Marinated whole chicken is a super delicious recipe that can be made in the air fryer or oven. This juicy whole chicken recipe is made with the best marinade that adds a ton of flavor and gives any store bought rotisserie chicken a run for its money.
Why you’ll love this marinated whole chicken in air fryer
Marinades enhance the flavor of meats when you want to skip the boiling method of infusing flavors. Marinating whole chicken and then air frying or baking is no different from do same for individual parts of the bird. Below some of the reasons we love this recipe and why you should consider marinating whole chicken for at least 30 mins before cooking.
- Texture: Marinades tend to tenderize chicken so you have a juicy tender chicken with little or no effort.
- Taste: Chicken always turn our flavorful and delicious with juicy, tender meat with crispy delicious skin.
- Family friendly: Always a family favorite, we love our chicken recipes and they always pair well with any side dish.
- Diet friendly: The marinade used on this recipe fits right into any diet. It’s Whole 30, Keto and low carb friendly.
- Whole chicken
- Garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
- Chicken bouillon powder
- Onion powder
- Oil: I used olive oil in this marinade, you can use any oil you prefer like coconut oil, canola or vegetable oil would work as well. If you are not vegan or vegetarian, butter can be use as well, it adds flavor and helps with crisping up the skin.
- Spice blend: You can swap out the spices used and use your favorite blend. Cajun, creole, fajitas, Suya or Garam masala spice blends would work for this recipe.
How long to marinate Chicken
For best results, whole chicken should be marinated for at least 60 minutes and up to 24 hours if time permits. Bear in mind that the longer the chicken sits in the marinade, the more flavorful it will be.
However it isn’t recommended to sit too long in the marinade, max time should be 48 hours (2 days). Anything beyond 48 hours may cause you to have mushy chicken. Remember the marinade also tenderizes the chicken so the meat fibers break down while it marinades.
Best Marinade for whole chicken (whole chicken marinade)
The best marinade for whole chicken will depend on the flavor you are aiming to achieve. This will depend greatly on the spice blend used. You can use any seasoning you like to make your whole chicken marinade including store bought chicken seasoning.
All you need to do to make a marinade is to mix the seasoning with oil for oil based marinade, yogurt for a yogurt based marinade or buttermilk if that’s the marinade you want to use.
The Dry rub method of seasoning will work as well if that is what you prefer.
How to make it in the air fryer
Make the marinade: Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and set aside.
Prepare the chicken: Remove the giblets from inside the chicken cavity, pat chicken dry inside and outside. Rub marinade all over chicken and inside the cavity.
Marinate chicken: Cover chicken with cling film and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hr to up to 24 hrs. If you are in a hurry, a minimum of 30 mins is recommended.
Air fry marinated whole chicken: When you are ready to roast the chicken, get it from the fridge, remove the cling film place in the air fryer basket or rack and bake at 360°F / 180°C breast side down for 40 mins then flip over and cooks for 10 to 15 mins more or until internal temperature reaches 165°F / 74°C
Making it in the oven
Preheat oven to 400°F / 180°C / Gas mark 6
Place marinated whole chicken on a baking sheet and bake for up to 90 mins or until internal temperature reaches 165°F / 74°C.
How to serve it
This marinated whole chicken recipe is versatile and can be served with a variety of sides which include but not limited to the ones listed below.
Storing and reheating
Cooked chicken shouldn’t be stored for more than days in the refrigerator.
- A minimum of 24 hours is recommended to get a tasty chicken
- Place chicken breast side down when you start cooking. Then flip over after 40 mins.
- Use a pair of tongs to flip the chicken by inserting one lip of the kitchen tongs into the cavity with the other lip gripping it from outsides. Hold firm and flip over to continue cooking.
Frequently asked questions
Can you cook a whole chicken in the air fryer?
Yes you can cook a whole chicken in the air fryer. The best size to use in the basket style air fryer is between 3.5 and 3.9 lbs. The maximum to consider is 4 lbs. 3.5 lbs chicken is best for the spit if making air fryer rotisserie chicken.
How long to marinate a whole chicken?
Any where from 30 minutes to 48 hours is a good guide. However it is not advisable to go beyond 48 hrs as the marinade continues to breakdown the meat and it may become mushy when cooked.
Can I marinade chicken overnight?
Definitely it’s best to marinate chicken overnight. For best results, whole chicken should be marinated for a minimum of 8 hours.
More Marinated Chicken recipes to try
- Marinated chicken thighs in the air fryer
- Air fryer marinated chicken drumsticks recipe
- Marinated chicken leg quarters
Other air fryer recipes you’ll love
- Air fryer Christmas chicken
- Whole chicken in the air fryer
Check out all our >>>Air fryer Recipes!
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Air fryer marinated whole chicken
- Air fryer
- Kitchen tongs
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Silicon brush
- Instant read meat thermometer
- 1 3.5lb to 4lb whole chicken (giblets removed)
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Check that giblets are removed then pat chicken dry with paper towel.
Method 1: Wet Marinade
- Mix the spice blend with oil till combined.
- Brush the marinade all over the chicken, don’t forget to brush some in the cavity.
- Cover chicken with cling film and let it marinate for up to 24 hrs in the refrigerator (if time permits)
Method 2: Dry rub
- Brush oil all over chicken and inside the cavity. Gradually pour seasoning blend a little at a time till the chicken is completely covered in spice blend.
- Gently pat it down with your fingers.
- Cover with cling film wrap and let it marinate for up to 24 hrs in the refrigerator.
Time to Air fry
- When the marinating time is up, Place marinated whole chicken in the air fryer basket breast side down. Set temperature to 360°F / 180°C for 40 mins then flip over and cook for another 15 mins or until internal temperature reads 165°F / 74°C on an instant read meat thermometer. Let it rest for 5 mins before carving.
Nutritional information is an estimate and may change based on products used. Please read full nutrition disclaimer here.