until they’re well combined.

Step Two: Marinate the Chicken

Butterfly your whole chicken (See directions below if you are unfamiliar with this technique), then place it in the bowl with the seasoning mixture. Turn the chicken two to three times to coat all sides with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Overhead view of a whole chicken in citrus marinade.

Step Three: Air Fry the Chicken

Place the chicken in a pan that fits inside your air fryer basket, then pour the marinade over the top of the chicken, making sure not to overfill the pan. Top the chicken with the lemon slices and place the basket inside the air fryer. Cook the chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken) or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 degrees. Top the chicken with fresh lemon slices and parsley before serving.

Chicken with lemon slices on a wooden cutting board.

Can You Put a Whole Chicken in an Air Fryer?

The ability to prepare a whole chicken in your air fryer will depend on a few different factors. But the most important thing to consider when figuring out whether you can cook a whole chicken in your air fryer is the size of the chicken compared with the size of your air fryer.

Small chickens are the best option when air frying a whole chicken. That’s because you’ll need to be sure your chicken fits inside the basket of your air fryer with room to spare.

In addition to measuring the size of your chicken, it’s also important to keep in mind that you’ll need to cook the chicken in a pan or pot inside your air fryer. This will help contain the juices from your chicken, preventing a mess inside your air fryer and helping to keep the chicken moist as it cooks.

How Long Do You Cook a Whole Chicken in the Air Fryer?

It’s essential that you cook your chicken for the correct amount of time to prevent bacteria from forming and making you sick. To properly cook a whole chicken in the air fryer, it should be cooked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes when butterflied or 50 minutes if the chicken is not butterflied. You’ll know your chicken is done cooking when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees when measured with a meat thermometer.

Closeup of whole chicken.

How Do You Butterfly a Chicken?

One simple way to cut down on the cooking time of your whole chicken is to butterfly the chicken before cooking it. But if you’ve never used the spatchcock cooking method before, you may be wondering how to butterfly a chicken. Just follow these simple steps for preparing your chicken for cooking in the air fryer:

  • Place the chicken on a cutting board. Start by setting the whole chicken breast side down on your cutting board with the legs of the chicken facing you.
  • Remove the backbone. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut along one side of the backbone all the way up to the neck. As you’re cutting, hold the other side of the backbone steady with your other hand. After cutting one side, hold the cut side in place with your hand while cutting down the other side of the backbone with your shears. When the backbone is removed, set it aside.
  • Flatten the chicken. Pull both sides of the chicken apart and flip the bird over so the cut side is now on the cutting board. Lightly press the chicken flat with your hands.
  • Continue with the recipe. After cutting and flattening the chicken, follow the recipe as written to prepare it in your air fryer.
Air fryer butterfly chicken with lemon slices on top of it.

Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe

Preparing a whole chicken is one of the best ways to cook a flavorful and juicy chicken dinner. But did you know that you can cook a whole chicken in your air fryer? With this simple air fryer whole chicken recipe, you can whip up a delicious main course for dinner in just 30 minutes!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Air Fryer, American
Keyword: Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinade Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 483kcal

Equipment

  • Air Air Fryer

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Slice one of the lemons into whole slices. Add the slices to a large bowl, then combine them with the orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, and thyme. Stir the ingredients together until they’re well combined.
  • Butterfly your whole chicken (See notes below on how to butterfly a chicken), then place it in the bowl with the seasoning mixture. Turn the chicken two to three times to coat all sides with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Place the chicken in a pan that fits inside your air fryer basket, then pour the marinade over the top of the chicken, making sure not to overfill the pan.
  • Top the chicken with the lemon slices and place the basket inside the air fryer.
  • Cook the chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Top the chicken with fresh lemon slices and parsley before serving. ***Note: Cooking times vary between the make & model of the air fryer and depending on the size of the chicken.

Notes

How Do You Butterfly a Chicken?

One simple way to cut down on the cook time of your whole chicken is to butterfly the chicken before cooking it. But if you’ve never used the spatchcock cooking method before, you may be wondering how to butterfly a chicken. Just follow these simple steps for preparing your chicken for cooking in the air fryer:
  • Place the chicken on a cutting board. Start by setting the whole chicken breast side down on your cutting board with the legs of the chicken facing you.
  • Remove the backbone. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut along one side of the backbone all the way up to the neck. As you’re cutting, hold the other side of the backbone steady with your other hand. After cutting one side, hold the cut side in place with your hand while cutting down the other side of the backbone with your shears. When the backbone is removed, set it aside.
  • Flatten the chicken. Pull both sides of the chicken apart and flip the bird over so the cut side is now on the cutting board. Lightly press the chicken flat with your hands.
  • Continue with the recipe. After cutting and flattening the chicken, follow the recipe as written to prepare it in your air fryer.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 782mg | Potassium: 669mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 622IU | Vitamin C: 95mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 3mg
Recipe Rating