Close this search box.

The Best Air Fryer Roast Chicken

 I don’t know about you, but there’s almost nothing I enjoy as much as a perfect, crispy roast chicken. This recipe is simple, delicious, and perfect every time!

perfect crispy roast chicken air fryer

The perfect roast chicken… It’s a cooking goal so many of us have pursued, but haven’t yet achieved – until now. This chicken recipe is the pinnacle of roast chicken perfection – it’s juicy, tremendously crisp and flavourful. 

So, what makes the perfect roast chicken?

Let’s tick some boxes! The perfect roast chicken has one simple secret ingredient – buttermilk! Yes, that’s right. The secret ingredient to juicy and crispy fried chicken is also precisely what you need to make succulent, crispy and gorgeously browned roast chicken. Who’d have thunk it! And the steps couldn’t be simpler. You’ll mix the marinade, brine your chicken in the delicious mixture, ideally overnight, then pop it into the air fryer or oven, and voila! Perfect, juicy chicken for Sunday lunches, dinners, or just to treat yourself – you deserve it! 

If you make this roast chicken and you don’t eat it all, you can use the leftovers to make one of my favourite chicken salads! Try my Vietnamese Chicken Salad if you’re in the mood for light Asian flavours, otherwise, you could give my more Mediterranean-inspired Green Chicken Salad a spin! They’re both guaranteed to please.

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. You can also view the video here. Happy cooking!

perfect crispy roast chicken air fryer

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have buttermilk, what can I use?

If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can use yoghurt thinned with enough milk to reach a pourable consistency. If you don’t have yoghurt, you can make your own buttermilk using milk and lemon juice or vinegar! Simply add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup, then top up with milk until you reach the 1 cup or 250ml mark. Stir, allow to sit for 10 minutes, and then use as you would use normal buttermilk.

Why cook this in the air fryer?

If you do roast this chicken in the air fryer, you’ll be saving on both time and energy, while achieving a superior golden and crispy result. The chicken will brown and crisp up beautifully, and you can avoid turning on the oven for only one dish! Air frying is typically very efficient, shaving 30-40% off the cooking time of roasting a chicken in the oven. 

Why splay the legs?

I find splaying the legs of the bird achieves the best results when air frying a chicken. The process helps speed up the cooking time of the bird and ensures the leg meat, which usually takes longer to cook, is more exposed to the heat. The resulting chicken is crispy while maintaining its succulence. The process is similar in concept to spatchcocking a chicken, without the fuss of cutting out the backbone. 

Why is buttermilk the secret ingredient to perfect roast chicken? 

Buttermilk and yoghurt are slightly acidic and contain enzymes that tenderise the meat without toughening it. Add salt and flavourings into your buttermilk to perfectly season and flavour the bird right to the bone. Marinating the meat in this way also contributes to keeping the chicken nice and juicy while it cooks. 


perfect crispy roast chicken air fryer
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
perfect crispy roast chicken air fryer

The Best Air Fryer Roast Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 Roast Chicken


I don’t know about you, but there’s almost nothing I enjoy as much as a perfect, crispy roast chicken. This recipe is simple, delicious, and perfect every time! View the cook-along video here.


  • 1 chicken
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 200ml buttermilk or thinned yoghurt


  1. Prep the chicken by splaying the legs – to do this place the bird on a chopping board breast side up, then cut the skin connecting the legs to the breast meat using a sharp knife. Do not cut all the way through the legs joints and dark meat.
  2. Holding the legs of the bird, apply some pressure, splaying the thighs open until you feel the joint pop on both sides.
  3. To make the marinade mix together the buttermilk, garlic, salt, pepper and zest of the lemon into a mixing bowl big enough to fit the chicken in.
  4. Add the splayed chicken and cover it with the marinade, inside and out.
  5. Leave to marinate for at least one hour but if possible overnight.
  6. Pat off excess marinade, or rinse the chicken off.
  7. Air fry at 165 degrees C for 45 to 50 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Rest the chicken in the fryer basket to catch the juices from the bird. Remove the chicken and carve.
  9. Pour the roasting juices into a jug, then top up with water until the liquid reaches 350ml. Add flour to a pot and pour in a few millilitres of the juices, then whisk the flour and pan juices to a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining liquid, until the gravy is smooth and free of lumps. Cook the gravy until thick over medium heat.
  10. Serve immediately with your succulent roast chicken.


If you don’t have buttermilk, make sure to see the FAQS above for instructions on making your own with lemon juice or vinegar!

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Marinating Time: 1 Hour
  • Cook Time: 50 Minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Air Fryer


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 2266.91kcal
  • Sugar: 10.29g
  • Sodium: 7883.82mg
  • Fat: 155.57g
  • Saturated Fat: 46.47g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 95.66g
  • Trans Fat: 0.96g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.38g
  • Fiber: 1.34g
  • Protein: 190.91g
  • Cholesterol: 762.96mg
Share this recipe!

3 Responses

  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It is the little changes that make the most significant changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  2. Ive just acquired my air fry this weekend, feeling like the new kid on the block first it took a while to sort the difference settings, but nothing difficult I’m loving the receipts in your blog and the healthily approach to eating thank you.
    I am a 79 year old virgin air fryer you have made me very happy.
    Kind regards

  3. Hi Angela! Thank you for your kind words. All the best with your culinary journery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

one × 5 =

Join the Cartel

Indulge in mouthwatering recipes, secret ingredients, and expert cooking tips straight from our culinary masterminds.