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How to make Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

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

This post may contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

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 had to apologize for hating on fried chicken all these years. Now it’s a part of our monthly meal rotation.

I like to cut a whole chicken up into separate portions, it’s economical and nothing goes to waste. I can make air fryer fried chicken thighs, air fryer fried chicken drumsticks, and also use the breast meat and wings too.

For the juiciest chicken, I like to marinade my Air Fryer Fried Chicken in buttermilk, which tenderizes the chicken and also adds a great tangy flavor.

air fried chicken pieces on white background

Ingredients

  • Whole chicken cut into separate pieces (breast, thigh, wing, and leg)
  • Hot sauce – I use Texas Pete.
  • Buttermilk
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Seasoning salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Canola or vegetable oil

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 the 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 to 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.

chicken pieces covered in flour in Air fryer basket
fried chicken pieces in air fryer basket

Once your 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.

Additional recipes

If you like chicken, try these out:

  • Air Fryer Whole Chicken (Peruvian Style)
  • BBQ Air Fryer Chicken Breast
  • Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
  • Air Fryer Chicken Wings

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

What to serve with Crispy Fried Chicken

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 

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 would, dry flour. I use either canola or vegetable oil for my air-fried chicken.
  • Some breading will fall off, whether you use the liners or not. However, much less breading falls off when using 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 the 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 deliciously crisp.  
  • This chicken is best served on the same day. If reheating, place chicken in Air Fryer and cook at 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.  

Pin Air Fryer Fried Chicken for Later

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

Watch me make this chicken from start to finish.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Video

How to store leftover fried chicken

To refrigerate: Keep any leftover fried chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To heat up the next day warm the chicken in a preheated oven at 400F until warmed through. Leftovers also make a great addition to salads and sandwiches the next day.

To freeze: Once cooked and cooled, place any pieces of leftover chicken into an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. As the chicken is already cooked it can be reheated from frozen in a preheated oven at 350F. When ready to enjoy place the frozen chicken onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes to reheat.

FAQs:

Is it okay to put raw chicken in the air fryer?

Yes, absolutely, just ensure you cook it until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to make my breading stick to fried chicken?

The pieces of chicken are marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce. When ready to cook lift a piece of chicken and shake it gently to remove any excess marinade. This marinade will help the breading mixture to stick to the chicken.

Good substitutes for buttermilk?

If you don’t have buttermilk in the fridge don’t worry, there are a few good substitutes for buttermilk. Try adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk; alternatively, mix 1 3/4 teaspoons of cream of tartar to a cup of milk; or mix some sour cream or plain yogurt with a little milk or water to thin it down a little.

How to make Air Fryer Fried Chicken crispy?

Once the chicken is coated in the breading place the pieces into the Air Fryer in a single layer, allowing space between each piece of chicken for the air to circulate. Do not be tempted to overcrowd the basket or the chicken won’t crisp up. Next set the Air Fryer to a hot 390 degrees Fahrenheit so the chicken cooks fast and high. Finally, I like the flip the chicken over halfway through, this also allows me to spray any flour spots with a little extra oil so the coating crisps up nicely.

The best oil to use for Air Fryer Fried Chicken?

I like to use Canola oil or vegetable oil as it has a higher smoke point which is ideal for frying chicken. Don’t be tempted to use olive oil as it has a lower smoke point and is likely to burn.

Can I use boneless chicken?

Your chicken will not crisp up if using boneless chicken. I recommend using skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces.

What if my breading doesn’t stick?

You can place your chicken pieces in the fridge for 10-15 minutes after breading, and before air frying. This will help if you have trouble with the breading staying on.

If you have tried my Air Fryer Fried Chicken or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

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

Keyword air fryer chicken breast, air fryer fried chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Marinade 1 hour

Total Time 35 minutes

Servings 4 people

Calories 318kcal

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 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Oil for spraying Canola or Vegetable
  • 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.

  • 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. 
  • I use Texas Pete hot sauce in this recipe. If you are sensitive to heat or use a spicier brand, reduce the amount of hot sauce.  

Suggested Tools for Air Fryer Fried Chicken

  • Air Fryer Parchment Liners (They come in different sizes so make sure to select the one that correlates to your size of Air Fryer)
  • Oil bottle for spraying
  • Tongs for flipping (I like to have a few around)
  • Quick Read Thermometer 

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.

This post was originally published on March 5, 2019. It has been updated with additional helpful tips.

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Frequently Asked Questions About do you need flour to air fry chicken

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic do you need flour to air fry chicken, then this section may help you solve it.

