Our Air Fryer Pollo Asado dark meat is marinated in fresh lime and orange juice, Mexican seasonings, onion, and a ton of garlic. Use the air fryer to perfectly roast the chicken thighs in 20 minutes.
Marinating chicken, like all meats, brings your chicken’s flavor to a whole nother level. For this pollo asado recipe, we use fresh squeezed lime and orange juice, lime zest, onion, a large head of garlic, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a plenty of Mexican seasonings. I usually start marinating the boneless skinless chicken thighs early in the morning so they get all day to soak in the incredible flavors.
Having the chicken thighs marinate in lime and orange juice will help the air fryer pollo asado turn out extra juicy. The orange juice adds a little sweet to your meat and the lime juice adds that citrus zing.
Because of the citrus juices, I would keep the marination time no longer than 18 hours. I’ve done 24 hours before and I thought it was a little to much citrus flavor.
I use a little citrus juicer for cooking where I can fit a cup of citrus juice.
Lime zest packs that lime juice twang but super concentrated. I love citrus zest. Experimenting with different citrus zests can enhance different flavors hidden in your food.
Try using lemon zest or orange zest instead of lime zest and see what you think. Make sure to get yourself a nice citrus fruit zester. It makes a difference in my opinion. You can also use the zester to grate garlic into a pulp or super fine shred hard cheeses like parmesan into tiny little ribbons.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why we use onion and garlic in our recipe but I really want to. Onions and garlic have very potent warm spicy flavors that enhance your food’s flavor dynamics.
I like to use yellow or sweet onions for this recipe because they are a little more potent than the red onion. That incredible onion flavor will transfer to the meat of the chicken thighs leaving your air fryer pollo asado irresistible.
Garlic!!! Who doesn’t love garlic? If you want your chicken to pick up that marvelous savory flavor of garlic from your marinade, you need to use a lot. If you are going to pressure cook the chicken thighs in the marinade, you could get away with using 4 large garlic cloves. When taking the boneless skinless chicken thighs out of the marinade to cook, BBQ or Air Fryer, I would make sure there is at least one head of garlic in the marinade.
I used to cook with only 2 or 3 garlic cloves when cooking. I have bumped that up to at least 4 large garlic cloves. Bump your savory flavor up a notch, it’s worth it.
What can I say about cooking with apple cider vinegar? The stuff is potent! You do not need to add more than a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to make a difference in any recipe. We use one tablespoon for this recipe.
I like to add it to my air fryer pollo asado marinade because it adds a sweet woody flavor to the meat. Apple cider vinegar goes in my recipes that are smoky and sweet. Throw a little in your BBQ sauce or if you pressure cook, add apple cider vinegar to your cooking fluid.
Have you ever seen garlic infused olive oil? Olive oil suck flavors from oil based ingredients such as garlic. Adding olive oil to this marinade keeps flavors suspended in the liquid that surrounds the chicken thighs. This gives the meat a better opportunity to absorb those savory flavors.
If you want your air fryer pollo asado to have that authentic pollo asado flavor, you need to add plenty of seasoning common in Mexican recipes.
Chili powder is already a mix of seasoning like crushed chili peppers, garlic, and cumin. I use 2 tablespoons in this recipe and it definitely does not go unnoticed. Personally, I am not a fan of over chili powdered pollo asado but if left out, you have boring flavor.
If you want to try a smoky pollo asado, try using only 1 tablespoon of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder.
Paprika commonly found at the grocery stores are ground mildly sweet chili peppers. Adding a tablespoon of paprika adds a subtle sweet smoky flavor to your pollo asado. I rarely skip paprika in my Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes.
I know we add an onion and a head of garlic to our air fryer pollo asado, but granulated onion and garlic have very strong flavors a little different than fresh. It’s like adding the lime zest with the lime juice, amplification.
I like to use granulated garlic and onion over garlic and onion powder. I think the flavor is a little stronger in granulated form. It’s personal preference I’d imagine.
Many words can be used to describe oregano‘s flavor. Bold, woody, bitter, sharp, pungent, earthy, sweet, peppery…
You can easily go overboard with oregano. For our flavor packed pollo asado marinade, 1 tablespoon is a perfect amount of that beautiful oregano flavor.
I love the warm woody flavor of cumin. Cumin can intensify different flavors depending on the ingredients it is combined with. In our air fryer pollo asado recipe, cumin brings an earthy smoky flavor common in many Mexican and Latin American recipes.
A recipe such as this, a zesty savory flavor such as crushed red peppers is a must. The heat that goes along with crushed red peppers does not transfer to the chicken meat in the marinade like you’d think it would.
I love chicken bouillon!!! Add some beautiful chicken flavor to your dish!
If you are going to air fry your pollo asado, you are limited to how many chicken thighs you can cook at one time. I can fit five in my air fryer basket. Five chicken thighs also fit well in a one gallon Ziploc bag with the marinade.
