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Buttermilk Marinated Air Fryer Whole Chicken

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This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it’s so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!

This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!
Air Fryer Whole Chicken

This easy weeknight whole chicken air fryer recipe has crispy skin and is delicious and family-friendly! So good, you’ll want to make it again and again! Out of all my air fryer recipes, this one has become a weekly staple. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake this in the oven too, or try this Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary. More air fryer chicken recipes you must make, this juicy air fryer chicken breast, these kid friendly air fryer chicken tenders, and these delicious air fryer chicken thighs.

This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!

This Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken recipe was adapted from Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. This recipe is so good that I’ve been making it weekly on nights when I don’t feel like cooking. It’s as easy as buying a rotisserie chicken. The recipe, which is inspired by Southern fried chicken, involves marinating the entire chicken in buttermilk overnight before cooking. Instead of deep frying, the chicken is baked in the oven. However, using an air fryer is much faster and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. The buttermilk and salt tenderize the meat, making the chicken juicy with beautifully browned skin. Serve it alongside a simple summer tomato salad, chopped Feta salad or quick cabbage slaw.

How to Cook an Air Fryer Whole Chicken

To cook a whole chicken in an air fryer, you will need:

1 whole chicken, about 3 lbs, an air fryer large enough to fir a whole chicken – at least a 6 quart basket and your preferred seasoning (salt, pepper, herbs, etc.) and buttermilk.

  1. Rub the chicken with the salt, making sure to coat it evenly.
  2. Marinate a few hours or as long as overnight in buttermilk in the refrigerator, flipping halfway.
  3. When ready to air fryer, remove from buttermilk, pat dry and let it rest to room temp, 1 hour before.
  4. Place the chicken in the bottom of the air fryer basket, and start the chicken breast side down.
  5. Cook the chicken 350F for 25 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  6. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

How long should you cook chicken in air fryer?

For a 3 pound chicken, it will take about 25 minutes to cook on each side at 350F. Cooking times may vary depending on the size of your chicken and the power of your air fryer. It is recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is cooked to the correct temperature.

Buttermilk as a Marinade for Chicken

Buttermilk is often used as a marinade for chicken because it contains lactic acid, which helps to tenderize the meat. This makes the chicken more tender and flavorful. The acid in the buttermilk also helps to break down the proteins in the chicken, which helps the marinade to penetrate the meat more effectively. This results in a more flavorful and juicy final dish.

In addition to its tenderizing properties, buttermilk also adds moisture and richness to the chicken, which helps to prevent it from drying out during cooking. It also has a slightly tangy flavor that can help to enhance the flavor of the chicken.

To use buttermilk as a marinade, simply soak the chicken in a mixture of buttermilk and your preferred seasonings for several hours or overnight. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more tender and flavorful it will be. When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the marinade and cook as desired.

Variations:

  • This recipe is simple, with just 3 ingredients but if you want to add more spices, you can add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, and/or oregano.
  • Leftover chicken can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container and is perfect in salads the next day.
  • Use the leftover carcass to make chicken stock.

This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious. It's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious. It's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

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Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

4.86 from 62 votes
7
Cals:329
Protein:50
Carbs:1
Fat:12.5
This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious. It's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
This Buttermilk-Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken comes out unbelievably juicy and delicious, and it's so easy to make, just 3 ingredients!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Marinate Time: 1 d
Total: 1 d 55 mins
Yield: 4
Serving Size: 1 /4 chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 pound trimmed whole chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pint 1% buttermilk

Instructions

  • The day before you want to cook the chicken, season the chicken generously with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and let it sit for 30 minutes. Optional: tightly tie together the legs of the chicken with a piece of butcher’s twine.
  • Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl (large enough to hold the chicken) and pour in the buttermilk. Cover tight and refrigerate overnight rotating the chicken half way so both sides gets marinated.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it, then remove the chicken from the buttermilk shaking excess and discarding the buttermilk.
  • When ready to cook, transfer the chicken to the air fryer basket (at least 6 quart) belly side down. Season the top of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Air fry 350F about 25 minutes, until the top of the chicken is browned, then flip over, season the other side with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook 25 minutes, until golden and crisp and brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh.
  • When the chicken’s done, remove it to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Oven Version

  • To bake in the oven, bake 400F until golden and crisp and brown all over and the juices run clear when you insert a knife down to the bone between the leg and the thigh, about 1 hour or longer if needed.

