Buffalo chicken thighs with super crispy skin and a little heat from buffalo sauce. These are great from the air fryer or oven baked. Healthy chicken recipes can be delicious and packed with flavor at the same time. You can get the crispy skin without flour or breading thanks to the air fryer. If you’re keto or low carb these chicken thighs are only 1g net carbs per serving.
Chicken recipes taste amazing and I don’t think anyone will argue that. It’s so easy to flavor and when prepared properly can still be juicy. Even when chicken is naturally low in fat. These buffalo chicken thighs are packed with flavor from the spice rub blend then topped with buffalo sauce. I am personally keto and I enjoy the Primal Kitchen buffalo sauce. They use avocado oil instead of the standard vegetable oils such as soybean and cottonseed. It’s also paleo, whole30 and plant based yet somehow the flavor is out of this world. I provide step by step instructions on how to make these crispy and delicious. You have the option to bake these or the air fryer. Follow my instructions and they’ll be great!
How To Make A Buffalo Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Chicken Thighs (boneless & skinless thighs work as well but won’t get as crispy)
- Buffalo Sauce
- Spice Rub (salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic and onion powder)
Air Fryer Instructions
- First, make spice rub. This rub uses several spices but none bring too much heat to the recipe.
- Next, dry chicken thighs with a paper towel for best results with crispy skin.
- Pour spice rub on top of chicken thighs then rub it in and allow to sit.
- Preheat air fryer.
- Add chicken skin side up and bake or air fry for 25 minutes flipping halfway through.
- Next, pull chicken then spread sauce across chicken. You can toss in sauce or spread across as I did in photos.
- Finally, serve!
To start, pat dry the skin to bake chicken. Note, for boneless chicken thighs without the skin there is no skin to get crispy.
Next, season the chicken with the spice rub. Now, turn on and preheat the oven. This gives the chicken a little time to marry with the seasonings.
Now, I would bake the chicken skin side up the entire time in the oven. This will give the skin plenty of time to dry out and crisp up. Without an oven rack the air won’t circulate under the chicken which means the chicken will be cooking in it’s own juices and won’t get crispy. The skin is the crispy area so keeping it out of the juices will get you the crispy skin you’re looking for.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Then, remove chicken from the oven and toss in buffalo sauce. I prefer to drizzle because tossing in the sauce will cause the skin to loose its crispiness if not eaten fast enough.
Helpful Recipe Tips
- Dry off your chicken. In order for chicken to get extra crispy you have to have dry skin. Moisture is your enemy here.
- Baking powder only for dry skin! It draws out even more moisture to help make the skin crispy. Baking soda doesn’t do the same thing. I have tested this a few times and it does make a difference. But, if you don’t have any you can skip adding it. Just don’t swap one for the other.
- Buffalo sauce matters! The buffalo sauce you choose will determine how spicy this recipe is. I used Primal Kitchen and it’s not very spicy at all. Others can be very spicy so choose a sauce you enjoy the flavor of. Note, spice levels vary from person to person.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs do not have skin so they will not get crispy. You can use them in this recipe with great success but don’t expect crispy skin when it isn’t there.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you substitute thighs for wings?
Yes you can! Just note how many chicken wings you have you may need to add more seasoning. But this recipe for buffalo chicken wings is amazing!
What’s the best buffalo sauce?
There are a ton of buffalo sauces you can use. To keep the recipe as simple as possible a store bought one is best. Primal kitchen is great tasting and amazingly healthy. It is paleo, whole30, keto friendly and plant based. Outside of that your favorite sauce is the best.
Bone-in chicken thighs or boneless?
In this recipe both work just fine. The issue is if you want crispy chicken or not. Chicken thighs without the skin won’t get crispy.
What to eat with buffalo chicken thighs?
- Shrimp stuffed mushrooms
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Ranch Dip
- Parmesan Crusted Potatoes
- Avocado Deviled Eggs
Buffalo Chicken Thighs
- 4 Chicken Thighs
- 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix spice rub together first
- Dry chicken thighs with paper towel then coat chicken in spice rub
- Preheat air fryer or oven to 375°F
Air Fryer Instructions
- Place chicken thighs in preheated air fryer skin side down then cook for 12 minutes. Flip to skin side up and cook remaining 12-14 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
- After chicken is finished toss chicken in sauce or simply drizzle sauce as I did in video and photos
- When baking, place the chicken skin side up the entire time. Bake for 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked all the way through. If you flip the chicken skin side down the skin will not get crispy.