It’s pretty easy to maneuver the marinade evenly around the chicken thighs without getting my hands dirty using a Ziploc bag. If you are going to grill your chicken thighs, you may want to make more chicken. You’d be better off using a large mixing bowl covered with plastic wrap instead. When I use a large mixing bowl, I use my hands to mix the marinade with the chicken thighs
Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.
Use an EVO oil sprayer to spray the hot air fry basket with oil. I use long kitchen tongs to remove the chicken thighs from the marinade. Place them into the air fry basket as far apart as possible so they aren’t overlapping each other.
The chicken thighs shrink as they cook so if they go in touching, I’ve learned they will cook just fine.
Use your tongs to put a scoop of marinade ingredients on each boneless skinless chicken thigh.
I cook our 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs at 370°F for a total of 20 minutes.
Flip the thighs using kitchen tongs after 13 minutes.
After the 20 minutes are finished, move the pollo asado to a plate. Completely cover with aluminum foil for 8 minutes. This will allow the chicken to finish cooking and the juices to disperse throughout the dark meat.
I’ve learned different air fryers work differently. Yours may require more or less cooking time for your chicken thighs to be done. I recommend using a thermometer to make certain the chicken is done at 165°F.
Living full time in our 32 foot 5th wheel, we use our air fryer quite often. It is basically a small convection oven. Our food cooks fast and the outside of our food is crisp, similar to flame broiled or grilled.
I did plenty of research and purchased the COSORI Air Fryer Max XL (5.7 quart). I love this thing! It’s big enough to cook a whole chicken and it cooks quickly. I highly recommend this air fryer if you are looking for one to get for your family.
Some People like to rip their pollo asado apart with a couple of forks. Personally, I like to either cut into bite size pieces or thin slice my pollo asado.
Use a sharp chef’s knife and your favorite cutting board to slice the pollo asado chicken thighs against the grain. Spin the sliced pollo asado 90° and cut the slices into bite size pieces or leave as slices.
The possibilities are endless! I usually stick with the classics.
Place a cup’s worth of chopped pollo asado a few inches away from a warm large burrito size tortilla’s edge closest to you. Arrange the pollo asado into a rectangular shape. Next, spoon about 1/2 cup’s worth of Spanish or Mexican rice along the pollo asado’s edge facing away from you on the tortilla. Follow the rice with a few spoons full of pico de gallo and sliced avocado. Sprinkle shredded pepper jack cheese over those ingredients. Leave room on the left and right sides of the tortilla for folding inward to be your burrito top and bottom.
Grab the edge of the tortilla closest to you. Wrap it up, over away from you, and down around the ingredients. Use your nondominant hand to hold the tortilla farthest from you in place. Use your dominant hand to grab the wrapped portion of the burrito with your finger tips pushing the tortilla’s edge down. Pull the wrapped burrito toward you to smash the insides together tight.
Use your non dominant hand to fold the left or right side of the tortilla in toward the center. Be mindful to keep the burrito insides pushed inside the burrito tightly. Hold the burrito tight with the hand that just folded the tortilla side toward the center. Use your other hand to pull the other tortilla side in toward the middle of the burrito keeping the burrito roll firm. Tightly roll the burrito. Place on a plate with the tortilla’s end facing down to keep the burrito from unrolling.
Serve with taco sauce, salsa verde, salsa rojo…
Warm corn tortillas in a pan. Top each tortillas with a healthy spoon full of chopped pollo asado and chopped onion. Serve with taco sauce, salsa verde, salsa rojo…
Are you in the mood for some pollo asado nachos? Try some air fryer cauliflower pollo asado nachos. Tear down a head of washed cauliflower and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Load the cauliflower into the air fryer with a spray of olive oil. Air fry for 10 minutes at 370°F.
Salt and pepper the cauliflower, sprinkle about 1/3 cup shredded cheddar and/or pepper jack cheese, over the cooked cauliflower and air fry for a few minutes at 350°F to melt the cheese.
Put a heavy load of chopped pollo asado over the cheesy cauliflower and top with another 1/3 cup of shredded cheese. Throw the cauliflower back in the air fryer for a few minutes at 350°F to melt the top layer of cheese.
Use a cookie spatula to easily remove the air fryer pollo asado cauliflower nachos. I do 1/4 of air fryer basket at a time and move the nachos to a serving plates.
Top the pollo asado cauliflower nachos with fresh avocado, pico de gallo, and salsa. Enjoy!!!
Category: BLOG, FoodTags: air fryer chicken, air frying, asada pollo, chicken air fryer recipe, chicken in air fryer, Chicken Recipe, chicken thigh air fryer, Instant Pot Dave, marinated pollo asado, mexican chicken, mexican chicken marinade, mexican shredded chicken, pollo asada, pollo asado, pollo asado marinade, pollo asado recipe, recipe mexican chicken, shredded taco chicken, thewildwaynes
We are a family of 4 living in a fifth wheel. Cooking and traveling our way through the United States.
TheWildWaynes.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to specific products and/or services.