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These Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken Thighs (Crispy) have the crispiest skin and are tossed in a homemade teriyaki sauce. Serve these juicy chicken thighs over a bed of rice for the perfect weeknight dinner. And don’t forget to finish the thighs with extra sauce. It is the best part. The easiest 30 minute weeknight dinner!
As you can tell from my recent posts, I really can’t get enough of this new air fryer. I have been testing tons of new recipes in it and absolutely love it. What can’t the air fryer do? What are some of your favorite foods to cook in it?
I am sure this goes without saying, but you can expect lots of air fryer recipes from me in the future. I love to make them and you guys are really enjoying them. So it is a win win!
Teriyaki rice bowls are a staple in my house. They are so easy to make and with the right sauce they have so much flavor.
Teriyaki sauce is definitely better homemade. I have tried a few from the store and find them to only have one flavor note. The good news is teriyaki sauce is super easy to make! And once you have all of the condiments for it on hand. You can whip it up quickly.
The key to making a good sauce is creating balance (sweetness, salt, acid, fat, spice). This teriyaki sauce hits all of those flavor notes. So I do not recommend leaving out any of the ingredients! They each have an important role.
I like to use bone-in chicken thighs and leave the skin on. The bone adds so much flavor and the air fryer gets the chicken skin super crispy. Finish them with loads of sauce and you are set! Hope you enjoy! xx
- Easy air fryer recipe
- Crispy chicken skin
- The best sweet and spicy teriyaki sauce
- Tender & juicy bone in chicken thighs
- Ready in less than 30 minutes
- Easy weeknight dinner
- Chicken Thighs: Swap for boneless chicken thighs. You may need to reduce the cooking time.
- Sesame Seed Oil: Be sure to use dark or toasted sesame oil. It has much more flavor than the lighter colored sesame oil.
- Chili Garlic Sauce: Swap for sriracha. I find the chili garlic sauce to have more flavor than sriracha, but it will work in a pinch. Reduce to ½ teaspoon or omit if you are very sensitive to spice.
before you start . . .
- Press the garlic. I cook with a lot of fresh garlic. So this garlic press is a must. It is the easiest and quickest way to finely break up the garlic. You can also use a grater, but it takes longer. If you do not have either of these tools, use a large knife to mince the garlic as finely as possible.
Step 1: Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer in a single layer skin side up.
Step 2: Air fry at 400 degrees for 6 minutes. Flip the thighs and air fry at 400 degrees for another 8 minutes. Finish the chicken thighs skin side up for 5-8 minutes, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the skin is crispy and golden.
Step 3: While the chicken cooks, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and ginger for 2-3 minutes. Add the soy, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, onion powder, and chili garlic sauce. Bring to a skimmer. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water. Add to the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
Step 4: Toss the chicken thighs with the sauce or brush it on right before serving.
Expert Tips & Recipe Notes
- Every air fryer is different. There are so many different brands, sizes, and types of air fryers on the market. They all cook a little differently. These times and temperatures work for my air fryer but might vary for yours. I always recommend checking on the food as it cooks.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer. This ensures that the chicken skin is crispy. Don’t stack the thighs. Place them in a single layer and space them out.
- Use a meat thermometer. Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure the protein is cooked perfectly. Chicken thighs have to be cooked to 165 degrees, but because of their fat content, stay moist even if the internal temperature is higher. So if the chicken is done, but the skin is not crispy enough. Continue cooking it in 2-3 minute increments.
- Don’t leave any of the sauce ingredients out. The key to a good sauce is balanced flavors. All of the ingredients are crucial to creating a perfectly balanced teriyaki sauce.
- Don’t overcook the sauce. If you let the sauce simmer for too long, it will become too thick. It will continue to thicken as it cools. On the other hand, if you remove it for the heat too early and it has not thickened, you can always reheat it to thicken it more.
- Serve over rice with extra sauce. I highly recommend serving these teriyaki chicken thighs over a bed of jasmine rice and spooning any extra sauce on top. The rice will soak up and catch all of the extra sauce.
Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken Thighs (Crispy)
- 4 large bone-in skin on chicken thighs, about 2 pounds*
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil*
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce*
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 Tablespoons cornstarch
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Place the chicken thighs in the air fryer in a single layer skin side up.
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 6 minutes. Flip the thighs and air fry at 400 degrees for another 8 minutes. Finish the chicken thighs skin side up for 5-8 minutes, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the skin is crispy and golden.
- While the chicken cooks, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and ginger for 2-3 minutes. Add the soy, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, onion powder, and chili garlic sauce. Bring to a skimmer. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water. Add to the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Toss the chicken thighs with the sauce or brush it on right before serving.