Family * Travel * Food

How To Cook Chicken Thighs In An Air Fryer

If you haven't already hopped on the air fryer bandwagon, you better get with it! I have had one for about 6 months now, and use it every day, sometimes even a few times a day. It really is a very versatile kitchen appliance that every home cook needs. I recently decided to try some boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the air fryer for the first time. Normally I grill them either on my cast iron grill pan or the outdoor gas grill. I didn't feel like dealing with the pollen outside so I wanted to see how the air fryer would work.

I started with one package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fresh lime, and an assortment of dried seasonings. I simply washed the chicken with the fresh lime, and then rinsed and patted dry. I seasoned to my liking with my go-to spices. I also recently discovered Trader Joe's chili lime seasoning, and it has become a new must-have. If you are located near Trader Joe's, you have to grab a bottle!

After my chicken is seasoned, I set it aside for a bit while I heat the air fryer to 400° for five minutes. You can lightly spritz your chicken with olive oil if you are worried about them sticking to the basket, but I didn't have any issues. Place chicken in fryer basket according to how many you can fit for them to lay flat. Cook for 7 minutes, and flip. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until nicely brown. They come out super juicy and perfectly cooked! This was so much easier than using the grill.

Chicken thighs are so versatile and can be served with a variety of side dishes, or on top of a salad. We have been eating lower carb meals lately, so I threw together some delicious vegetable fried "rice" (riced cauliflower). What a tasty combination!

Don't forget to grab this chili lime seasoning from Trader Joe's. It's only $1.99 so I will be grabbing a few extra to stock up.

Be sure to check out these other recipes:

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Easy Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe

If you are stuck on what to make for dinner, I have a great idea for you. I make a chicken broccoli casserole that is not only delicious, but it is super easy. My daughters love having leftovers to take to lunch the next day. This is one dish that never gets wasted, and is a great option to make for a friend or family member who could use a home-cooked meal that will last a few days.

Before I share the recipe, I wanted to mention that you can substitute some ingredients for fat-free or low-fat if you are cutting calories. It will still be just as delicious.

Easy Chicken Broccoli Casserole


3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 8-ounce container sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
16 ounce bag of frozen broccoli florets
3-4 cups of cooked rice
2-3 thinly sliced green onions
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and paprika
cooking spray or butter for baking dish


  1. Place chicken breasts in pot of water with desired seasonings. Bring to a boil and cook about 25 minutes. Drain water and chop chicken in small pieces (or shred). Set aside in fridge to cool.
  2. Mix soup, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, half the green onions, and half the shredded cheese. Add in chopped chicken and season to taste. Garlic powder and red pepper flakes add a nice kick. 
  3. Quickly boil broccoli in salted water for 1-2 minutes and drain. 
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or coat casserole dish with butter. Layer rice on bottom of pan evenly, then layer broccoli on top of rice. Next, layer with the creamy chicken mixture on top of broccoli layer. Top with remaining cheese, green onions, and a sprinkling of paprika. 
  5. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy! 


  • You can substitute chicken breast with chicken tenders. I find that tenders are less "stringy" and are well, more tender. 
  • You can omit the green onion if you are not a fan of onions, but I like the flavor and color that it adds to the dish. 
  • You do not have to use frozen broccoli. It just makes it so much easier, and is a time saver.
  • The paprika is optional, but it really adds nice color and minimal flavor.
  • If you want to make a casserole to share, just separate into two smaller baking dishes.  

I hope you make this recipe for your family. Let me know if you do. Thanks for stopping by.
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From My Kitchen- Caribbean Style Roasted Chicken Recipe

I have been getting so many nagging requests lately about posting my recipes on the blog from friends. I promised to do better this year and will be sharing more of my family favorite recipes and tips. I cooked a whole roasted chicken over the weekend and it was the best I've ever made. I didn't know I would end up sharing the recipe, so I have no step-by-step photos to share-- just the delicious end result. This chicken was full of Caribbean flavor and super juicy and tender.


