Air Fried Chicken Legs with Cilantro Pesto | Air Fryer

Air Fried Chicken Legs

Air fried Chicken Legs with Cilantro Pesto. Made with minimal fuss in your air fryer. It’s pesto like you’ve never had, and you’re going to love it. It’s kinda pesto and kinda chimichurri, but no matter what you call it, it’s delicious.

Air Fried Chicken Legs

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What Makes Air Fryer Chicken Legs So Good?

  • Low Carb. Only 5 net carbs per serving.
  • Fast. Without adding the marinating time, this recipe is done in less than 30 minutes.
  • Easy. Marinate, cook in your air fryer, and serve.
  • Flavorful. Loaded with spices and perfectly seasoned.
  • Authentic. Exactly the flavors you would expect from a Brazilian recipe.

Air Fried Chicken Legs with Cilantro Pesto 

Pesto is normally made from basil, or a similar herb, but I’m not normal. We use a lot of cilantro around my house, and I decided to make these Cilantro Pesto Chicken Legs and I’m glad I did! They’re rich in flavor and came out nice and crispy from the Air Fryer.

You will need to touch raw chicken for this recipe, so mentally prepare yourself to give those chicken legs a nice massage. This recipe also includes jalapeno, so it does have a nice spice to it. It’s not overbearing, and the jalapeno peppers really give it a nice flavor and pair well with the cilantro.

One thing to note that the air fryer really works best on fattier meats than leaner meats, and better with chicken with skin than without. I don’t love chicken skin, but honestly, the air fryer makes it so super crispy that you might find yourself enjoying it, as I did.

Can You Stack Chicken Legs In The Air Fryer?

No. The air fryer is designed to cook things evenly in one layer. If you stack the chicken legs on top of each other, they will not cook evenly and will take much longer to come to a safe temperature to eat.

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Legs In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can cook frozen chicken legs in the air fryer. It will take longer for them to reach the proper internal temperature, and the exterior of the chicken legs may be a little more crispy.

How To Make Keto Chicken Legs

  • Place drumsticks in a flat tray. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score small slashes into the chicken at regular intervals so that the marinade can penetrate the chicken.
  • Finely chop the cilantro, pepper, garlic and ginger and place in a small bowl.
  • Add salt, oil and lemon juice to the chopped vegetables and mix well. 
  • Spread this mixture over the chicken. Overcome any inhibitions you may have about touching raw chicken and lovingly massage the marinade into the chicken.
  • Let the chicken marinate.
  • When you are ready to cook, place the chicken legs into the air fryer basket, skin side up.
  • Cook chicken and flip half way through. 
  • Temp the chicken. Remove and serve with plenty of napkins.

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Air Fried Chicken Legs

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Air Fried Chicken Legs

Cilantro Pesto Chicken Legs

Air fried Chicken Legs with Cilantro Pesto–made with minimal fuss in your air fryer! It’s pesto like you’ve never had, and you’re going to love it.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Marinate: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Course: Main Courses

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: cilantro pesto, Cilantro Pesto Chicken, Cilantro Pesto Chicken Legs

Servings: 2

Calories: 389kcal

Author: Urvashi Pitre

Click on highlighted ingredients or Equipment to see exactly what I use to make this recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place drumsticks in a flat tray. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score small slashes into the chicken at regular intervals so that the marinade can penetrate the chicken.

  • Finely chop the cilantro, pepper, garlic and ginger and place in a small bowl.

  • Add salt, oil and lemon juice to the chopped vegetables and mix well. 

  • Spread this mixture over the chicken. Overcome any inhibitions you may have about touching raw chicken and lovingly massage the marinade into the chicken.

  • Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

  • When you are ready to cook, place the chicken legs into the air fryer basket, skin side up.

  • Set your airfryer to 390F for 20 minutes for meaty chicken legs. Halfway through, flip the chicken legs over. 

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 1650F. Remove and serve with plenty of napkins.

Variations to the marinade:

  • Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Add 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Add 1 teaspoon sumac or zataar
  • Add parsley and oregano or substitute parsley for some or all of the cilantro
  • Substitute red wine vinegar for the lemon juice

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Nutrition

Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 28g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

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Originally Published March 16, 2018

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