Bite sized morsels of flavourful chicken marinated in spices and air fried till crispy! A favourite of ours at any banana leaf meal – now enjoyed at home hot off the air fryer!
We have a number of favourites when we go out for a banana leaf meal and freshly fried Chicken 65 is one of them.
These bite sized chicken pieces are popularly deep fried resulting in a crispy like exterior while the chicken stays juicy and moist on the inside.
I decided to try air frying these to see if I could come up with a decent like restaurant style Chicken 65. Too much yogurt (one of the marinade ingredients) and the pieces will not crisp up. Will I need to use any oil at all? A big suprising NO.
What cut of chicken should I use? Chicken breast or Chicken Thighs. Take it from someone who experiemented with both – the clear winner was Chicken Thighs – cut into bite sized pieces.
What temperature should the Air Fryer be at? Too high – might it overcook the meat? Just remember these 3 digits 200C.
The marinade is made up of common spices found in most homes which regularly cook Indian food. Ginger & garlic paste, coriander, cumin, garam masala, chilli powder, curry leaves and salt make up the robust flavours.
Also a minimal amount of yogurt to tenderise the meat and small amount of egg white to help achieve crispy goodness.
One of the features of Chicken 65 is its bright red-coloured exterior. In a bid to get the restaurant-style look, I added a drop of red food colouring to it. However, if you’re using Kashmiri Chilli Powder this is not neccesary as the chilli powder already gives off a bright red hue. Allow the marinade to coat and absorb into the chicken. I marinated this batch overnight. You could also marinate for 2 hours. Be patient the marinade must do its magic for best results!
Onto the Air Fryer. My AF has a basket and grill tray attachment. I hardly use the basket and almost always rely on the grill tray. The SOP for the air fryer which will help with easier clean up in my opinion is:
Line the bottom with foil for easier clean up.
Brush some oil on the grill tray before placing chicken to air fry.
Just before air frying, mix in some corn flour onto the chicken and lay in a single layer on the grill tray. The corn flour will help with crisping up the chicken pieces.
Flip chicken after 5 mins and continue to air fry.
To promote even cooking and ensuring crispy goodness, the small SOPs need to be followed namely not overcrowding the tray and flipping chicken halfway.
After flipping the chicken just needs another 5-7 minutes and you’re done. Eating this fresh from the air fryer is highly recommended!
We paired these with some yummy rasam and steaming hot white rice with a carrot and bean egg stir fry.
We are grateful for our airfryer which has helped me ‘fry’ certain foods without copious amounts of oil, oily splatters and a need to mop the kitchen floor after!
Did you try this recipe?
Please do let me know if you've tried it, by leaving a comment or tagging me on IG @thesuddencook.
Air Fried Crispy Chicken 65
- Air Fryer
Marinate for 2 hours (or overnight if you can prep ahead)
- 600g Chicken Thighs cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbsp ginger + garlic paste pound together 4 cloves garlic and small piece ginger
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 stalks curry leaves roughly chop the leaves, remove stalks
- 1 tbsp chilli powder you may lessen to 1 tsp if making for kids too
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 egg white
- A drop of red food colouring - to get the restaurant style Chicken 65 look. optional
- 1 tbsp cornflour added just before air frying
- *Add in corn flour to chicken pieces right before air frying. Combine it with chicken well.
- Pre-heat Air Fryer at 200C for 5 mins.
- If you have a small Air Fryer (like mine) - air fry the chicken in 2 batches. Transfer half the chicken pieces onto a SINGLE layer on the grill pan. If you have an XL Air Fryer then all the pieces may fit nicely at one go. Air fry for 5 mins. Flip chicken and continue for 5-7 mins. Remove.
- Remember to add in all the curry leaves from the marinade that may be stuck in the bowl you marinated the chicken in - and include in the air fryer.
- Best enjoyed hot hot!
- If marinated overnight, remove chicken from fridge and allow to come to room temperature before placing in air fryer (around 30mins).
- Don't overcrowd the grill pan - air must be able to circulate and air fry the chicken well to achieve crispy edges and sides. This amount of chicken best be done in two batches in a small Air Fryer.
- The egg white and corn flour will help achieve the crispy goodness this dish is so popular for.
- Chicken thighs in my opinion are so much better than chicken breasts. Be sure they are bite sized
- If using Kashmiri chilli powder, no food colouring is needed.
- Remember to add in the corn flour right before air frying.
- Preheating the AF is a must. Using a temp of 200C will help achieve crispy goodness to the sides and edges of the pieces.
- Add in all curry leaves and whatever marinade from the bowl into the air fryer.
- You can always re-heat these fellas for 2-3 minutes as they are best enjoyed hot hot!