Nothing screams fall more than the combo of maple and pecan. But it doesn’t have to be just about desserts. Ever thought about Maple Pecan Chicken? Maple and pecan together make fantastic drool-worthy desserts, but you could make the combo work too in a savoury dish. A slightly sweet flavouring/glaze is not uncommon in chicken dishes. In fact, it works very well and is quite popular. Now imagine incorporating pecan into your typical panko-breaded coating – see how it all comes together? Yeah, it’s a pretty delicious one!
Pecan nuts carry a nutty (of course) and buttery flavour, which pairs well with maple but also offers a luscious subtle caramelised touch when cooking the chicken. Additionally, it gives an amazing crunch on the coating together with panko breadcrumbs. If you really like maple flavour, i.e myself, then give it an extra maple glaze over the chicken once done cooking – the flavours can get pretty addictive! Just to boost flavours, I’ve marinated the chicken with buttermilk beforehand and also used a dash of miso to give it an umami edge.
*This recipe is originally created for convection microwave cooking as part of the Toshiba campaign. I have adapted from my convection-microwave recipe into air fryer-specific. Don’t have an air fryer? You can totally oven-bake it too. For oven-bake, the recipe remains the same and it’s only cooking times that would differ. If you are interested in checking out the convection-microwave method, see post here.
How to make Maple Pecan Chicken in an Air Fryer
- Chicken – skinless chicken thigh fillets or chicken breast
- Buttermilk – to marinade the chicken
- Salt & Black Pepper – to season the chicken
- Mayo – to gel the breadcrumb-nut mixture to the chicken
- White Miso – to give it a little umami boost
- Maple Syrup
- Pecan nuts – chopped
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Oil – for air-frying
When asked about chicken thigh over chicken breast, the former always wins in my house. It’s got more flavour, more tender and succulent – it’s an easy win for me. But if you’re more health-conscious, go with chicken breast.
For using chicken thigh, I’d say the buttermilk marinade can be omitted if you’re running low on time as chicken thigh is naturally juicier. However, it’d be highly recommended especially if you’re using chicken breast because buttermilk does wonders in achieving tender & succulent texture for chicken.
Air frying doesn’t mean you don’t need oil. It only means you need much less oil. You still need a brush of oil in the air fryer basket as well as over the food in order to give it that nice crispy edge.
Air Fryer Maple Pecan Chicken Recipe
- Air Fryer
- 400 g Chicken Thigh or Chicken Breast
- 50 g Panko Breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Pecan Nuts chopped
- 4 tbsp Mayo
- 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp White Miso Paste
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
For marinating the chicken
- ½ cup Buttermilk
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- Season chicken with salt & black pepper and marinate in buttermilk for a few hours or overnight.400 g Chicken Thigh or Chicken Breast, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Black Pepper, ½ cup Buttermilk
- In a bowl, mix together panko breadcrumbs, chopped pecan, and dried oregano.50 g Panko Breadcrumbs, ½ cup Pecan Nuts, 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- In a separate bowl, mix together mayo, maple syrup, and white miso paste.4 tbsp Mayo, 2 tbsp Maple Syrup, 1 tsp White Miso Paste
- Coat the chicken with the maple-mayo mixture, then roll it in the pecan-breadcrumb mixture until fully coated.
- Preheat air fryer to 180°C. Brush oil in the air fryer basket and place breaded chicken into it. Do not overcrowd.
- Brush oil over chicken and cook for 6 minutes.
- Flip chicken and cook for another 4-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately.
- Prep time does not include time for marinating.