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Air Fryer Fried Chicken

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This Air Fryer Fried Chicken is golden brown, juicy, and full of flavor. It’s one recipe you have to try in your Air Fryer.

air fried chicken breast in Air Fryer

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Full Recipe/Instructions are available in the
recipe card at the bottom of the post.
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.



If you’re living in the South, then knowing how to make fried chicken is a must. I tried for the longest to avoid posting a fried chicken recipe on the blog because in all honesty, I didn’t tend to get excited about fried chicken.

Until now. For years, when my Southern husband requested fried chicken, I’d just shrug and make him these air fried chicken wings covered in an Asian sauce instead.

But one day, I went ahead and made a traditional Southern fried chicken recipe right in my Air Fryer. It was phenomenal. I had to apologize for taking so long to make it and I to apologize for hating on fried chicken all these years. Now it’s a part of our monthly meal rotation.

air fried chicken pieces on white background

How to Make Air Fryer Fried Chicken

First, you will want to marinate your chicken. I use a mixture of half buttermilk and half hot sauce. I learned the hot sauce trick from my mother-in-law. The buttermilk helps keep the chicken juicy on the inside and the hot sauce adds flavor to the chicken. Don’t worry about it being spicy, it won’t be. You can marinate in the refrigerator anywhere from 1 hr to as long as 24 hours. 

chicken pieces in buttermilk and hot sauce

Combine flour, italian seasoning, seasoning salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. I use a whisk to ensure that my flour is fully seasoned.

Grab a pair of tongs and remove one piece of chicken from the buttermilk mixture, allowing it to drain off a bit, and place it in the flour mixture and use the tongs to make sure the chicken pieces are fully coated.

chicken leg in flour with tongs

Place a piece of parchment paper with holes in the Air Fryer. This has been my best solution for not having breaded fried chicken stick to the bottom of the Air Fryer. Just make sure that you don’t put the parchment paper down without food on top. If it there is no food to hold it down, it could fly up into the heating coils on top of the air fryer and start a fire.

Place your floured chicken piece on top of the parchment paper. Make sure the chicken pieces are not overlapping or touching. The more space the better. 

chicken pieces covered in flour in Air Fryer

Frying the Chicken Pieces

Close the air fryer drawer and set the temperature for 390 degrees Fahrenheit and timer for 25 minutes.

After about 13 minutes, open the Air Fryer. Your chicken should look like the photo below on the left (still showing some dry flour spots). Grab your Air Fryer oil spray bottle and spray those flour spots. Then grab some tongs and flip your chicken. Spray this side of the chicken as well, covering all flour spots. Close your Air Fryer and let it resume cooking.

Once you cooking cycle is done, use a quick read thermometer to ensure your chicken is fully cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove and enjoy 🙂

There you have it! Delicious Southern Style Buttermilk Soaked Air Fryer Fried Chicken.

If you like chicken, try these out:

BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Air Fryer Whole Chicken (Peruvian Style)

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Looking for some recipes to serve this chicken with? Try these out:

Air Fryer Potato Wedges (KFC Copycat)

Sweet and Spicy Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts

Kale and Broccoli Salad

Southern Style Pressure Cooker Collard Greens

White Cheddar Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Sautéed Beet Greens

Old Fashioned Potato Salad 

If you’re looking to fry fish instead, try this recipe for fish in your air fryer.

Notes on Air Fryer Fried Chicken

  • I do not recommend overlapping the chicken pieces in this recipe. It’s best to have the chicken spaces in a single layer and not touching. That way the air can get around the chicken to crisp it up and give it that nice and crispy golden layer.   
  • Remember to spray lightly with oil. The purpose of the oil in this recipe is to cover the dried flour spots. Not spraying with oil will have those flour spots tasting like you would imagine they world, dry flour. I use either canola or vegetable oil for my air fried chicken.
  • Some breading will fall of, whether you use the liners or not. However, much less breading falls of when using the parchment liners.
  • If using parchment liners, make sure that you place the chicken on top of them before starting the Air Fryer. Not doing so will cause the liners to fly into the fan, get caught, and possibly start a fire.
  • Timing will vary depending on Air Fryer brand. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken has  at least reached a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. My chicken usually reaches 180 degrees or more and is still juicy and deliciousy crsip.  
  • This chicken is best serve the same day. If reheating, place chicken in Air Fryer and cook on 370 for about 10 minutes.
  • Use any part of the chicken you like that has skin on. The breading may not stick to skinless chicken and it may not be as crispy.  

