December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Christmas Chicken – Recipes From A Pantry

Christmas chicken is moist, flavorful and perfect for serving at Christmas, Thanksgiving or any festive chicken. This juicy roast chicken is flavorful, thanks to a tasty seasoning paste. Best of all, it’s easy to make this golden roasted chicken in the air fryer in under an hour. 


Suitable for keto, paleo, gluten free and low carb diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

Post may contain affiliate links. For more information, check my disclosure

the finished christmas chicken garnished and served on a white plate

If you are looking for a fantastic holiday chicken recipe, this Christmas chicken will hit the mark. This roast chicken is bursting with delicious flavor and pairs perfectly with your favorite holiday dishes. 

The warm spice blend that is rubbed on this roast Christmas chicken is what makes it perfect for serving for Christmas dinner. The rosemary, garlic, and nutmeg have a rich aroma and add a warm, comforting, and cozy flavor.

Plus, this delicious chicken is cooked in the air fryer, which gives you crispy skin and frees up oven space for cooking your favorite side dishes. 

You might also like this Air Fryer Whole Chicken, easy Air Fryer Turkey Breast, and easy peasy Air Fryer Ham.

air fryer cheat sheet printable

Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other special occasions are about spending time with loved ones. Getting a whole roast chicken on the table in less than one hour means you get more family time. Everyone will love this air fryer roasted chicken for Christmas lunch or at any time of year! 

top down view of the completed christmas chicken recipe in the air fryer basket

Why Make This Recipe

  • Quick – Air frying Christmas chicken not only frees up oven space so you can cook your favorite holiday side dishes, but the roasted chicken also cooks up golden brown and is perfect in under an hour.  
  • Crispy – Air frying chicken is not only fast but also gives the chicken incredibly crispy skin, and everyone knows that’s the best part.  
  • Simple – The herb paste is easy to make, and the cooking is relatively hands-off so you can focus on other things while the chicken cooks

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken – one whole chicken with the giblets removed. 
  • Orange Juice – fresh squeezed orange juice will have the best flavor.
  • Olive Oil – or use your favorite light, neutral flavored oil.
  • Spices and Seasonings – Italian seasoning, ground nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
  • Rosemary – fresh rosemary sprigs add lots of flavor. You could also use other fresh herbs like fresh thyme or fresh sage.
  • Clementine – a cut clementine will add flavor and aroma to the chicken. 
the ingredients needed for making christmas chicken in air fryer

Ready to make this Christmas Chicken Air Fryer? Gather your ingredients, and I will show you…

How To Make Christmas Chicken

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.
  2. Mix together orange juice, olive oil, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and ground black pepper to make a paste.
    Rub the paste all over the chicken, including inside the cavity.
    Stuff the cavity of the chicken with one half of a clementine and one sprig of rosemary.
    Put into the air fryer basket, breast side down, and add the remaining rosemary sprig and another half of the clementine beside the chicken. 
  3. Cook for 30 minutes, flip the chicken and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C.
  4. Remove the chicken from the air fryer and allow it to rest before slicing.

Note: Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.

image collage showing some of the steps for making christmas chicken

Expert Tips 

  • Bring the chicken to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. 
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel before rubbing with the herb paste. 
  • Mix the herb paste in a small bowl. 
  • Use melted butter instead of oil for the herb paste.
  • Use fresh herbs and fresh citrus whenever you can. 
  • Be sure to place the chicken breast side up for the first 30 minutes of cooking. 
  • The final cooking time can be affected by the chicken size.
  • Collect the pan juices from the bottom of the air fryer to make a flavorful gravy. 
  • Air fryers can vary, so use the cooking times as a guide, checking for doneness and adjusting as needed. 
  • Let the chicken rest before using a sharp knife to slice and serve. 
  • Serve the roasted Christmas chicken with all of your favorite side dishes. 
the finished christmas chicken in air fryer basket and ready to serve

Delicious Variations

  • Use Herb Butter – Use melted butter instead of oil to create an herb butter paste to rub onto the chicken. 
  • Add More Citrus – If you love a burst of citrus, add orange zest from fresh oranges to the herb paste before rubbing it onto the chicken. 
  • Vary The Herb Mixture – You can add your favorite herbs and spices to the paste mixture. 
  • Add More Fruit To The Chicken Cavity – In addition to the clementine, add apple slices, pear slices, lemons, or a cranberry mixture to the cavity. 
the completed christmas chicken in air fryer basket

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – Season the chicken the night before you plan to cook it. 
  • Store – Leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Store leftovers for up to 4 days.  
  • Freeze – Remove any leftover meat from the chicken carcass and freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 
the finished christmas chicken recipe

FAQs

Is Christmas Chicken A Whole Chicken?

This roasted chicken recipe is made with whole chicken. You can alter the recipe and use chicken thighs and chicken breast or your favorite chicken pieces. You may need to adjust the cooking time. 

How Long To Roast A Chicken?

Roasting a small chicken (3-4 pounds) in the air fryer will take about 45 minutes. It will take closer to an hour for a larger 5-7 pound chicken. 

Can I Make This Recipe In The Oven?

To roast a chicken in the oven, you will need to preheat the oven to 475 degrees F / 246 degrees C. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan (or use a vegetable bed) and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C. 

close up view of the christmas chicken inside the air fryer basket

More Recipes You May Like

Serving Suggestions

Weight Watchers Points

There is just 1 Blue Plan SmartPoint in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my Christmas Chicken air fryer recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog. 

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the finished christmas chicken garnished and served on a white plate

Print Recipe

Christmas Chicken

Festive and Flavorful Whole Chicken made in the Air Fryer.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time50 mins

Total Time1 hr

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American, Western

Diet: Gluten Free

Servings: 6

Calories: 307kcal

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.

  • Make a paste by mixing orange juice, olive oil, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

  • Rub the paste all over the chicken, including inside the cavity.

  • Stuff the cavity of the chicken with one half of a clementine and one sprig of rosemary.

  • Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, breast side down. Add the remaining rosemary sprig and other half of the clementine next to the chicken in the basket.

  • Cook for 30 minutes, carefully turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F / 76 degrees C.

  • Remove the chicken from the air fryer and allow it to rest before carving and serving.

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Notes

  • Bring the chicken to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. 
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel before rubbing with the herb paste. 
  • Use melted butter instead of oil for the herb paste.
  • Use fresh herbs and fresh citrus whenever you can. 
  • Be sure to place the chicken breast side up for the first 30 minutes of cooking. 
  • The final cooking time can be affected by the chicken size.
  • Collect the pan juices from the bottom of the air fryer to make a flavorful gravy. 
  • Air fryers can vary, so use the cooking times as a guide, check for doneness, and adjust as needed. 
  • Let the chicken rest before using a sharp knife to slice and serve. 
  • Serve the roasted Christmas chicken with all of your favorite side dishes. 
  • Storage – leftover chicken can be kept in an airtight container inside the fridge for 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • There is 1 WW Blue Plan SmartPoint in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg