July – Roast Chicken in the Air Fryer

July – Roast Chicken in the Air Fryer

A whole roast chicken is one of my signature dishes, it’s on our menu at least once a week and I still haven’t run out of new and different ways to prepare it. Chicken finds its way into all international cuisines and lends itself to all manner of different flavors. Best of all, the leftovers provide inspiration for additional meals during the next week. And, the bones can be saved and used to make a delicious stock. I collect the carcasses in the freezer until I have enough to make a big pot of stock, then freeze it in quart containers. Homemade stock is so much better than anything you can buy in the store.

I have roasted chickens in the oven, on the BBQ, in a clay pot, in the instant pot and now in the air fryer. The air fryer is really only a small convection oven (although my own can do many more things that I haven’t tried yet). If it’s a hot day and you don’t want to turn on your oven, or too much trouble to start the BBQ, the air fryer can come to your rescue.

Every brand of air fryer is a little different, please check the directions that came with your own. Mine does not require pre-heating, your own may suggest it.

I used a quick dry salt brine for my chicken. I rubbed it with a couple of tablespoons of kosher salt and placed it, uncovered and on a small rack, in the fridge for about 6 hours. I then loosened the skin over the breast and thighs by gently slipping my fingers between the skin and the breast meat. I rubbed fennel spice over the meat of the breast. You could use any favorite seasoning or skip this step.

Place it on the rack of your air fryer, breast side down. and cook at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. At the end of the 45 minutes turn it breast side up and cook for an additional 15 minutes. That’s it. No basting needed. Just look at this chicken!

Air Fryer Roast Chicken

Air Fryer Roast Chicken

Air Fryer Roast Chicken

Air Fryer Roast Chicken

It was delicious and easy.

Air Fryer Roast Chicken

Air Fryer Roast Chicken

The skin was crisp and the meat tender.

Most of my time lately has been taken up by caring for our new puppy, Shanna. Last weekend we dog-sat our friend’s corgis while they attended a wedding. Air fryer roast chicken and a salad was about all I could manage.

Casey, Quinn, Shanna with friends

Casey, Quinn, Shanna with friends

It was a wild and fun weekend.

 

March – Sheet Pan Mushrooms, Spinach and Sausages

March – Sheet Pan Mushrooms, Spinach and Sausages

A sheet-pan dinner, also known as a traybake in other countries, is an easy and time saving option during the week. The NY Times cooking section had a recipe for sheet-pan roasted mushrooms and spinach and I wanted to…

1. add a protein and

2. compare the sheet pan to the air fryer

‘What would happen if I added the spinach for the last few minutes in the air fryer?’ I remembered seeing a recipe for sheet pan sausages and thought ‘What would happen if I added sausages to the mushrooms and spinach in the sheet pan?’

Hmm…It would be a one pan dinner. Something we all could use during the week. 

I am going to share this with the Fiesta Friday group party. It’s Fiesta Friday # 371 and I am the co-host with Angie. Come on over to read the other posts with creative recipes, craft or gardening ideas.

So, here it is from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms (or any combination that looks interesting and wonderful), trimmed and sliced thickly
  • 1 small onion, sliced into wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed (I only used 1 tablespoon for the air fryer)
  • 4 Italian sausages or any kind that are your favorite
  • Kosher slat and freshly ground pepper
  • 5-6 large handfuls of baby spinach – about 2 6-oz containers

Method:

  1. In a large bowl toss the mushrooms, onion, garlic with the olive oil until everything is evenly coated

For the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Spread the mushrooms and onion on the lined pan, nestle the sausages among them. After 10 minutes, turn the sausages over.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes total.
  4. Then add the spinach to the sheet pan (if not using sausages you may want to add a bit more oil to coat the spinach), tossing with the mushrooms and roast until wilted, about 5 more minutes total. Turn and toss the spinach and mushrooms after 3 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Note: we found that the sausages added enough additional oil that none was needed.

Mushrooms, onion, and sausages

Mushrooms, onion, and sausages – before

Mushrooms, onion, and sausages

Mushrooms, onion, and sausages – after

For the air fryer: 

  1. Set the air fryer to 370 degrees F for 20 minutes (see my post about air fryer mushrooms here)
  2. After 15 minutes add the spinach and toss to combine, you may need to add a spritz of olive oil.
  3. After 3 minutes, toss again.

I didn’t use the sausages in the air fryer although there is no reason they wouldn’t work.

Air fryer spinach and mushrooms

Air fryer spinach and mushrooms

And here are the ones cooked on the sheet pan:

Sheet pan spinach and mushrooms with sausages

Sheet pan spinach and mushrooms with sausages

Both methods were easy and resulted in a delicious side dish or meal. My husband preferred the sheet pan dinner, he found the mushrooms meatier. I liked the slight crispness and lighter air fryer dinner. Without the sausages this would make a delicious vegetarian/vegan dinner, serve it with polenta or another starch. Leftover mushrooms and spinach made a lovely filling for an omelet.

Air fryer spinach and mushrooms

Air fryer spinach and mushrooms

Sheet pan spinach and mushrooms with sausages

Sheet pan spinach and mushrooms with sausages

February – Air Fryer Mushrooms

February – Air Fryer Mushrooms

Using the air fryer to cook mushrooms has been a revelation. Why, you might ask? Easy, hands off, lower in fat, and delicious…I will answer. I used a mixture of brown crimini with a package of organic ‘Chef’s Sampler’ mushrooms. But you can use the commonly available white mushrooms as well. The ‘Chef’s Sampler’ is a mix of Alba Clamshell, Forest Nameko, Velvet Pioppini and Maitake Frondosa.

Mixed Mushrooms

Mixed Mushrooms

The small clustered mushrooms turn crispy as if they were deep fried. The volume will reduce significantly so use more than you think you will need.

Ingredients: (2 servings)

  • 4 – 6 cups of mixed mushrooms, wiped with a damp cloth if dirty. Cut the larger ones in half.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt

Method:

  1. Toss the mushrooms with the tablespoon of olive oil and the kosher salt
  2. Cook in the air fryer at 370 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking at the half way point

That’s all.

Air Fryer Mixed Mushrooms

Air Fryer Mixed Mushrooms

Sautéing them in a pan will use much more oil or butter, and requires your attention. Try this method if you have an air fryer, I think you will find it delicious.

February – Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

February – Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

I received an air fryer for Christmas. I had been eyeing them for a couple of years, but never could make up my mind if they were worth the cabinet and counter space. The decision was made for me when I got one as a present. I have found it very useful, especially when I wanted to roast vegetables and didn’t want to turn on the oven. It does a wonderful job of roasting carrots, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or a single chicken breast.

The decision to try it with pork tenderloin was one of expediency. My usual method is sous vide, the pork emerges meltingly tender and delicious. But sous vide takes some time with setting it up, heating the water, and cooking the vacuum packed tenderloin. This time I wanted dinner on the table in less than an hour. A pork tenderloin in the air fryer cooks in 20-25 minutes, start to finish. It was delicious, although not as tender as sous vide. It is, however, a viable alternative.

I simply rubbed it with a Mexican style rub (use your favorite or anything you have on hand, even a package of taco seasoning) and roasted it at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees F and I found my own tenderloin needed an additional 5 minutes. I turned it over at the midpoint of about 10 minutes.

Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin – after

Let is rest at least 5 minutes after cooking before slicing.

Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin

I will definitely use the air fryer again when crunched for time.