An air fryer is the perfect machine to get golden, crispy chicken legs every time! This recipe calls for marinating the chicken legs in a seasoning, and then air frying them to a perfect crispy exterior. I make these and reheat them in the air fryer when I need a quick protein with a meal!
The BEST way to cook chicken legs!
To be honest, I never bought whole chicken pieces until I started a low carb and keto diet. I wasn’t a big fan of the fat, skin, and bones.
When I started eating all meats over the past year, it was because I was becoming educated on the health benefits associated with pastured animal products.
Part of benefiting from these healthy animal meats is eating more of the animal – the fat, the skin, and the connective tissues are rich in collagen and other important nutrients.
And when you’re buying more expensive, humanely raised, healthier meat products, it’s best to reap the benefits rather than discard these healthy portions.
These Air Fryer Chicken Legs come out perfectly golden and extra crispy – thanks to a secret ingredient in the spice blend! I use baking powder, which does have corn starch in it, to crisp up the skin. This is optional – but the amount of starch that’s added to your meal is negligible and makes these irresistible!
How to Cook Chicken Legs in an Air Fryer
This recipe couldn’t be simpler! An air fryer is such a great device to have on hand for super quick, super healthy meals.
I use the Ninja Air Fryer. I am typically just making meals for myself, and it’s the perfect size to cook a complete meal for 1 or meats for a small family. There are larger options, but this one is a great price for what it does.
Step 1: Mix together the baking soda and spices.
Step 2: Rub the chicken legs down with the avocado oil, and then coat in the spices. I like to refrigerate my chicken legs for about an hour to let the flavors marinate, but even if you just allow them to sit coated in the spices while the air fryer preheats, they will turn out delicious!
Step 3: Place the chicken legs in the air fryer. Be sure not to overcrowd the air fryer so they have space to brown on all sides. I only cook 5-6 chicken legs at a time in my Ninja Air Fryer.
Step 4: Cook the chicken legs at 400º F for 20 minutes.
How to Create a Perfect Keto Meal
Chicken legs are one of the best foods for the keto diet. They are inexpensive, easy to cook, and offer a great balance of muscle meat to fatty tissues.
Eating chicken pieces that have lots of connective tissues, like the legs and wings, means you’ll benefit from the collagen found in chicken.
This same basic recipe can be used for any bone-in chicken parts. Chicken thighs and breasts will need to be cooked for 3-5 minutes longer than chicken legs.
Sides to Add to Air Fryer Chicken Legs:
Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- Air Fryer
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper optional
- 10 chicken legs
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus extra for serving
- In a small bowl, mix together baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- Add chicken to a marinating dish, and coat with the avocado oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle the seasonings on, and rub to evenly coat. Refrigerate for up to an hour to marinate.
- Set the air fryer to cook at 400º F for 25 minutes. Allow the fryer to preheat for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the air fryer, and cook for the remaining 20 minutes. My air fryer is small, so I only cook 5 chicken legs at a time. Be sure to leave space between chicken legs so they can brown and crisp up on all sides.
- Drizzle chicken legs with lemon juice prior to serving, if desired.