After school can be crazy in our house, not unlike many family households. We have a routine of unwinding with a snack and then it’s right into homework or extracurricular projects while I make dinner. Let me tell you, trying to manage dinner with homework questions going on can be a challenge. I’m sure I’ve set-off the smoke detector on more than one occassion. I think that’s one reason why I love kitchen tools that make dinner prep a little easier (especially since I’m not a big fan of cooking).
My rice cooker is my best friend and occasionally I pull out the slow cooker (though I have yet to find a recipe that I really love using this tool). My latest gadget is the Philips Airfryer.
“Philips Airfryer is a countertop appliance that drastically reduces the amount of oil used to cook. Using Rapid Air Technology, the Philips Airfryer allows you to fry, bake, grill, broil, braise and caramelize.”
So a tool that makes cooking easier and healthier? I had to try it with my new favourite recipe from Beretta Farms. Remember them? I wrote about this Canadian company as a healthy organic option for meat loving families like mine. Their Chermoula Chicken marinade is so easy to make and tastes delicious, with a rich North African flavour. I tend to make the marinade during the day after school drop-off so all the real work is done by the time dinner comes around but the marinade can keep for up to five days in the fridge in an air-tight container.
Chermoula Chicken Marinade
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lemon, juiced
4 tbsp olive oil
4 organic Beretta Farms chicken breasts
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Coat chicken breasts, massaging the marinade into the meat. Let sit for 30 minutes, or overnight in your fridge. Preheat oven to 350F. Place chicken in an oven-safe dish, and bake on the center rack for 45 minutes, or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.
I found with the Airfryer that cooking time took less than if I was to cook it in the oven (closer to 30 minutes versus the 45 minutes). Perhaps it’s the air-cooking method or maybe it’s the smaller cooking space. It can also depends on the size of meat you use. The Beretta Farm pieces appear smaller than some you find in the store but I also found them to retain their juice and flavour so much more too. The shelf insert for the basket came in handy so I could layer the chicken, cooking more pieces. It should be noted that the chicken on the top cooked faster so rotating the chicken is an option or ensure larger pieces are on the top.
The pause button on the machine meant I could pause cooking to check the internal temperature of my meat to determine if more time was required and the clean-up was a breeze, so much easier than my broil pan. The chicken turned out delicious and tender. I love this recipe and the Philip Airfryer did a great job cooking the pieces easily without a big mess or hot oven.
The device comes with a recipe book sharing ideas for homemade French fries (we don’t buy those bagged variety anymore since cut potatoes are so much tastier), drumsticks, even spring rolls. It’s designed to cook the food on the inside while crisping it on the outside, all without excess oil.
But, did you know you could also bake in the Airfryer? Cinnamon buns are a favourite; we’ve made them often on the BBQ. I happen to have a small spring pan as well as a few personal sized deep-dish pizza pans that fit within the Airfryer basket. I made a batch of Bacon Cinnamon Buns (precooking the bacon before adding into the buns) and cooked them in batches. They were a perfect after school snack, keeping the buns soft on the inside with a nice browning on the outside.
My head is already spinning on food ideas to try in the Philips Airfryer next. Did someone say doughnuts?
Chermoula Chicken recipe reprinted with permission. I was sent a Philips Airfryer to try and was compensated for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own.