1 whole chicken, 5-8 pounds
one handful each of fresh cilantro and Italian parsley
One large green onion
3 cloves of fresh garlic
small piece of hot pepper like habanero or scotch bonnet (optional and highly recommended)
dried seasonings- here are my faves
*1/2 cup Mojo marinade

Helpful items: A large/wide bowl or glass dishware for marinating, a large baking sheet, parchment paper, aluminum foil

What to do:

Start with splitting your whole chicken down the back to remove backbone and excess fat. I prefer this method to get more even cooking and browning. Wash chicken with lime or lemon and pat dry with paper towels.  You will have to apply some pressure to get the breast to flatten a bit. Do not remove skin! Sprinkle chicken on both sides with your dried seasonings to your taste. In a blender or vegetable chopper, grind garlic, herbs, green onion and hot pepper with a small amount of water just enough to make a puree. Pour herb puree and mojo marinade all over, and leave chicken in the fridge for 2 hours or even overnight. Preheat oven at 385 degrees. Place chicken breast side up on pan lined with foil and parchment paper. Bake for around one hour depending on your oven. I use the convection setting on my oven for extra crispiness and deeper browning. If your wings start browning too quickly, you can wrap them loosely with foil and remove in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Let your chicken rest at least 15 minutes before cutting/carving.

Serve with your favorite side dishes. I recommend my favorite Guyanese cook-up rice to make this a real authentic Caribbean meal. My family raves over this chicken and an 8 pound bird was devoured in a couple days with no waste! Don't forget to Pin this recipe for later! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

*This post contains affiliate links. I posted the products in case you can't find them locally.  

3-Ingredient Buffalo Chicken Empanadas Recipe For Game Day

Today's post is sponsored by Naturally Fresh. All opinions are my own as always. 

It's football season and the big Game Day is approaching. This means you have a little time left to start getting your Game Day menu ready or plan on what you will take to a party you may attend. Of course you must have an abundance of savory finger foods on hand. One of my new favorites are my Buffalo Chicken Empanadas. The best part is you only need a handful of ingredients to make them.  These can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator if you need to. They can be heated up in the oven or microwave. They are so easy to make, taste SO good and really are a crowd-pleaser. 

1 small pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
1 box of refrigerated pie crust
Buffalo wing sauce 
1 egg 
Seasonings of your choice
Naturally Fresh Bleu Cheese Dressing for dipping 

Lightly season your chicken (if you choose to) and place in slow cooker on high setting and let cook for 2 hours or until tender. Shred and lightly chop chicken since it will be a filling. Big chunks will not work. Cut pie crust with a glass or cookie cutter that is about 3 1/2- 4 inches in diameter. Place a little bit of the shredded chicken in the middle of each pie crust round and drizzle with Buffalo sauce. Be careful not to add too much sauce to avoid spillover or a soggy crust. Fold circle in half and use a fork to press edges to seal. Beat one egg with a little bit of water and brush empanadas to give them a nice sheen and brown color when baked. 

I recommend using parchment paper for baking to make removal easier. Bake at 400 degrees (or lower according to your oven) for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with Naturally Fresh Bleu Cheese Dressing and enjoy! 

Isn't that flaky crust gorgeous? 
Look at all that delicious Buffalo chicken filling!
Why Naturally Fresh Bleu Cheese Dressing? It is the perfect dip for these zesty empanadas. Naturally Fresh makes their yummy dressings with their very own buttermilk and aged bleu cheese chunks. You can really taste the difference! I can't get enough of those glorious cheese chunks. They also use real herbs and spices like basil, black pepper, spicy ginger and tangy mustard seeds in many of their sweet and savory dressings and dips. Naturally Fresh does not use:
  • Artificial thickeners to make up texture that should come from real ingredients.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG), an artificial flavor enhancer.
  • Artificial preservatives. That’s why you’ll only find Naturally Fresh products in the refrigerated section.
  • Artificial colors or flavors

Naturally Fresh dips and dressings can be found in the refrigerated section of your produce department. You can use this store locator to find a nearby retailer that carries them. I have found these dressings at my local Publix and Kroger stores. You simply can't beat high-quality, homemade-tasting salad dressings and dips with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Be sure to "like" Naturally Fresh on Facebook for recipe ideas and more. 


Crispy oven-baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings Recipe

I wanted to share one of my must-have foods at a Super Bowl party. Flavorful chicken wings in a variety of sauces is a staple, and my husband is obsessed with my oven-baked version. They are just as crispy as if you deep fried them. The secret is using my favorite dried seasonings (minus the salt) along with a few tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Cooking on parchment paper in a 400 degree oven on convection for 35 minutes helps to crisp them up. If you don't have a convection setting on your oven, no worries. Just bake at 415 for 35-45 minutes. The good thing about parchment paper is that nothing sticks.
We LOVE all flats and are lucky to find them at our local Kroger store in a 5 pound bag. 
One of my favorite ways to take my crispy wings to the next level is to jazz them up with garlic and Parmesan

To make these crispy oven-baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings, you will need: 

2.5-3 pounds of chicken wings (drumettes and flats)

Your favorite dry seasonings including 1 1/2 tbs of garlic powder (here are mine)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp dried parsley flakes

Bake wings according to directions above. Toss wings in the Parmesan cheese and parsley flakes. Serve with Bleu cheese dressing and enjoy! 

Tip: Make sure after you wash your chicken that you dry them extremely well with paper towels. Excess moisture will cause your chicken to steam in the oven and you will not achieve crispy skin. 

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Hi Everyone! I made a dish this weekend that was purely experimental and it turned out so good that I just had to share it with you. I get so tired of making the same old things over and over again and craved something completely different from the usual. I was shopping in Kroger the other night with my hubby and we were looking at their Private Selection brand of products that were on sale. They currently have a bonus sale where you can save $4.00 by purchasing 4 items. He was looking at a couple of the simmering sauces. I had that "look" on my face since I am the Queen of homemade. Is this man really looking at an Indian inspired sauce from a jar? He insisted we give it a try, so I reluctantly agreed. The price was really good so I figured I didn't have too much to lose.
The directions on the jar called for ingredients like bell peppers and onions. I decided to do things my own way. I used one pound of chicken tenders and cut them into 1-inch pieces. I then very lightly seasoned (no salt) the chicken with my staple spices. Next, I heated about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of vegetable oil in my skillet. I lightly dusted the chicken with some plain flour and added chicken to pan. I let it get nice and golden brown and then added some sliced red onion. After sauteeing onion for about 2 minutes, I poured my jar of sauce over chicken and onion and held my breath.

I let the chicken simmer for about 5-6 minutes and finished it off with some fresh cilantro. I served the chicken tikka masala over jasmine rice and the entire family (even little William) LOVED this dish. It had the most amazing balance of flavors. You could taste a hint of sweetness, a slight tang and a good pinch of spice. We didn't find it too spicy at all. I really can't believe how delicious this dish came out. It tasted like it came from a really good Indian restaurant. What's so great about this dish is that it really only took about 20 minutes to make. This would be perfect for a busy work/school week dinner. Just add a side salad and even some naan.

If you live near a Kroger, you must try out their Private Selection brand of gourmet products. We have already tried so many items and have never been disappointed. We are big fans of their Greek yogurt, artisan breads, preserves and fruit spreads, pasta, frozen pizza and more! You can also go here to see if any other stores may carry the brand as well. I did a search for some out of state zip codes and some different store names I'm not familiar with came up. Their $4 off 4 sale at Kroger is still on, so I plan to go pick up some more items this week. Let me know if you try this out. Have a great week!

Family Tailgating with Bojangles' (Reveiw & Giveaway) #TailgateEverythingPromo

Fall is all about football and tailgating. Whether you attend games in person or watch it on TV, food is a big part of it. We catch most games at home and I do my best to have good game food prepared. Sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking or even cleaning for that matter. Good thing there’s the Bojangles’ family meal that is perfect for our at-home tailgating. You can choose the 8 or 12 piece depending on the size of your party and it comes with everything you need to make your tailgate gathering easier and tastier. You can choose from their classic fixin's as they call them here in the south. They even include your choice of their Legendary Iced Tea or Lemonade as well as cups, plates and napkins.

I say YES to not messing up pots, pans, dishes or standing in front of a hot grill. For a limited time, you can order their yummy football shaped BoBerry biscuits. It works as the perfect dessert! I can see ordering a couple dozen to take into the workplace or school to share with friends. I was able to add a 6-pack of them onto my 8-piece box for an additional $1.99.
My family LOVES Bojangles' chicken and biscuits. On occasion when I take a break from cooking, it's not unusual for us to grab a family meal from there. It is also our road trip stop for breakfast.

Here are a few facts you might not know about Bojangles' chicken, biscuits or tea:
  • Bojangles’ biscuits are made from scratch using fat-free buttermilk and always served warm and fresh, no more than 20 minutes after coming out of the oven. Bojangles’-certified biscuit-makers use the same recipe today that was perfected by Bojangles’ founders in 1977.
  • Bojangles’ delicious bone-in fried chicken is shipped fresh daily, marinated for 12 hours, then hand-dipped and breaded.
  • Bojangles’ Legendary Iced Tea is made the old-fashioned way – it’s freshly steeped tea that’s brewed every day.  
Bojangles’ is also holding an Instagram contest offering the chance to win a Bojangles’ Tailgate Prize Pack every week, which includes a set of cornhole boards, $100 Bojangles’ gift card and two Bojangles’ tailgating chairs. Details are on – simply share a photo of friends or family tailgating with Bojangles’ on Instagram using #TailgateEverythingPromo for a chance to win!

