Air Fryer Mahogany Chicken


Yesterday a friend told me she wished she could cook like me. My food always looks so good and I never have any problems in the kitchen.

This morning I sent her a picture of my lunch I was making. It was supposed to be Mahogany chicken. It is Mahogany in one place but burnt in most others. I told her even the best cook in the world has problems in the kitchen from time to time. We just don’t post them on our blogs or instagram feeds. We quietly learn from our mistakes and try again and post our good looking pictures.

So what did I learn from this mistake? A glaze with so much sugar in it can burn quickly and I should have been checking it more frequently. I knew that but because I don’t use glazes very often it just didn’t occur to me at the time.

I also learned that different air fryers have different wattages and that means some cook quicker than others. It’s a matter of knowing how your particular air fryer works. When I remade the chicken to get a better picture, I dropped the temperature and extended the cooking time. I added the changes I made to the note at the bottom of the recipe.

In case you are wondering what happened to the chicken, only the skin was burned so I removed it and chopped the chicken meat up for a salad which was delicious.

Mahogany Chicken

From Easy Air Fryer Magazine

1 1/2 TBS soy sauce

1 1/2. tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp grated, peeled fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 TBS honey, divided

2 bone in, skin on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat

1/2 lb broccoli florets, cut in half if big

1/2 bunch scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic and 1 1/2 tsp honey, mix well.  Reserve 1 1/2 tsp of the mixture for later use.   Add the chicken and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir the remaining 1 1/2 tsp honey into the reserved marinade for a glaze.

Place chicken in the air fryer basket, skin side down and air fry at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.  Brush chicken with reserved honey/ marinade mixture and flip using tongs.  Air fry, brushing twice with the glaze, during the last 3 minutes of cooking., until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more. 

Crispy Onion Chicken

This morning I thought of my little brother while I was cooking and how much he would hate this recipe. Why? He hates onions. I never met anyone who hates onion as much as he does. I mean he hates onions the way I hate beets, with a mad passion. Beets are the one food I won’t eat under any circumstances, not even to be polite. He is the same way with onions. The only difference is beets aren’t the flavor foundation of every cuisine ever. Beets are much easier to avoid.

I am not sure I would know how to cook without onions. It would be an interesting experiment but not one I am going to tackle today. Today I am piling on the French’s Fried onions and loving every second of it. The onions don’t really stick to the chicken even after you dunk the chicken in the butter. Don’t worry about it. Just pack the onions on top of the chicken and bake. I used a 2 1/2 oz can of French’s Onions and it covered the top of two chicken breast halves.

Crispy Onion Chicken

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

2 8 oz chicken breast halves

1 2 1/2 oz can french fried onions, crushed

In a shallow bowl, combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, mustard, , salt and pepper. Dip chicken in the butter mixture and coat with onions. Place chicken in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with any leftover onions and drizzle with remaining butter.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear.

Chick-fil-a Grilled Chicken Copycat (Whole 30)

So today turned out to be a very interesting day. I learned my new rattie girl, KC, is actually a boy. Apparently, it is very, very hard to tell when rats are young. I originally wanted to have a roommate for my female rat, Missy. Obviously, that isn’t going to happen now because I don’t a million rattie babies running around.

I also learned that KC is partially blind in one eye. He has about 50% field of vision in his right eye. My vet thinks with treatment we can reduce some of the inflammation around the damage and increase the range of vision up to 75%. Don’t feel bad for KC, though. Whether or not we can help KC’s vision or not, he is over here living his best life. It doesn’t slow him down at all.

Does he look like he cares about his eye? He just wants to explore.

Chick fil a is my favorite fast food restraunts and grilled chicken sandwiches are my favorite but I haven’t been able to get one since March because of Covid so I started looking for away to make them at home. Most recipes used brine from a jar of pickles to marinate their chicken but I don’t always have a jar of pickles available for that. This recipe makes its own pickle brine with white vinegar and a few spices so it is always available to make whenever the Chick fil a craving hits.

