Crispy and steamy air-fried plantain fries topped with spice rub air-fryer chicken thighs and a Haitian-inspired spicy, tangy, citrusy pepper cabbage slaw.
Closing the Summer
This is a fantastic recipe to make. It's also the weekend, and I was in the mood for a fried meal. In addition, fall is upon us, but it's always summer here in Florida!
As a result, the taste of the Island remains. And I'm not ready for the fall yet; maybe you are not too. How about a treat to close out this summer? Thus, my Haitian culture inspires this dish.
To begin with, we are famous for our tender fried pork chunks, "griot," that can be drenched in a spicy pickled cabbage slaw, "pikliz," served with a side of fried delicious smashed plantains, "bannann peze."
In addition, this is a healthy alternative to using pork chunks, marinated chicken thighs, and then crisped in the air fryer. You'll love This super simple air fryer chicken thighs recipe, so let's begin!
If you are looking for more air fryer chicken recipes, then you must try the following:
- Spicy Peanut Chicken Wings with Mushroom Jollof Fonio Pilaf
- Hot Honey Lemon Chicken Skewers with Asparagus.
Haitian food has a fascinating history. You have a mixture of international influences of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Taino, and West and Central African countries, from cooking methods to even the development of the Haitian Creole language.
To read more about this, visit my Papaya Rum Coconut Nice CREAMi recipe post. And this recipe idea has Americanized such a beloved dish by turning it into loaded fries!
The spicy slaw is also used in my Spiced Salmon with Pepper Cabbage Slaw and Yellow Rice. You'll want the slaw also in your fridge all year round. Additionally, if you are in the mood for more Caribbean-inspired meals, try the Chili Herb Crusted Rainbow Trout with Cannellini Beans, Spinach, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes with the beans stewed in coconut milk.
Ingredients and Instructions
The spice blend is the secret ingredient for these loaded plantain fries with crispy chicken thighs and spicy slaw. So first, you'll create the seasoning blend using garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin powder, ground cloves, dried thyme, and dried oregano.
However, if you do not have all the spices or just want to make life easier, buy some adobo seasoning mix. Then, divide the spice blend to season the pickled cabbage slaw, chicken thighs, and plantain.
Additionally, this seasoning blend can easily be used for fried pork chops, fried pork belly, and crispy chicken wings for the air fryer.
For the Chicken
Next, season the chicken thighs with the spice blend, Worcestershire sauce, avocado oil, salt, and pepper. I used avocado oil since it has a higher smoking point and will be cooked in the air fryer.
For quantities, please see the air fryer chicken thighs recipe card below.
For the spicy cabbage slaw, pikliz, you'll need finely sliced cabbage, carrots, onion, and bell pepper. Then, combine the rest of its ingredients to make the pickling juice: orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, scotch bonnet pepper, salt, and ground black pepper to make this quick pickled cabbage slaw.
I recommend you read the recipe's instructions for more detail on cutting hot peppers.
See the air fryer chicken thigh recipe card for quantities.
Finally, you'll prepare the air fryer plantain fries. First, they will be cut into thick wedges. Then, it soaked in salted water.
Next, drain the water and coat it in avocado oil. Soaking the plantain in salted water helps season it and later gives it the ability to steam the inside in the air fryer while crisping the outside.
Once air-fried, toss it with the remaining spice blend, oil, salt, pepper, and fresh chopped herbs.
See the air fryer chicken thighs recipe card for quantities.
Busy Folks - Become a better home cook with cooking tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab. In addition, some related detailed steps can be found there.
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs - Alternatively, try the oven for the baked oven chicken thighs. And try the oven temperature at 400 Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes. However, this has not been tested.
- Don't like or have access to plantains? Try it with potatoes or even make air fryer sweet potato fries. You can also substitute the plantain for lettuce wraps or a side of rice and beans.
- Pepper Sauce - Buy fresh habanero and scotch bonnet peppers and slice them. However, be very careful, wear gloves when cutting, and do not touch your face, especially your eyes. Additionally, wash all tools and cutting boards with soap and water.
- Seasoning Blend Quick Idea - You can replace the seasoning blend recipe list with 1 ½ tablespoons of Adobo seasoning blend. Importantly, keep an eye on the salt that may be included.
- Dry to Fresh Herbs - If using fresh herbs, use half the amount the recipe calls for. Dried herbs tend to be stronger. This may also be due to the oil in the herbs.
Change Heat Level - Modify the air-fryer chicken thighs recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Sliced Chicken Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw - Omit the plantains. Add the chicken to your favorite wrap/tortilla with the slaw.
- Fish Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw - Use the spice blend on the salmon, Mahi Mahi, or bluefin tuna.
- Spiced Rubbed Chicken Sandwich with Creamy Slaw - Toss a thousand island dressing with the slaw on a soft roll.
- Spiced Sweet Potato Fries - Using the spice blend
- Haitian Chicken Rice Bowl - Omit the plantains and serve them with red beans and rice. Check out my Curry Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut Rice and Beans recipe for the rice.
- Air Fryer - This recipe was developed using the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill. However, if you do not have an air fryer, you can try roasting in the oven.
- You have two options with different results: a sheet pan with parchment paper or a sheet pan with a sheet pan rack.
- The parchment paper will produce vegetables roasted in their juices and caramelization at the bottom.
- In contrast, the sheet pan rack will result in just roasting around the vegetables due to the hot air flowing around the vegetables. Now, the trick is not to overcrowd in whatever method you choose, but if this happens, toss in between cooking.
- Mandoline - Can be used to shred the vegetables for the pepper slaw. I used my Benriner Japanese Classic Slicer for the carrots in this recipe. Additionally, if you want to shorten the prepping time, use a slicer for the cabbage.
- Mixing bowl set - They were used to make the spice blend, marinate the chicken, soak the plantain, and season the food. However, other food containers can work if you do not have mixing bowls.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, place the chicken and plantain in separate 2-inch shallow containers to cool down quickly. Then, keep those two items and the pickle slaw in an air-tight sealing container. The chicken will last for up to four days. The slaw will last up to two weeks. The air-fried plantains will last up to two days but must be reheated in the air fryer.
- Freezer - Follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, you can place the chicken in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container. The plantain may freeze if they are cooled down quickly, then frozen, layered out for four hours on a tray with parchment paper, then placed in a labeled freezer-sealing bag. However, I do not recommend freezing the pickle slaw.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
It may seem like many procedures, but following the recipe's order will give the pickled vegetables time to marinate, even the chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many factors can explain why your air fryer chicken came out dry. For one, you want to simulate frying by tossing the meat in oil to sear during the cooking process to seal in the juices.
In addition, cooking the chicken longer than needed will dry out your chicken. Some cooks say chicken will be moist when slightly under 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
It also must rest for at least 5 minutes to redistribute the juices. If you don't, all that flavorful juice will seep out when you slice it. But you must ensure you fully cooked your chicken. Using a meat thermometer is also super helpful with this.
For chicken, it takes about 12 to 18 minutes in the air fryer for chicken breast, wings, and thighs. However, breaded raw chicken can take up to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness.
In short, cook it until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, toss it in a high smoke point oil, and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
Looking for other air-fryer recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other poultry recipes like this? Try these:
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- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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