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[Recipe] Soy Air-Fryer Chicken with Brown Gravy

Soy Air-Fryer Chicken
Soy Air-Fryer ChickenAdd caption

I have been mostly staying at home the past few weeks due to the community quarantine here and I have been watching a lot of "cook your version of insert-your-favorite-fastfood-item-here" on YouTube and I was intrigued by a video on home-made Max's Fried chicken (not intrigued exactly with the recipe but with the idea of brining then poaching chicken before frying). I have also been looking for inspiration on how to maximize the use of my air-fryer, so this seems like a good idea to try out but without the deep frying part. 

This is my take on deep-fried soy whole chicken without actually using a lot of oil (using an air-fryer). It's also my first time to make a proper chicken gravy from the poaching liquid, roast drippings, and a roux. 

Do take note that I am writing this recipe as I have done it that one time but looking back I will want to make a few changes here and there. For example, I would choose to caramelize the onions first before using it on the poaching liquid and use a much smaller "spring chicken" or even just a leg and thigh quarter part next time. 

Adjust the salt content of the brine to your liking. I used plain sea salt with mine and I prefer my fried/roasted chicken aggressively seasoned with salt as I often pair it with plain steamed rice.

1 whole chicken (around 1 Kg)
1 bunch of spring onions
1 bunch of lemongrass (with the fleshy portion near the root smashed)
1 Medium onion (roughly chopped)
4 Tablespoons sea salt
5 Tablespoons Knorr liquid seasoning
5 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika 
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 bay leaf
Chicken broth cube
Juice of 3 pcs of Calamansi (or lime if you don't have Calamansi)
150 grams unsalted butter
150 grams all-purpose flour


Combine salt, pepper, soy sauce, bay leaf, broth cube, paprika, sugar, and diced onions in a stockpot. Add about a cup of water into the pot and mix the resulting mixture to dissolve the salt and sugar.

Prepare the chicken by stuffing the spring onion and lemongrass inside the cavity.

Place the chicken inside the stockpot and add just enough water to fully immerse the chicken. Let this chill inside the refrigerator for about 4 to 6 hours to brine the chicken.

Take out the pot from the refrigerator and gently poach the chicken in the brining liquid (heat until simmering then maintain a gentle simmer until the chicken thighs are cooked through using a meat thermometer 165 DegF/74 DegC).

Remove the chicken from the pot, remove the stuffed spring onion/lemongrass from the cavity (place it back into the pot of poaching liquid), then place it on a drying rack and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Place a wide plate beneath the wire rack and brush the chicken with Knorr liquid seasoning inside and out and continue to let it air dry on the wire rack. Add the excess seasoning that dripped on the plate into the rest of the poaching liquid. 

Reduce the poaching liquid by bringing it to a rolling boil uncovered for 45 minutes. Strain the liquid and keep about 2 cups for the gravy.

Brown the chicken in an air fryer on the highest setting for 45 minutes (note that mine only reaches up to 200 DegC max) or until golden brown. Turn the chicken over midway of browning if desired (I like to let one side of the skin crisp up so I do not turn the chicken personally).

On a saucepan, prepare a roux by heating up the butter and then whisking in the flour until light brown. Gently pour in the reduced poaching you have set aside whisking continuously so that you form a smooth gravy. You can also add the roasting drippings to the gravy.

Test the chicken for doneness by poking a knife on the thigh and see if the juices run out clear. Serve with the gravy and enjoy!



None said...

Hey there! So how is your Kyowa air fryer doing? I have a Philips one at home but I'm planning to get the Kyowa one as a gift. Just need to make sure that they won't have any quality issues with it. Thanks for your response!

JEP said...

Hi there None. The 7L Kyowa Air Fryer is still functioning quite well! I personally think that the design of the Philips air fryer is much better in terms of airflow (it has those grooves at the bottom to ensure good circulation I believe) but other than that it works great. Plus the Kyowa is the cheapest one I can get (I was also looking at the generous 7-liter capacity at the time). I think it is an excellent gift idea. Do take note that it occupies a bit of space in the kitchen counter.