Roasted chicken is an art form, truly. I mean, you do remember the hoopla caused by Meghan Markle mentioning Prince Harry proposed after she made him a roasted chicken and women of all ages (who cook and have at some point read Glamour Magazine or saw versions of it on Martha Steward, the Food Network or such) were quick to shout in glee, “Engagement Chicken works!” Because of course it does.
Chicken is magic, y'all!
And I have to admit that there are few things I find more offensive, in a culinary sense, than someone ruining a simple roasted chicken. There’s just no excuse for bad chicken.
As I mentioned last year, we received a small Air Fryer as a gift and it is perfect for the two of us. I’ve been playing around and have come up with the perfect combination. It not only yields a great dinner, but there is enough left-over for healthy sandwiches the next day, and the carcass and innards become the base for a bitching chicken soup the day after that.
Air Fryer Whole Chicken
3 ½ lbs chicken fryer
1 Tbsp 21 Seasoning Salute
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp three onion rub
½ Tbsp freeze dried shallots
½ Tbsp poultry seasoning
½ Tbsp garlic and chili flake seasoning
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
(see notes below for specific information about spices used and alternatives)
In a glass jar, mix all the dry seasonings and stir with a fork to mix well. Add olive oil and stir to mix. Close jar and let stand for a few hours (I let mine sit overnight). You want the garlic, shallots and onions to rehydrate and bloom in the oil.
Remove innards package from chicken cavity and reserve for later use (for stock). Using your finger or the back of a wooden spoon, loosen the breast skin to create a pocket and spoon a couple of teaspoons of seasoning mix under the skin on both breasts. Rub about two or three teaspoons of the seasoning inside the cavity. Using a fork, make punctures on the lemon and stuff inside the cavity**. Rub the remainder of the seasoning all over the chicken.
At this point, you may start cooking, if you wish. I placed the chicken in a container and refrigerated overnight. If you refrigerate, make sure you take the chicken out 15-30 minutes so that the meat is closer to room temperature when you are ready to cook.
Preheat Air Fryer. Place chicken in basket and Air Fry at 360-degrees for 30 minutes, breast down. Air Fry for another 30 minutes breast side up. Let it rest for 10 minutes and carve—the chicken should come right off the bone and the meat will be juice and tender. Remove lemon from cavity and press down with spoon to squeeze out juices, and combine with pan juices to drizzle over chicken. The skin will turn not only golden brown, but extra crispy!
Notes (*some Amazon affiliate links below, if you want to help a girl out with a click or two):
1. I used McCormick’s minced garlic, though if I’d been using fresh garlic, I’d suggest at least three cloves.*
2. Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute is a salt free blend of onion, black pepper, celery seed, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, marjoram, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander, garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato, lemon juice and lemon oil.*
3. I used Pampered Chef’s three onion rub, a gluten free blend of yellow, red and green onions (contains 40 ml sodium).
4. Penzeys offers freeze dried shallots and poultry seasoning (a salt free blend of sage, white pepper, bell peppers, lemon peel, savory, rosemary, dill weed, allspice, thyme, marjoram and ginger).*
5. Brandless has a great, organic garlic and chili flake seasoning blend.
6. The combination of spice blends used makes the addition of salt and pepper unnecessary.
** As the lemon is not exactly “stuffing”, there’s no need to secure it inside the cavity—but I still use two or three toothpicks to close the flap over the top and allow the lemon to steam and also to get an even crisp on the skin all around.