Giveaway: I have $20 in Bojangles' gift cards to give away to one lucky Mom Files reader. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on September 30, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Mom files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes.

Disclosure: I received gift cards from Bojangles' to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own as always.

Extra Crispy Chicken Wings from your oven (Recipe)

With football and basketball season in full force, we reach for our game food favorites. One thing that we must have for the Superbowl or NBA Finals is chicken wings. We love them cooked almost any way, but absolutely can't resist a crispy fried wing. The problem is, I do not like to fry. I fry *maybe* three times a year. I just don't like the house, our furniture or my hair smelling like fried food. I have been baking wings in the oven for years and finally found a way to make them so crisp, you would think they were deep-fried. The secret is Dijon mustard. 
I take my washed and dried chicken wings and season them with my favorite spices and seasonings, except for salt. I add a couple tablespoons of Dijon mustard (this is why I don't add salt) and toss the wings to coat evenly. I spray non-stick cooking spray on a broiler pan/drip pan and lay my wings out in an even layer. I put them in my preheated oven on 375 and use the convection setting. I let them get very brown and crisp. It takes about 35 minutes. If you don't have a convection oven, you may need to flip wings over once for even browning. The end result is perfectly crispy chicken wings. My family enjoys them and I like the fact that I can cook a lot of them at one time. Enjoy!

Celebrate the return of football season at Buffalo Wild Wings with the whole family!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Buffalo Wild Wings for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of America's favorite times of year is here--- the return of football season! Buffalo Wild Wings is the go to place for family, fun and football. After all, wings are the staple food when watching football. We love the flavor varieties that BDubs offers. Even if you can't make it into the restaurant, you can order take-out and enjoy your meal in the comfort of your own home. If you are like me, you can get rather messy and a bit unladylike with chicken wings! We have ordered out several times since BDubs opened in our area. On occasion me and my husband will go up there for a meal and a few beers. There are so many promotions going on at BDubs right now like the Game Changer BeerWing TuesdayBottomless Boneless Lunch, and Boneless Thursday.  I think I need to call up a friend to meet up this month for that Bottomless Boneless Lunch special! I think I can be a lady when eating the boneless wing variety. My mind is also on the Game Changer Beer. Just the name makes me want to go try it out! My family is looking forward to football season and can't wait to dive into some of the great offerings this month from Buffalo Wild Wings. It is also a great way for me to take a break from the kitchen. Does your family enjoy football and wings?
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You can Follow Buffalo Wild Wings on Twitter and Like Buffalo Wild Wings on Facebook to stay updated on promotions and new items.
Visit Sponsor's Site

New French's Flavor Infuser Marinades, Just in time for BBQ season!

As part of a promotional program with The Mommy Factor ( and French’s, I receive product samples for review purposes. No other compensation was received. Views
expressed are always 100% my own.

The temperatures are finally starting to warm up and barbecue season is kicking off. French's, the mustard company we have known for many years, has come out with a new product that is perfect for grilling season. Introducing French's Flavor Infuser Marinades. I received a couple of these marinades to test out in my kitchen.
The marinade is uniquely packaged in a tube complete with an infuser tip made to penetrate your meat to distribute the flavors from within. I tried the Zesty Italian flavor first on some chicken drumsticks. The product is very easy to use. All you do is remove the seal, replace the infuser tip, press the infuser tip into your meat and squeeze lightly in different spots. 
It was very easy to do and I squeezed some of the remaining marinade on the outside of my chicken. Because I did a small amount of chicken, there was still enough marinade left for a few more pieces. I will have to keep that in mind when I use the next one since these are intended for one time use. I let it sit for the 10 minutes recommended on the package.

I was not able to grill my chicken so I did the next best thing, roasted it in a cast iron pan on the convection setting of my oven. It came out nice and brown and my family enjoyed how juicy and flavorful the chicken tasted.
I think this product is perfect for at-home cookouts, camping, beach-side cooking or even to travel if you are staying in a place with a kitchen. The marinade contains enough flavor that eliminates the need to add anything else. This makes for a very quick and easy process. French's Flavor Infuser Marinades come in 4 flavors and can be found on the marinade aisle of your grocery store and can be used on a variety of proteins.

