As someone who writes about air frying a lot, I’ve noticed a few general categories of recipes you’ll find online. You’ve got your hacks, your (often gross) stunt food, your diet versions of calorie-heavy favorites, and recipes for what’d I’d call actual, good food.
This week’s AirFryDay recipe, based on this TikTok from @everything_delish, is most certainly actual, good food. The recipe for chicken skewers is simple but delicious. With just a basic marinade and a few minutes in the air fryer, you get juicy, flavorful chicken. The final product would go well on a salad, or with rice, or as a part of a bigger summer cookout. It’s a versatile, tasty recipe.
Here’s what you need to know if you want to give it a try.
1 chicken breast, cubed into 1-inch pieces.
1 cup, plain Greek yogurt. (I used nonfat, but any kind will work.)
1 tsp each of cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and paprika.
salt and pepper
1 lemon, for juicing
In a large container, mix together the Greek yogurt, seasonings, and the juice of about half a lemon. Add a heavy pinch of salt and pepper, and mix well.
Drop the chicken in the yogurt mixture and combine well. Make sure all the chicken is coated.
Let it marinate for at least an hour, preferably longer.
Place the cubed, yogurt-marinated chicken on BBQ skewers. Do NOT remove the marinade or pat the chicken dry.
Air fry at 400 degrees for at least ten minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Finish the chicken with a squeeze of fresh lemon, then enjoy!
I cooked the chicken skewers almost exactly how @everything_delish suggested in their recipe. The only changes I made were because of limitations on my end. I didn’t have any turmeric — which they included in the original recipe — and the grocery store by my apartment had really sad-looking dill, which the original recipe used to garnish the finished chicken. Otherwise, I was faithful to the recipe.
But I think part of the fun of this TikTok recipe is that you could play with it however you choose. Want to add some hot sauce to the yogurt? That would be great. Have a particular seasoning you love? It’ll work. Swap red wine vinegar for lemon juice? Sure, it’ll be fine. You can also ramp this recipe up to make more or less servings of chicken, depending on how many people you’re feeding.
Marinating in yogurt is a classic preparation for chicken, and for good reason. If you can, marinate for a few hours. The yogurt’s mild acidity tenderizes chicken and helps create a juicy end-product. Using this method for chicken in the air fryer is genius. The only drawback to the yogurt marinade is that it can create a mess if cooked in a pan. But the air fryer is super easy to clean. Meanwhile, it can be easy to overcook chicken breast in an air fryer. The yogurt-based marinade helps avoid that issue.
Now, for actually cooking the chicken, I have one big piece of advice: If you cook meat, then you should absolutely, positively own a meat thermometer. Especially for cooking chicken. Do not rely on cook times in recipes. Think about it: Each piece of chicken is unique. Things like its size, thickness, and internal temperature at the beginning of the cooking process are going to determine when it’s finished. Unless you’re a line cook who’s made thousands of chicken breasts, get a thermometer so you don’t waste meat by either overcooking it to hell, or undercooking it and getting someone sick.
So for this recipe, test a few thick pieces of chicken as you air fry. When you test the chicken, give the skewers a turn to ensure it all cooks evenly. You want to see some char on the chicken and an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees to know the meat is ready.
Otherwise, this is a foolproof recipe. I think this is a great way to cook chicken to top a salad, or to serve with rice and veggies, or to supplement a spread at a cookout.
Here’s how my final product looked.
Credit: Tim Marcin / Mashable
The chicken was juicy while having a bit of char from the cooked marinade. The flavor of the seasoned yogurt was nice, with a bit of acidic bite from lemon and cayenne. Personally, I’d probably ramp the heat up a bit next time. But it was still really tasty.
I would definitely recommend you make this recipe. It’s simple but good, real food. And I think especially for a person starting out their cooking journey, it’s a nice way to get the hang of a great technique — marinating and skewering — while leaving room to experiment a bit. Give it a go next time you want to make chicken. It won’t disappoint.