Last Step:

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Video

Equipment

Notes

Nutritional values are based on the whole chicken divided by 4 with no skin. Values will differ depending on what part of the chicken you eat, and if you eat the skin or not. Points will also vary with and without the skin, and which part of the chicken is consumed.
Nutrition Values per serving with skin: Calories: 426 · Protein: 46g · Carbohydrate: 1g · Dietary Fiber: 0g · Total Sugars: 1g · Total Fat: 25.5g · Saturated Fat: 7g · Cholesterol: 144mg · Sodium: 153mg
 
Note: Cooking times may vary depending on the size of your chicken and the power of your air fryer. It is recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is cooked to the correct temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 /4 chicken, Calories: 329 kcal, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 50 g, Fat: 12.5 g, Saturated Fat: 3.5 g, Cholesterol: 153 mg, Sodium: 162 mg, Sugar: 1 g

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187 comments on “Buttermilk Marinated Air Fryer Whole Chicken”

  1. Super!!! Thank you for sharing this. Mine came out like the crispiness of a peking duck. Hubby said it’s delicious!

    1. Hi! I so want to make this for our Sunday family dinner – TONIGHT! Would this still be delish if it only marinated for say 4 hours?

  2. Oh my stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is Chicken Perfection!!! I was hoping my chicken would look as golden and delicious as yours. It did! The chicken was super tender and juicy and the taste was phenomenal! Thank you so very much for sharing your recipe! I will definitely be trying more of your culinary creations! 

  3. So simple and so good and juicy! I made it in my air fryer. My bird was a little under 4 pounds and I didn’t have any twine, so I didn’t bother with that part. Still came out great! I’ve always been too intimidated to cook a whole bird, but no more!

  4. Tasted like a semi-dry rotisserie chicken. No one in my family would eat the skin.  I followed The directions perfectly from beginning to end. Not sure what happened but won’t be making this again.

  5. This recipe is on REPEAT for our family. It’s SO simple yet comes out delicious, juicy, and flavorful every time. Bonus is how the skin looks when it’s done…and yes, it’s very tasty.

    Thank you Gina for ANOTHER great way to cook healthy, yet have flavor too.

  6. THIS IS DELICIOUS! U wanted to make something different from my regular rotation, and something that would be simple. Boy, did this exceed my expectations. I bought a chicken that was labeled 5 pounds, once I removed the giblets I weighed it again and it was 4 lbs. I added a little onion power and garlic powder to the recipe. My chicken marinated for 20 hours because I forgot to pre it earlier l, but it didn’t disappoint. Made this in my Ninja Air Fryer. I will definitely be making it again. 

  7. I love a lot of Skinnytaste recipes, but this is hands down the best one. So simple. I’ve never attempted to roast a whole chicken but this was so easy. It made the juiciest chicken breast I’ve ever had. 

  8. Avatar photo
    Jan Laribiere

    I have made this chicken twice and I have to say this is the best chicken I have ever tasted.. So  simple but so wonderful! The chicken is juicy and tasty and the skin is crisp and mahogany coloured. Wow, This  is perfect chicken. Leftovers are delicious as well. 

  9. In my Ninja air fryer, I opted for the “roast” setting instead of “air fry”, based on the product manual. Before cooking, I rubbed a little seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika on the skin. Well, I didn’t do an adequate job of checking the meat temperature, because upon carving I discovered that the white meat was perfect, but the dark meat wasn’t fully cooked. The skin was nice and crispy. So, I recommend trying this, but just be careful about checking the internal temperature.

  10. I absolutely love this chicken.  I have it for dinner one night and the leftovers are made into your chicken Waldorf  salad. Or your buffalo chicken salad.  

    Sometimes I add a lemon or stuff the insides with any leftover herbs I have in the fridge.  It’s simple, fast, delicious and efficient.

     GINA I make so many of your recipes but this is one of my all time favorites.  My family also loves your weekly meal plans.   

    Thank you.   

  11. Avatar photo
    Catherine Mastronardi

    This came out fantastic. Best meal I’ve made in the air fryer.  The skin was crisp and the chicken was moist and flavorful. I did add chili garlic salt instead of plain kosher salt. Will make this again and again. 

  12. This was delicious….so moist. I don’t have an air fryer yet, so followed the oven directions and used a cast iron pot. I also added some dry seasonings. Will definitely make this again..

  13. Avatar photo
    Becky Halligan

    My chicken is 5 1/2 pounds- how long would I cook it in the airfryer? ( your recipe calls for a 3 pound chicken which was not available at my grocery store).

      1. A larger chicken will take longer, its best to use a thermometer to test if it’s done, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife in the thigh.

    1. Avatar photo
      Jan Lariviere

      I used the Brevilla and it was perfect. Just use the baking pan and rack because there would be too many juices falling on the elements. It was PERFECT! 

      1. Avatar photo
        Laura Johnson

        Is it possible to make and cook in the same day? Can I marinade for 6 hours?

  14. The outside was cooked great but the inside was raw.  Did I do something wrong? I used my air fryer 

  15. Probably the best roast chicken I have ever made. Using a high quality organic chicken is a must. So much cleaner tasting. Thanks Gina. I’ve been following your recipes since 2014 and this is the first time I’ve been compelled to comment. So good!