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pin image of air fryer fried chicken with chicken pieces in air fryer basket

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4.87 from 45 votes

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

This Air Fryer fried chicken is a healthier and easier version of traditional fried chicken. Soaked in buttermilk and hot sauce, covered in seasoned flour, and air fried to perfection.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinade 1 hour
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 318kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

Marinade

  • ½ whole chicken cut into separate pieces (breast, thigh, wing, and leg)
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • ½ cup buttermilk

Seasoning

  • ¾ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Oil for spraying Canola or Vegetable

Instructions

  • Place chicken pieces in buttermilk and hot sauce. Place in refrigerator and allow to marinate anytime from 1-24 hours.
  • Whisk together all-purpose flour, seasoning salt, garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Place a parchment liner in the Air Fryer basket.
  • Remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk mixture and place in the flour mixture, coating all sides of the chicken and shaking off any excess flour. Place the chicken pieces in the basket in a single layer.
  • Close the Air Fryer basket and set temperature to 390 degrees Fahrenheit and timer to 25 minutes. Start the Air Fryer.
  • After 13 minutes, open the air fryer and spray any flour spots on the chicken. Flip the chicken and spray the other side with oil, ensuring all the flour spots are covered. Close the Air fryer and cook for 12 more minutes.
  • Once the timer is up, open the Air Fryer and check chicken pieces with a quick read thermometer. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees at the thickest part of the chicken.

Video

Notes

  • I do not recommend overlapping the chicken pieces in this recipe. It’s best to have the chicken spaces in a single layer and not touching. That way the air can get around the chicken to crisp it up and give it that nice and crispy golden layer.  
  • Remember to spray lightly with oil. The purpose of the oil in this recipe is to cover the dried flour spots. Not spraying with oil will have those flour spots tasting like you would imagine they would, dry flour.
  • Some breading will fall of, whether you use the liners or not. However, much less breading falls of when using the parchment liners.
  • If using parchment liners, make sure that you place the chicken on top of them before starting the Air Fryer. Not doing so will cause the liners to fly into the fan, get caught, and possibly start a fire.
  • Timing will vary depending on Air Fryer brand. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken has  at least reached a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. My chicken usually reaches 180 degrees or more and is still juicy and deliciousy crsip.  
  • This chicken is best serve the same day. If reheating, place chicken in Air Fryer and cook on 370 for about 10 minutes.
  • Use any part of the chicken you like that has skin on. The breading may not stick to skinless chicken and it may not be as crispy.  
Suggested Tools for Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 2055mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 23.9mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2.3mg
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Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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Cyndee Freeman

Thursday 4th of June 2020

This looks soooo delicious. Has anyone ever tried it with almond flour?

Tanya

Thursday 4th of June 2020

Yes, I have a comment of someone that made it with almond flour, it's a bit down in the feed. She said almond flour worked fine but you would have to watch it, as almond flour does brown quicker than all-purpose.

Terri Randall

Tuesday 2nd of June 2020

This is the BEST chicken, try it, you won't be disappointed

Pat

Saturday 30th of May 2020

Hi Tanya I made the chicken in my ninja foodi and it turned out great. Crunchy on outside and moist inside. I sprayed air crisp basket with oil and no problems with sticking. I followed the advice of another comment and put chicken in refrigerator for an hour before frying. I had one big breast and three thighs all bone-in and had to do in two batches due to limited space in foodi. Now thinking about getting the ninja air fryer. I can see it would be useful for some dishes. Thanks I am going to make your Chai Tea Cupcakes next, they look delicious.

Pat

Thursday 28th of May 2020

Hi Jennifer Could I make this in the Ninja Foodi air crisp. I realize I can’t fit as many pieces but would the results be the same?

Tanya

Thursday 28th of May 2020

Yes you can make it in the Ninja Foodi, the results will be the same. Just make sure the pieces are in a single layer.

Jennifer

Thursday 28th of May 2020

I planned this meal last week and missed the part about needing chicken with skin on it. Is there anything I can do to my skinless chicken to help the breading not fall off? I had also bought tenders. Does that make a difference?

Tanya

Thursday 28th of May 2020

Hi Jennifer. You can bread the chicken and place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes or more to help the flour stick better.