4-ingredient Buffalo chicken thighs are a simple and quick way to put a delicious dish on a table. It will take only 10 minutes of your time and 30 minutes you will need to wait until the meat will marinate. You will get a nice golden color and crispy skin on the outside and tender and juicy meat on the inside.
This recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner or even to make them in a larger quantity and to keep them frozen in the freezer.
If you’re in love with the traditional buffalo chicken wings, but you’re looking for a “meatier” variant of it, then you found the right place! I marinated the chicken thighs in a delicious homemade buffalo sauce that I highly recommend trying to make. It will take you only 10 minutes to make. But of course, you can use whatever store-bought buffalo sauce that you prefer.
These chicken thighs cooked in air fryer pair perfectly with almost any side dish. Just serve with your favorite one.
What You Will Find in This Post?
- How to make the chicken thighs juicier?
- What ingredients you can substitute?
- Serving suggestions. What goes well with those buffalo chicken thighs?
- Expert tips. On what you should pay attention?
- Storage instructions and a lot more.
👩🍳How to Make Buffalo Chicken Thighs?
- Clean and wash well the chicken thighs.
- Marinade the chicken thighs with buffalo sauce and optionally, with salt and pepper.
- Let the meat marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Arrange the chicken in the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes at 375°F / 190°C.
- Serve near your favorite side dish.
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- It is prepared from simple and accessible ingredients.
- It doesn’t take much time from your side.
- Chicken is the type of meat that most people like. So it is ideal when you’re planning to cook for a crow. Just keep in mind that all of them should love spicy food.
- With only a few ingredients, you will get a delicious result.
- You don’t need to flip the chicken thighs during the cooking.
- If you want to simplify even more this recipe, consider using the store-bought buffalo sauce.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutes
- Chicken Thighs. I used boneless chicken thighs because they cook faster. You can also use the same recipe for a whole piece with bone, but you will have to adjust the cooking time.
- Buffalo Sauce. I chose this sauce for the marinade because it is perfectly balanced in combination with the chicken in my view, but you could replace it with another sauce, like white BBQ sauce, or just pick one that you prefer to use to marinate the chicken.
- Salt and black pepper. If you will use a complex sauce, these ingredients are optional. I suggest you use the extra salt and pepper only if you think your sauce would need a little more adjustment.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
Wash the meat well and dry it with a paper towel. Make sure that you eliminate all the water drops.
Put the meat on a plate and pour over it the sauce, salt, and pepper. Massage the chicken thighs well until you are convinced that the meat is covered evenly with the marinade on all sides.
Leave the chicken thighs to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but for an optimal result, preferably for up to 2 hours at room temperature. Want to go all-in with this recipe? Leave the meat to marinate overnight in the fridge. You will get even better results.
Arrange the meat in the air fryer basket. Make sure to leave some space between the pieces of meat. This space will allow the chicken thighs to cook more evenly on all sides.
Quick Note: Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. If you need to cook a larger amount of chicken thighs, consider cooking them in a few batches to get the best results.
Bake the chicken thighs for 12-17 minutes at 375°F / 190°C.
Quick Note: Cooking time is approximate only because it may differ from one air fryer model to another, by the size of the meat. Because of that, keep an eye on the meat. In my case, I used the Cosori Air Fryer 5.8QT and it took me 15 minutes.
If you’re not sure when the chicken is cooked enough, I highly recommend using a meat thermometer. The chicken is safe to eat when its inner temperature will reach 165°F (74°C).
In the end, you should get a nice golden color, crispy skin, and tender and juicy meat inside.
Serve the meat with your favorite garnish. I suggest you glaze the meat at the end with some extra sauce, so it will have an even more intense taste and the meat will have a more attractive appearance.
Today, I served these buffalo chicken thighs with a green salad with roasted butternut squash.
🏆 Expert Tips. What to Pay Attention To?
- Make sure that you eliminate all the water drops after you clean and wash the meat. If the meat is completely dry, the spices will penetrate better, and the chicken thighs will have a more intense taste in the end.
- If you have time, leave the meat to marinate for two 2 hours. Even better overnight.
- Pick the chicken thighs of the same size. That way, you will be sure that all the chicken thighs will be cooked the same.
- Keep the skin on the meat, even if you don’t eat it. If you will cook the chicken thighs with skin on it, the meat will be juicier. You can remove the skin after cooking.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
This chicken is perfect to be eaten as a main course for lunch or dinner, or you can use it in salads or wraps. Here are some recipes that would go well with buffalo chicken thighs:
Other Chicken Recipes
If you are in love of cooking chicken in the air fryer then I highly recommend that you try a few from the below:
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Schnitzel
- Best Air Fryer Chicken Leg Quarters
- Easy Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Breast
- Easy Homemade Chicken Patties in Air Fryer
- Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Keto Sesame Chicken Legs in Air Fryer
♻️ Make Ahead, Storage and Heating:
Can I Prepare the Buffalo Chicken Ahead?
You can prepare the chicken thighs ahead of time and keep them cooked. Or you can marinate the chicken the night before you need to serve it and cook it freshly the next day when you will need to serve it.
How Long Does the Buffalo Chicken Last in the Fridge?
You can keep the meat in the fridge in a marinade for a maximum of 24 hours. If the chicken thighs are cooked already after the meat cooled down, you can put them in an air-tight container and keep the chicken in the fridge for up to two days.
Can You Freeze the Buffalo Chicken?
Yes! You can even freeze the buffalo chicken thighs at the marinating stage. So you will have a semi-finished product on hand for the evenings when you don’t have time to cook but you need to put quickly something delicious on the table. In that case, you can keep the chicken thighs in the freezer for up to three months. The same recommendation goes for the cooked chicken thighs. Just wait until it will cool down, put it in an air-tight container, and keep it in the freezer for up to three months.
What Is the Best Buffalo Sauce for This Recipe?
The homemade one that you will make on your own. You can control the level of spiciness and you can make it exactly to your taste.
What to Pick? Bone-in Chicken Thighs or Boneless?
This recipe will work great with both. The only difference is that if you will go with the variant with bone-in, you will need to adjust the cooking time.
📋 Recipe Card:
4-Ingredient Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Thighs
- Clean and wash well the chicken thighs.1 lb Chicken Thighs
- Marinade the meat and leave it alone to marinade for at least 30 minutes.1 lb Chicken Thighs, 3 tablespoon Buffalo Sauce, ¼ teaspoon Salt, ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Arrange the chicken thighs in the air fryer basket and cook them for about 15 minutes at 375°F / 190°C.
- Optionally, glaze the meat on the outside with extra sauce.
- Serve with your favorite garnish.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Use a paper towel and make sure that you eliminated all the water drops.
- Don’t remove the skin from the chicken thighs. If you don’t prefer to eat it, you can remove it in the end after you will cook the meat. That way, the meat will remain juicier.
- The cooking time is for the Cosori Air Fryer 5.8QT. If you use another air fryer model, adjust the cooking time.