Easy Lemon and Pepper (Spatchcocked) Butterflied Chicken Baked in an Air Fryer – A Fresh, Hands-off Weeknight Meal

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Hey everyone, it’s April from Relax Lang Mom here with a new recipe I tried this week using my Hanabishi air fryer oven.

I found myself staring into the fridge on Sunday afternoon, trying to come up with dinner ideas and feeling uninspired by the usual suspects. That’s when I spotted the McCormick lemon and pepper chicken marinade that had been lingering in the back for who knows how long. A lightbulb went off – I could butterfly some chicken breasts, toss them in the marinade, then air fry them for a quick and easy meal.

Easy Lemon and Pepper (Spatchcocked) Butterflied Chicken Baked in an Air Fryer - A Fresh, Hands-off Weeknight Meal 1

I’ve gotta say, I’m really impressed by how well the air fryer cooked the chicken. Normally when I just bake ca whole chicken, they can come out a bit dry ion parts and unevenly cooked. But the air fryer’s convection heat and ability to get really hot fast made for moist, tender chicken throughout. The marinade acted like a self-basting sauce as it reduced during cooking too.

The flavors were bright and summery from the lemon and pepper in the Mccormick marinade. It really let the natural chicken flavor shine through. It made for a perfect weeknight meal that was full of flavor but didn’t take long to prep or cook. And cleanup was a breeze since I only used one pan. Bonus!

How To Butterfly Chicken

Here are the key steps: to butterfly the chicken:

Start with a 1.2 to 1.8 kl whole chicken that’s been rinsed and patted dry. Remove the backbone by cutting along each side with kitchen shears or a sharp boning knife. Be careful! Discard the backbone.

Lay the chicken breast side down on a clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut through the breastbone. Cut from the neck end to the anal cavity in one fluid motion.

Open up the chicken like a book by pressing down firmly on the breastplate with your hands. Work your fingers under the breastbone area to pop it open fully.

Use your hands to flatten the chicken out to an even thickness all over. You want it opened to lay flat without any bulging areas.

I tossed the butterflied breasts with the McCormick marinade in a bowl and let it sit for at least 30 minutes on the counter, up to overnight in the fridge.

Then I arranged the butterflied chicken in a single layer in my Hanabishi air fryer oven pan, which has a non-stick coated surface. I air fried them at 180°C for 60 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the chicken was opaque all the way through and the juices ran clear. Then turned up the heat to 190°C for 15 minutes to brown them. If you have an instant-read thermometer it’ll read 78°C in the thickest part when they are done.

Easy Lemon and Pepper (Spatchcocked) Butterflied Chicken Baked in an Air Fryer - A Fresh, Hands-off Weeknight Meal 2

I served the chicken hot off the air fryer with some roasted potatoes and sautéed carrots from the garden. It was the perfect light, fresh dinner on a hot June evening. Cleanup was a cinch too since I only used the one pan.

If you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or want to try out your air fryer, I’d highly recommend giving this lemon butterflied chicken recipe a whirl. Let me know if you give it a try!

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Well I hope you found this lemon chicken recipe inspiring for your next easy meal! Don’t forget to subscribe below. Wishing you all a great week ahead. Talk soon!


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