Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Welcome to a recipe for Air Fryer Fried Chicken, a healthier alternative to traditional deep-fried chicken that still delivers a crispy, golden exterior and juicy, flavorful meat. This method is quick and easy, making it an excellent choice for a delicious meal. Follow this detailed guide to create mouthwatering fried chicken in your air fryer.


Table of Contents

Before we start, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients for the air fryer fried chicken.

For the Chicken:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

For the Breading:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Non-stick cooking spray or oil spray


Step 1: Marinating the Chicken

  1. Marinate the Chicken: In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce (if using). Add the chicken pieces and ensure they are fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. This helps tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor.

Step 2: Preparing the Breading

  1. Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a shallow dish, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried thyme, and dried oregano. Mix well to combine.
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Step 3: Coating the Chicken

  1. Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes.
  2. Coat the Chicken: Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk, allowing any excess to drip off. Dredge each piece in the flour mixture, pressing gently to ensure an even coating. Shake off any excess flour.

Step 4: Cooking the Chicken

  1. Arrange in the Air Fryer: Lightly spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray. Place the coated chicken pieces in a single layer in the basket, ensuring they are not touching. Lightly spray the tops of the chicken with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Air Fry the Chicken: Cook the chicken at 375°F (190°C) for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time, or until the chicken is golden brown, crispy, and cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).

Step 5: Serving the Fried Chicken

  1. Check for Doneness: Ensure the chicken is fully cooked by checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
  2. Serve and Enjoy: Transfer the crispy fried chicken to a serving platter. Serve hot with your favorite sides.

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Fried Chicken

  • Even Coating: Press the flour mixture firmly onto the chicken to ensure an even and crispy coating.
  • Do Not Overcrowd: Cook the chicken in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket, which ensures even cooking.
  • Spray with Oil: Lightly spray the chicken with oil to achieve a golden, crispy exterior.

Variations and Add-Ins

  • Spicy Fried Chicken: Add cayenne pepper or chili powder to the flour mixture for a spicy kick.
  • Herb-Infused Chicken: Add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to the marinade for an herb-infused flavor.
  • Cheesy Coating: Mix grated Parmesan cheese into the flour mixture for a cheesy twist.
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Pairing Suggestions

Enhance your fried chicken experience with complementary sides and beverages:

  • Sides: Serve with coleslaw, mashed potatoes, cornbread, or a fresh green salad.
  • Beverages: Pair with a cold beer, lemonade, or iced tea.
  • Dessert: Finish with a light dessert such as fruit cobbler, brownies, or a slice of pie.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Undercooked Chicken: Ensure the chicken pieces are not too thick and check the internal temperature to ensure they are fully cooked.
  • Burnt Coating: If the coating browns too quickly, reduce the air fryer temperature slightly and cook for a longer duration.
  • Soggy Coating: Ensure the chicken is not overcrowded in the air fryer and that the pieces are evenly coated with flour and lightly sprayed with oil.

The Joy of Cooking: A Satisfying Experience

Making fried chicken in the air fryer is not only about the delicious result but also the joy of creating a satisfying and comforting meal. Here are some tips to make your cooking experience even more enjoyable:

  • Music and Ambiance: Play your favorite music or a relaxing playlist to set a cheerful mood in the kitchen.
  • Involve Others: Invite family or friends to help with the preparation. Cooking together can be a fun and bonding experience.
  • Savor the Process: Enjoy the aromas, textures, and flavors as you prepare and cook this delightful fried chicken.


Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of making Air Fryer Fried Chicken. This crispy and delicious dish is perfect for any occasion, combining a golden, crunchy exterior with tender, juicy meat.

Enjoy the process of cooking and sharing this delightful fried chicken with your loved ones. Serve it with your favorite sides and beverages, and savor every bite. Happy cooking!


Key Takeaway

Air Fryer Fried Chicken is a quick, delicious, and easy-to-make dish that combines a crispy exterior with juicy, flavorful meat. This detailed recipe ensures a perfect result every time, making it an ideal choice for a meal or special occasion. Embrace the joy of cooking to create a memorable and satisfying dining experience.