For more information about French's Flavor Infuser Marinades, check out their website and stay connected to Facebook for recipes, tips and product information.
Shelly, Mom Files

PERDUE® OVEN READY Chicken Review #gotitfree

I have been cooking since I was at least 12. With so many years of practice under my belt, I have tried many techniques for cooking particular foods and once I find what works, I stick with it. I make a fabulous toasted chicken that comes out perfect every time. When I got the offer to try out the PERDUE® OVEN READY Chicken I was curious. The things that drew me in to want to try it was that it was from a well-known brand and their chickens are raised cage-free, without any hormones or steroids. I am very particular about what chicken I feed my family.
As a BzzAgent, I received a coupon to try out any variety of the Perdue Oven Ready products for free. I went with the whole seasoned roaster since I am not a big chicken breast fan. It was $10.99 and I thought it was a bit expensive. When I picked up the bag I realized that it was very heavy. I opened the outer packaging and inside was a heavy plastic cooking bag that contained the fully seasoned chicken inside. You have no idea how scared I was. I am not used to every using preseasoned chicken (or anything food for that matter) and the fact that it was packed in a bag that was made for cooking meant  that I couldn't sneak my own touches inside. All I had to do was cut a once inch slit over the breast area and put it in my preheated oven for the recommended cooking time. 
The roasted chicken aroma was nice but how was it going to taste? I pulled my chicken out of the oven and cut open the bag. Inside was a gorgeously browned bird full of natural juices. I reserved the drippings to make homemade gravy to go with my side dishes as well as on top of the chicken in the event it was dry. To my surprise and delight, the chicken was super moist and tasty. There was enough seasoning and quite honestly, it tasted like how I would season a whole chicken.
As always, the true test is to see what my family thinks. My husband commented several times and said, "now, that's some good chicken!" He said it tasted like I seasoned it my way and it was extra moist. He even got excited over the thought of the leftover breast sliced up for sandwiches. Usually whenever I cook a whole chicken, we end up wasting it and throwing that last of it away. Not this time!

My overall opinion of this product is that I am very impressed and happy with it. Although it is a lot more than I would pay for a whole chicken, it is worth it. I had to think about when you buy a whole bird, you have to trim it up, remove the giblets, wash it, dry it, season it and quite frankly handle the actual chicken. With Perdue Oven Ready Chicken, you don't have to go through all of that. It's as easy as 1. open 2. cook 3. serve! I think it is a perfect choice for when you are expecting house guests and it's even good enough for your holiday dinner! PERDUE® OVEN READY products are available in-- Whole Seasoned Roasters, Whole Seasoned Roaster Bone-In Breasts and Boneless Chicken Roasts. They retail for about $10.99-$11.99.

You can connect with Perdue on Facebook and Twitter for tips and product updates.
Shelly, Mom Files

Honey Soy Plum Chicken

I recently purchased a Kindle version of The Pioneer Woman's cookbook. I have tried a couple of her dessert recipes before and loved them. I found a recipe for Honey Soy Plum Chicken and it sounded amazing. I admit that when I read the quantity of some of the ingredients I was a bit stunned. I did choose to modify some things and wanted to share my version as well as the original, of The Pioneer Woman's recipe.


8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3 cups red wine
3 bay leaves
1 13 oz. jar plum preserves (I used a apricot instead)
1 cup honey (I used 3/4 cup)
1 20 oz. bottle low sodium soy sauce (I used 10 oz and still think it was too much)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 plums, pitted and chopped, plus 1 plum, pitted and thinly sliced (Will use half the plums next time)
12 ounces egg noodles
3 green onions, sliced


~Put the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Pour in 2 cups of the red wine. Add the bay leaves, toss to coat, and marinate for 1 hour in the fridge. (Next time I plan to add some slices of fresh ginger for more Asian flair)
~In a separate bowl, add the plum preserves, honey and soy sauce, whisk to combine and set aside.
~Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the wine, then brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. (I recommend draining excess oil from pan after browning) 
~Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the garlic. Stir it around in the bottom of the pan for a couple of minutes to release the flavor.
~Add the remaining cup of wine (I will use a half cup next time), chopped plums and honey plum soy mixture. (I added a few shakes of red pepper flakes for some heat)
~Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the chicken is falling off the bone. (I skimmed some of the excess fat off the top)
~Serve chicken and sauce over cooked noodles and sprinkle with green onions. (I plan to try it with Jasmine rice next time)

The dish was delicious and I do plan to make it again with the modifications that I noted. My husband also recommended that this meal should be cooked when nobody is home. He said he and the kids were circling around the kitchen like vultures because of the tantalizing aroma! It took a long time to get it all done. I will say that this was a very impressive, rich and fancy dish. If you like sweet and salty with an Asian twist, this is for you! Let me know if you try it out.
Shelly, Mom Files
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