Air Fryer Hot Pepper Lemon Skewers are a quick and easy weeknight meal with great chicken wing flavor.  Think tender, juicy chicken that falls off the skewer and a homemade sauce that’s tangy, zesty, a little spicy, and delicious.  They come together in less than 30 minutes and are something the whole family will love.  You will have requests to make these again and again.  Perfect for a weeknight meal, make ahead lunch to bring to work throughout the week, an appetizer, or shareable dish to bring to a potluck.  We like to enjoy the skewers as is, but they would pair well with rice, some steamed veggies, or perhaps a salad.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by soaking the skewers for at least 30 minutes to prevent the meat from sticking to the wood.  I try to soak my skewers before leaving for work in the AM (if I remember).  If you forget this step, that’s OK!  You can soak for a shorter period of time, just make sure the skewers are a little damp before using.  I also like to use 6-inch or 8-inch skewers because that’s what fits inside my air fryer.  Use whatever size fits or simple break the skewers to create the necessary size.  They are pretty easy to break apart.

Next, cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces and place in a Ziploc bag.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon pepper seasoning, 1 Tbsp paprika, ½ tsp pepper, the zest from 1 lemon, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp hot sauce.  Add the mixture to the chicken, seal the bag, and toss to coat.  Then, thread the chicken onto the skewers, leaving no space between each piece of chicken.  Place the skewers on a plate.  You should have enough to make 6 skewers (the skewers will be about ¾ full).  I like to use 2 plates – one for the uncooked skewers with a pair of tongs and one for the cooked meat with a separate (non-contaminated) pair of tongs.

Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika, garlic powder, the zest from 1 lemon, the juice from ½ a lemon, 1 ½ Tbsp hot sauce, ¼ tsp salt, and honey.  Whisk the ingredients to combine.  Divide the sauce in ½, between 2 separate bowls.  One half will be used to baste the chicken while it cooks, and one half will be used to top the chicken before serving.  This helps prevent cross contamination.

Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.  Add 3 skewers (or however many will fit in your air fryer while also leaving space between each skewer).  Air fry at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes then open the air fryer, flip the skewers, baste the skewers, and air fry at 400 degrees F again for 2 minutes.  You will now flip the skewers again, baste, and air fry at 400 degrees F for another 5 minutes.  I like to temp the chicken at this point.  If the internal temperature is 165 degrees F it’s done.  If not, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.  Remove the chicken to a clean plate and cover with aluminum foil.  Repeat with the remaining skewers.

Let’s talk about cross contamination a bit.  While cooking, turning, basting, etc. it’s good to use 2 separate tongs and 2 separate basting brushes.  I used one set of tongs to place the chicken in the air fryer and turn the skewers.  I use a separate set of tongs to remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate.  One pair has been touching raw meat, so the other pair is “clean” and OK to touch the cooked chicken.  Same with basting.  Use one brush to baste while the chicken cooks.  Once the chicken is cooked, use a clean brush to finish the chicken before serving.

Once finished, drizzle (or brush) the remaining sauce over the top.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

These are so simple to make yet so flavorful.  Great lemon flavor, a bit of heat, and a satisfying meal that won’t leave you too full.  If you have any leftovers (we didn’t), make sure to cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge.  If you don’t own an air fryer or don’t care to cook the chicken this way, you can bake or grill the skewers.  Just remember to baste the chicken every so often!

Happy Cooking!

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