I haven’t eaten Chick fil a for over 8 months so I can’t say if this tastes exactly like the grilled chicken there or not. I can tell you it the recipe makes very good chicken. Serve it with bacon, and cheddar cheese on a bun with lettuce and tomato and I think you will be very happy.

Chick-fil-a Grilled Chicken Copycat

I used coconut milk in the recipe to make it dairy free but you can use any kind of milk for it

Adapted from I don’t remember where

Pickle Brine:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp mustard seed

1/4 tsp peppercorns

2-3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed

1/2 cup coconut milk

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Spice Rub:

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp arrowroot

1 chicken breast, butterflied

In a medium bowl. Combine all the  pickle brine ingredients and mix well.  Add  the chicken to the brine and make sure all the pieces are submerged. Let marinate in the fridge or at least 1 hour or overnight.

When you are ready to cook, combine the ingredients for the spice rub in a small bowl. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the spice rub all over both sides of the chicken. In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink, 3 -4 minutes per side. Serve on a bun with lettuce, tomato, bacon and Chick -fil-a sauce.

Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Whole 30)

This week I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen playing with my friend, Steph’s, Sunbeam Pie Maker and having so much fun doing it.  It makes 2 small pies in about 10 -15 minutes.  I am experimenting with making different kinds of crusts from scratch to make just two pies with no leftover dough and all sorts of fillings both sweet and savory.  These recipes will never show up here on A Solitary Feast because I am betting you don’t have a Sunbeam pie maker. But if you do and would like the recipes leave an email address in the comments and I’ll send them to you. 

The other cooking I am doing that will end up on A Solitary Feast is from my new favorite cookbook and blog, The Primal Gourmet by Ronny Joseph Lvovski.   His cookbook provides an awesome mix of what I consider fancier recipes and recipes you can throw together in a half hour.  He also has a section on with spice blends I haven’t tried yet and my new passion, sauces.   Best of all, every recipe  I have tried so far have been freaking delicious. 

From The Primal Gourmet Cookbook


Note:  This sauce is amazing and can be made anytime you need a Teryaki sauce

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1 TBS grated garlic, about 3 cloves

1 TBS arrowroot

1 TBS toasted sesame oil

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp red pepper flakes


2 TBS oil

1 lb ground chicken

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced and seperated

Kosher salt

8 lettuce leaves, for serving

In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and whisk until well combined; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Increase the heat to high and add the oil.  When the oil is hot add the ground chicken.  Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat as it cooks, until the chicken is browned and most of the liquid had evaporated, 4-5 minutes.  Add the white part of the scallions,  red bell pepper and cashews.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper has softened a little, 2-3 minutes.   Give the teriyaki sauce a stir then add it to the ground beef, stirring to coat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 -3 minutes.  Sprinkle with scallion greens and serve on lettuce leaves.

Air Fryer Merguez Meatballs (Whole 30)

Lately, my cooking is looking alot like an episode of the competitive cooking show, Chopped. I am grabbing a bunch of random stuff from my fridge and freezer and trying to turn it into a meal.

This morning, I all I found in the fridge was ground chicken and some random vegetables and salad greens because I haven’t been to the grocery store in almost two weeks.

The meatballs are a simple recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Everyday Air Fryer by Urvashi Pitre. Beware! This recipe packs a little punch. It was a little surprising when I bit into the first meatball.

African Merguez Meatballs

Adapted From the Everyday Air Fryer Cookbook

1/2 lb ground chicken

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ground fennel

1/4 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp ground allspice

In a medium bowl, gently mix the chicken, garlic, paprika, salt, cumin, black pepper, fennel, coriander, cayenne and allspice. Mix until all the ingredients are well mixed but don’t over mix. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature or,cover and store overnight in the fridge.

When ready to cook, form the mixture into 8 meatballs. Put them in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Set the air fryer for 400 degrees for 10 minutes, turning the meatballs halfway through the cooking time.