Need a reliable, versatile, go-to chicken breast recipe for your air fryer? This is it! These Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breasts are amazingly tender and flavorful, plus they’re meal prep and freezer friendly – perfect for quick weeknight meals!
Tenderize the chicken: Place the two chicken breasts on a plate next to a cutting board. One at a time, tenderize each chicken breast by placing it into a Ziploc bag or between plastic wrap, laying it on the cutting board, and pounding the chicken with a flat tenderizer or heavy pan. Go slowly and methodically to create an even thickness in the chicken, focusing on tenderizing the thicker parts more. It should take about 10-15 seconds to tenderize each piece of chicken.
If your chicken breasts more than 10 ounces each, I recommend horizontally cutting the chicken into two halves, then lightly tenderizing all pieces into an even thickness. One 10 ounce chicken breast will become two 5 ounce thinly sliced pieces of chicken, and so on.
I prefer to use some kind of ‘shield’ to avoid raw chicken splatter during tenderizing (gallon Ziploc or plastic wrap), but if you have a preferred method to tenderize your chicken, go for it. Be careful to avoid cross contamination here!
Season the chicken: Place tenderized chicken back on the plate and use a paper towel to pat the chicken breasts dry on both sides. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the avocado oil and white vinegar together, then drizzle on to the chicken. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to coat both sides of the chicken with the oil & vinegar mixture. Next, mix all the seasonings together in a small bowl and sprinkle on both sides of the chicken breasts. For best results, let the chicken sit to marinate for at least 20 minutes, up to 2 hours. If refrigerated, let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking.
Cook the chicken: Use tongs to place seasoned chicken breasts into the air fryer basket in a single layer, not touching if possible. Air fry at 380F for 11-16 minutes based on size, flipping halfway through. Exact cook time depends on the weight and thickness of the chicken breast. The chicken is done when the edges are browning and the internal temperature reads 165F.
Small chicken breasts (5-6 ounces): Cook for 11-13 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Rest the chicken: Once fully cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the air fryer and place onto a clean cutting board. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting to reabsorb all the juices. Don’t skip this step!
Serve and store: Slice, dice, or serve as a main dish on a salad, with potatoes and veggies, chopped up with pasta, anything you want! Store leftover chicken in an airtight container with lid in the fridge for up to 4 days. Leftovers are actually very delicious cold (like for a salad meal prep), or you can reheat in the air fryer at 350F for 5-6 minutes until steaming hot.