Looking for an alternative to deep-fried chicken 65? Here’s a healthy recipe for chicken 65 in an air fryer. Whip up your favorite Indian starter with minimal oil using your air fryer.
Here’s what you’ll need:
What is chicken 65?
Chicken 65 is a popular South Indian starter of deep-fried boneless chicken pieces. These bite-sized chicken pieces are marinated with ginger-garlic paste and spices before being fried.
There are many stories about how chicken 65 got its name. Here are some of the more unique (some even bordering bizarre) stories that I’ve come across:
- The first ever chicken 65 was made with exactly 65 chicken pieces.
- This dish is made with a combination of 65 different spices and chili peppers.
- It’s made with 65-day-old chicken!
Of course, these are just amusing myths about the origin of this chicken starter.
It was introduced in 1965 by Hotel Buhari in Chennai as an entrée or starter. Since then, it’s become a staple in many Indian hotels and restaurants.
Why make chicken 65 in an air fryer?
Traditionally, chicken 65 is deep-fried in oil. However, deep-frying isn’t the healthiest cooking method out there.
Indulging in deep-fried foods is okay, but they must be consumed in moderation. Using the air fryer to make chicken 65 makes it less greasy and calorie-rich. So, you can make this regularly without feeling guilty.
Plus, deep-frying chicken means you’ll be stuck babysitting by the stove. When using an air fryer, you just need to set the timer and then, you can go about doing your other chores. You’ll just need to flip the chicken pieces once halfway through.
Other Air Fryer Indian Recipes
Ingredients for chicken 65 in an air fryer
I use boneless chicken breasts for this air fryer chicken 65 recipe. You can also use boneless chicken thighs if you prefer.
When cooking chicken breast, it’s important not to overcook them, as they can become tough and stringy. Cook the small cubes of chicken for 8-9 minutes at 180C/360F. You’ll know it’s done when you cut one of the chicken pieces and the meat is white all the way through.
This paste imparts a lot of flavor to the chicken, so be sure not to skip this!
Just peel and cut equal amounts of ginger and garlic, put them into a blender, and blitz until a paste is formed. You can store this paste in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
The spices used in this recipe are pretty basic – just turmeric, chili powder, and black pepper. That’s part of the beauty of this dish. It doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, but delivers a lot of flavor!
How to make air fryer chicken 65
This guilt-free dish is super easy to make. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make this air fryer chicken 65 recipe:
1. Marinate the chicken.
Marinate the chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, chili powder, salt, pepper, oil and corn flour for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the air fryer.
Preheat the air fryer at 180C for 5 minutes.
3. Grease the air fryer basket and place the marinated chicken inside.
Grease the air fryer basket with an oil mister. Then, place the chicken inside, leaving a little gap between each of the pieces. Avoid any overlapping of chicken pieces. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in batches.
4. Cook 9 minutes.
At the 4-minute mark, turn the chicken pieces over, add the curry leaves, and cook for another 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, check whether the chicken pieces are cooked. Cut one of the pieces in half. It should be white all the way through.
5. Finally, serve air fryer chicken 65.
Serve with onion rings and lime wedges.
Pro tips for perfect chicken 65 in air fryer
Here are some pro tips for cooking crispy and succulent air fryer chicken 65:
- Be sure to preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before you start cooking.
- Some people use parchment paper to line the air fryer basket for easier clean-up. From my experience, this doesn’t produce the best end result. Instead, grease your air fryer basket with an oil mister to prevent sticking.
- Space out the chicken pieces in your air fryer basket and avoid overlapping. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, you may need to cook your chicken in a few batches.
If you’re skeptical about making this dish in the air fryer, let me reassure you that this chicken 65 recipe produces really succulent and flavorful bites! Do give it a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do they call it chicken 65?
Chicken 65 is named such simply because it was first introduced in the year 1965 by Hotel Buhari in Chennai as a starter. Since then, it’s become a staple in many Indian hotels and restaurants.
What does chicken 65 taste like?
Chicken 65 is crispy on the outside, and juicy and succulent on the inside. It is usually spicy and flavorful. Traditionally, chicken 65 is deep fried, but it can also be made in an air fryer.
Is air fried chicken healthier?
Yes. Air frying is much healthier than deep frying in oil. Food cooked in an air fryer has fewer calories and much less fat than deep fried food.
Can you put raw chicken in an air fryer?
It’s perfectly safe to put raw chicken in your air fryer, as long as you cook your chicken until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 74C/165F.
How long should you cook chicken in air fryer?
The cook time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces. Small cubes of boneless chicken breast typically takes around 9 minutes to cook at 180C/360F.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Chicken 65 in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 10-15 curry leaves
- Marinate the chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, chilli powder, salt, pepper, oil and cornstarch for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the air fryer at 180 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.
- Grease the air fryer basket with an oil mister. Then, place the chicken inside, leaving a little gap between each of the pieces. Avoid any overlapping of chicken pieces. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in batches.
- Cook for 4 minutes.
- After that, turn the chicken pieces over, add the curry leaves, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve with onion rings and lime wedges.
Chicken 65 biryani recipe
This dish is great on its own. Just squeeze some lime juice over the top, and you’ve got yourself a delicious snack or starter.
But if you want to take it to the next level, you can also try this Chicken 65 Biryani Recipe. Serve healthy and succulent chicken 65 with flavorful biryani rice and cucumber onion raita on the side for a complete meal.
This is a unique way of serving chicken 65, and it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser!
If you’re trying to cut down on deep-fried foods, using an air fryer is a good way to enjoy your favorite snacks without the added calories, fat and guilt.
This chicken 65 is so tender, flavorful and quick to make. Trust me, you ain’t gonna miss the deep-fried version!