These Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Stuffed with Pesto are simple for an everyday dinner or make an excellent dinner party dish.
Okay, I’ll admit it – I don’t like corned beef very much. According to my Not the New York Times Cooking group on Facebook, I’m not the only one. As I was looking through some of my past recipes, I came across these Pesto Stuffed Chicken Thighs, and although they are good, I knew I could make them a little better.
Since they are stuffed with something green, they are now my choice for St. Patrick’s day, served with broccoli and pasta mixed with a little pesto.
Fresh, homemade pesto is really essential here. Good Basil Pine Net pesto should be made with pine nuts, not cashews or walnuts. Use fresh basil leaves, good parmesan, and good olive oil. Don’t skimp on this because pesto is the main flavoring. You are more than welcome to use my recipe for Basil Pine Nut Pesto. It comes together very quickly in a food processor.
Roasting Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
I have a toaster-oven-style rotisserie air fryer that comfortably fits six chicken thighs. If your air fryer won’t fit them, you could do them in batches or you could roast them in a conventional oven. The important part to remember is to check their inner temperature. They may look done, but unless they read 165℉ / 73℃ on an instant-read thermometer, they are not done. Don’t trust your eyes, trust the probe!
- 6 Chicken thighs
- Basil Pine Nut Pesto
~~ Breading ~~
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon basil, dried
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- Mise en Place
- Trim the thighs if necessary. Do not remove the skin.
- 6 Chicken thighs, Basil Pine Nut PestoPeel back the skin on each thigh. Do not remove the skin completely. Put a generous portion of pesto on the chicken flesh, and cover it with the skin.
Make the Breading
- 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepperMix the flour, paprika, basil, salt, and pepper in a breading tray.
- 2 eggsPut two eggs in another breading tray.
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbsPut the bread crumbs in a third breading tray.
- Dip each thigh into the flour mixture mixture. Shake to remove excess. Dip the flour covered thighs in the egg to cover them then roll them in the bread crumbs.
- Put them on a rack over a sheet pan in the refrigerator. Let them sit, uncovered, for 30-90 minutes.
- Put the thighs on a rack for the air fryer.
- Roast at 385℉ / 196℃
- Check the thighs at the 22-minute mark. If they have reached 165℉ / 73℃, you can remove them.
- Roast until they have reached 165℉ / 73℃ on an instant-read thermometer.
- Garnish with Italian parsley and fresh basil leaves.
- Serve the thighs with broccoli and pasta mixed with a little pesto.