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Air Fryer Roast Chicken with Fish Sauce Butter

Roast chicken – is there any dish more comforting and savoury? We’ve upped the umami richness with the addition of a silky, funky fish sauce butter. Recipe adapted from Eric Kim of NYT cooking. 

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Is there anything more instantly evocative of home and family than crispy, tender roast chicken? We’re real roast chicken aficionados here at the Culinary Cartel, having tried out myriad crispy roast chicken recipes. Unsurprisingly, we’ve loved them all too!

Eric Kim’s delightful spin on a roast chicken uses fresh chicken thighs for maximum moisture, crunch and flavour, and it’s all topped off with a divine umami-packed fish sauce butter. You might be surprised by the combination of flavours in this, yet they play off of each other amazingly well! 

Enjoy this crispy, crunchy chicken dish as a main with a fresh green salad, or simply serve as is. You’ll need only 6 basic supermarket ingredients to make this, and it’s ready in about 30 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight dinner option – or a fun Sunday lunch. The choice is yours!

If you love roast chicken in a flash, check out some of our other recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. To view our recipe video on Instagram click here. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make the roast chicken in the oven instead of in the air fryer?

To roast the chicken in the oven, preheat to 230 degrees C. Roast until the fat has rendered from the chicken, about 25 minutes. Then, add the torn bread and roast for a further 15 minutes, or until the chicken is golden, crispy and crunchy. 

Why use cold butter to make the fish sauce butter?

Using cold butter and gradually heating it on the stovetop will help to thicken the sauce without splitting it. 

What bread should I use to make the croutons?

To make the croutons, you can use any bread you have on hand. Sourdough adds a lovely tang, whereas milk bread and similar loaves will lend delicious sweetness to the dish. 



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Air Fryer Roast Chicken with Fish Sauce Butter

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings


Roast chicken – is there any dish more comforting and savoury? We’ve upped the umami richness with the addition of a silky, funky fish sauce butter. Recipe adapted from Eric Kim of NYT cooking. 


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 700g)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200g bread, crusts removed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp / 45g cold unsalted butter, kept whole
  • sauteed kale, or greens of choice for serving


  1. Set the air fryer to 200 degrees C. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, rub the olive oil over the skin of the chicken and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a suitably sized roasting dish then roast the chicken in the air fryer until the chicken is light gold in colour and the chicken fat has rendered about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the air fryer, scatter the bread around the chicken and toss gently to coat in the chicken fat. Turn the heat down to 170C. Place the pan back into the air fryer and roast until the chicken and schmaltzy croutons are golden brown, about 6-10 minutes.
  3. While the chicken roasts, combine the brown sugar, fish sauce and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the mixture for 2 minutes until halved, while stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and add the butter, constantly swirling the pan or stirring with a wooden spoon, until all of the butter has melted and emulsified into the fish sauce mixture. Taste the sauce and season if necessary.
  4. Plate the chicken up with your greens of choice, along with the schmaltzy croutons and a light drizzle of sauce.
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Asian-inspired


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 1036.65kcal
  • Sugar: 12.55g
  • Sodium: 1693.96mg
  • Fat: 69.73g
  • Saturated Fat: 22.87g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 40.48g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 57.83g
  • Fiber: 5.49g
  • Protein: 45.14g
  • Cholesterol: 239.08mg
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