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Air Fryer Half Chicken

Air fryer half chicken – tender and flavorful and ready in no time at all! Team it with vegetables or a salad for a perfect mid-week dinner.

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Air fryer half chicken being carved on a wooden board.
Crispy air fryer half chicken.

How to Cook a Half Chicken in an Air Fryer

Air frying a half chicken is a great option if you are only cooking for two (or one), and want a super quick roast chicken.

This recipe for cooking a half chicken in an air fryer is based on my recipe for roasting a whole chicken in an air fryer, but takes way less time.

I love a quick and easy air fryer roast, some other great roast meat recipes you should try are this succulent rack of lamb air fryer recipe, or this tender air fryer pork roast.

Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer half chicken recipe, or read on for all the details.

Air Fryer Half Chicken
Air Fryer Half Chicken with Cajun seasoning

Ingredients

Quantities for all ingredients are given in the recipe card below.

A half chicken

I can purchase a halved chicken at my local grocery store, or my local butcher will cut a whole chicken into two portions on request.

A half broiler is usually around 1½-2 pounds, though if your half chicken is larger than this you will need to adjust the cooking time.

Oil

A little oil is needed for roasting chicken, especially if you want to get really crispy skin. I usually use light olive oil, but any cooking oil with a high smoke point will work (e.g. avocado oil, vegetable oil).

Seasoning

I usually use keep things simple with seasoning and use salt and pepper. However, you can use any spice rub, spice mix or seasoning blend that you like with chicken.

Here are some seasonings that we like to use:

  • Simple salt and pepper
  • Cajun
  • Traditional herbs – rosemary and thyme
  • Lemon pepper
  • Garlic and rosemary

Directions

Not much prep is needed if the chicken has been split for you already. If you have a whole chicken and want to portion it yourself then you will need a large butcher’s knife or sturdy pair of kitchen shears. Follow the instructions in this video: How to halve a whole chicken.

It is much easier to split a chicken if you start with a spatchcock/butterflied chicken as half the job has been done for you.

Once you have your half chicken, pat it dry, and you are ready to season it.

Drizzle the half chicken with oil, then add the salt and other seasonings and rub in. Make sure you season both sides and around the wing.

Pro tip: If I’m cooking in a rush (almost always) I often spritz the chicken with oil once it is in the air fryer basket then sprinkle the seasoning and salt on. Press it in a little with the back of a spoon and you are good to go.

Half chicken in air fryer basket
Half chicken in air fryer (seasoned using my cheats method!)

Preheat the air fryer to 360F/180C, and air fry the half chicken for 15 minutes. Then flip it over and air fry for another 15 minutes. It should take around 10 minutes per half pound though if your chicken is very large or very thick it will take longer.

Check the internal temperature in the center of the thickest part, it is cooked if the temperature is 165F/74C or higher.

If it needs longer air fry for additional 5 minute intervals checking the temperature until it is done.

Note: cooking times are an estimate only and will depend on how thick your chicken is and how powerful your air fryer is.

Once finished cooking, remove the chicken to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to rest for ten minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat.

What to serve with this air fried chicken

A great thing about cooking a half chicken in an air fryer is that it leaves plenty of space for also cooking the vegetables in there with the chicken.

If I’m cooking a whole chicken then my air fryer is close to capacity and I can’t also air fry vegetables at the same time, so I have to cook them in batches.

Anyway, with a half chicken, there is lots of room, and it is so great to be able to cook a whole meal in the air fryer.

I usually toss in some vegetables to roast up once there is around ten minutes of cooking time remaining. You can remove the chicken to rest when it has finished cooking, and pop the veg back in to the air fryer to crisp up while the chicken rests.

Air fried half chicken being sliced on a wooden board.

Any of these will air fry well with a half chicken:

For an easy gravy recipe to go with this half chicken, try this gravy made from stock, alternatively, try topping it with this homemade tarragon butter.

Air Fryer Half Chicken Recipe Card

Air fryer half chicken being carved on a wooden board.
Yield: 2 Servings

Air Fryer Half Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

How to roast a half chicken in an air fryer.

Ingredients

  • Half chicken, broiler [Note 1]
  • ½ tablespoon light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chicken seasoning (optional)
  • ½ salt and pepper [Note 2]

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 360°F (180°C).  
  2. Pat chicken half dry. Rub with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper and other optional seasonig. 
  3. Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil to help prevent the chicken sticking. Cook chicken in air fryer for 15 minutes.
  4. Flip the chicken over and cook in air fryer for another 15-20 minutes [Note 3]. 
  5. The chicken is cooked if the juices run clear when you stick a knife in the thickest part. If you are unsure check with a meat thermometer - internal temperature needs to be at leaset 165°F (75°C). Air fry for additional 5 minute intervals if required.
  6. Cover the chicken with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving. 

Notes

  1. Half a small broiler will be around 1½ lb. For a larger bird the cooking times will be longer [Note 3].
  2. If you are using chicken seasoning with salt in it then don't add any extra salt.
  3. It should take around 10-12 minutes per half pound in total, but cook times will depend on how thick your half chicken is and how powerful your air fryer is.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 13.5gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 37g

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Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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