So juicy and crispy, they crackle. 
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Credit: Teresa Sabga

If you’re searching for a quick, mess-free, healthy way to cook chicken thighs, look no further than your magical air-fryer. These air-fried chicken thighs are so crispy, they crackle. You’d never believe there’s no oil included.

For optimal crispiness and the juiciest meat, we use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs — because the skin is where all the flavor lives. Usually, chicken thighs are fried in their own fat, causing the skin to render slowly. Here, the fat drips down into the basket, offering a healthier alternative.

Feel free to double or triple this recipe to suit the size of your air fryer, but just be careful not to overcrowd the basket. That will cause the chicken to steam rather than roast.

STEP 1: Preheat a 4.5-quart air fryer to 400°F. This might take up to 15 minutes — but do not skip this step.

Credit: Teresa Sabga

STEP 2: Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Natural moisture can prevent the skin from crisping up beautifully. 

Credit: Teresa Sabga

STEP 3: Combine ½ teaspoon each paprika, dried oregano, and dried basil with ¼ teaspoon each chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and a pinch of white pepper. 

Credit: Teresa Sabga

STEP 4: Sprinkle the spice mix over both sides of the chicken evenly.

Credit: Teresa Sabga

STEP 5: Mist the pre-heated basket with cooking spray and place chicken skin-side-down. Cook at 400°F for 8 minutes and flip. 

Credit: Teresa Sabga

STEP 6: Cook 15 minutes more, enjoying the sizzling sounds. The internal temperature of the thighs should reach 165°F once cooked.

Credit: Teresa Sabga

STEP 7: Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and enjoy.

Credit: Teresa Sabga

Serve alongside a bed of greens, mashed sweet potatoes or basic roasted vegetables