The best Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Thighs have crispy skin with amazing ranch flavor and juicy meat inside.
These chicken thighs have a subtle flavor of ranch dressing, with dill, garlic, and buttermilk. The air fryer crisps up the skin, almost reminiscent of it being grilled, while keeping the meat juicy and tender.
The Ranch Flavor
The ranch flavor for this recipe comes from ranch seasoning. You’ll need two packets of the seasoning mix to make 4 servings. If you’d like to skip the store-bought seasoning, our homemade ranch seasoning is super-delicious. If making your own, you can find buttermilk powder on Amazon or in specialty grocery stores.
What Kind Of Chicken To Use
The thing I love most about this recipe is how crispy the skin gets. It kind of darkens a bit, see info below, giving it a grilled-type of flavor. For that whole crispy-skinned-grilled thing to happen, you need to use skin-on chicken. So, look for bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. If you can’t find those, skin-on chicken drumsticks will also work. I wouldn’t use chicken breasts for this one because it’s harder to find them with the skin, but more importantly, the breast meat is going to dry out too much. You want nice juicy dark meat for this recipe.
How To Make Ranch Chicken In The Air Fryer
To make the Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Thighs, start by making your seasoning blend, if making your own. Or just get out the packets! To make your own, mix together the dill, buttermilk powder, chives, parsley, onion powder, thyme, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Add the chicken and toss to coat. Make sure the ranch mixture is under the skin and all around the outside of each piece of chicken.
Place the chicken into the air fryer basket and place the basket into the air fryer. Let the chicken hang out in there with the air fryer turned off for 15 minutes. This allows the buttermilk powder to rehydrate and flavor the chicken, along with the herbs and spices.
Then, set the air fryer temperature to 400°F. Air fry the chicken for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 160°F on an instant-read thermometer placed into the thickest part of the thigh. Larger chicken thighs might need a few more minutes to reach 160, so cook for 3 more minutes at a time until it reaches the proper temperature.
Turn the air fryer off and let the chicken rest inside the air fryer for 5 minutes before serving.
I like to serve this with potatoes and green beans, but it will go just as well with mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, and any favorite green vegetable.
Why Is My Chicken So Dark?
You will notice that the chicken skin is quite dark when it comes out of the air fryer. This is because of the buttermilk and herbs essentially blackening in the air fryer. The skin will be dark or mahogany colored in some places, golden brown in others, as if it were cooked on a grill. And just like from the grill, the flavor isn’t a burnt flavor, but that deep, well-seasoned, grilled flavor. The ranch chicken thighs will perfectly crisp all over, with moist, juicy, tender meat under the skin.
More Ranch Recipes?
If you can’t get enough of delicious ranch flavor, you can also make your own dressing. My homemade Ranch Dressing is made with Greek yogurt for slightly lighter salad dressing. Enjoy! -Christine xoPrint
The air fryer gives these ranch flavored chicken thighs crispy skin while keeping the meat tender. If using store-bought ranch seasoning, you’ll skip step #1 and all of the ingredients listed there, and instead, use 2 of the 1 oz. packets. Or, if you have already made a homemade ranch seasoning, or if you buy it bulk, then you’ll use 4 tablespoons of your mixture (there are 2 tablespoons in each packet of seasoning, so 4 tablespoons is equivalent to 2 packets).
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:
- 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. dried dill
- 1 Tbsp. buttermilk powder (optional)
- 2 tsp. dried chives
- 2 tsp. dried parsley
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- In a bowl or resealable gallon bag mix together dill, buttermilk powder, chives, parsley, onion powder, thyme, garlic powder, and salt.
- Add chicken, toss to coat.
- Place chicken in air fryer basket, place basket in air fryer but do not turn the air fryer on. Let stand 15 minutes.
- After the 15 minutes, set air fryer to 400°F. Air fry chicken 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F when placed into the thickest part of a thigh.
- Turn air fryer off. Let chicken stand 5 minutes before serving.
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