Do you flour chicken when you air fry it?

The secret to making air fried chicken that tastes just as good as frying is to marinate the chicken with buttermilk and spices and to bread it with a mixture of flour and corn starch. The 2nd must is to generously spray it with cooking spray to ensure all the flour is coated with oil.

Do you need to flour food in an air fryer?

Don’t use a wet batter or coating. But in an air fryer there is nothing to set a wet batter ? it will just drip off while the food cooks. If you’re after crunch, dredge your food in flour, egg and breadcrumbs instead.

Why is my air fried chicken not crispy?

Dry the outside of the food properly before you add oil. Do not use too much oil, as this will make the food less crispy and more fattening. Meat or poultry can be lightly brushed with oil or marinated to get the crispiest results

Do you need to flour wings to air fryer?

Can you make Air fryer Buffalo chicken wings without flour? Yes, if you want Low Carb or Keto Buffalo Wings in the Air fryer, you can omit the flour. Season the wings and cook them in the Air fryer. Then coat with the Buffalo sauce.

Do you put flour on meat in air fryer?

It should work. The one exception might be if you like a very thick breading on your fried chicken. If you double dip your chicken in flour for the coating, it’s going to be hard to hydrate all that flour in an air fryer, and you’ll almost certainly end up with floury spots that haven’t really cooked.

Do you put flour on chicken wings before air frying?

In a large bowl, evenly coat the wings with flour, seasoning mix, and a heavy pinch of salt. Spray the inside of the air fryer with nonstick spray or oil. Air fry the wings at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Remove the air fryer basket and let the wings rest for about 15 minutes.

Do you put flour on meat in air fryer?

Using tongs, dredge the chicken in the flour, then the buttermilk, and then lastly in the flour. Place in the bottom of the air fryer basket. Cook at 360 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Open the basket and spray any flour with the cooking spray.

Do you need to put anything under air fryer?

Your air fryer should always be kept on a level, heat-resistant countertop and in order for the exhaust vent to operate properly, allow five inches of space behind the air fryer at all times. What is this? TIP: These counter mats act as a wonderful protective surface for your kitchen island or counter top.

Can you put chicken straight in the air fryer?

Brush a simple layer of olive oil over boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pop them in the air fryer in a single layer, and the cooked chicken will have such a crispy surface that it’ll taste like deep fried skin-on chicken.

Why is there still flour on my fried chicken air fryer?

Why Is There Still Flour on My Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer? It’s very important that you spray all sides of your chicken pieces with olive oil spray if you want to avoid any loose flour. This will make sure that the flour coating turns brown and crisps up nicely.

Should I coat chicken wings before air frying?

Coating the chicken wings with cooking spray will help the baking powder and salt to stick to them. It is totally safe to do so, but ? if you prefer ? you can use 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil instead. You should avoid spraying your air fryer with cooking spray.

Do you batter wings before air frying?

One at a time, place oiled wings in the dry mixture and coat with breading, then place each wing on in the air fryer basket. Set your air fryer to 400F and cook for 20 minutes flipping half way through.

What do you coat wings in before an air fryer?

Place the wings in a large bowl and add olive oil, garlic powder, and baking powder. Mix well. Add the seasoned wings in a single layer to the air fryer basket. Air Fry WIngs at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, flipping the wings every 5 minutes.

Can you air fry raw chicken wings?

Place the wings in the fryer basket so they are not touching (if necessary to fit, line up the drumettes standing upright along the sides). Set the air fryer to 360 degrees F and cook for 12 minutes, then flip the wings with tongs and cook for 12 minutes more.

Can you air fry uncooked chicken wings?

You are probably wondering if air fried wings are going to taste or have the same texture as deep-fried wings. Well, the answer is yes! Yes, you can still cook frozen chicken wings in the Air Fryer, and they turn out delicious every time!

How do I get wings crispy in air fryer?

The Secret to Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings

First, air fryer the chicken wings at 360 degrees F for 24 minutes, turning once halfway through. This step renders the fat. Then, turn up the heat to 390 degrees F. This high temperature crisps the outsides of the wings, leaving the interior meat moist.

Do you put oil in an air fryer for wings?

Extra virgin olive oil ? A drizzle of olive oil is how you get audibly crispy chicken wings. The oil helps the chicken skin start to crisp up faster than it would on its own. Salt ? An extra pinch of salt ensures the chicken wings are perfectly seasoned when they come out of the Air Fryer.

Can I air fry wings without baking powder?

You don’t need to use baking powder when using an Air Fryer. The wings will get crispy without it! This recipe is as easy as it can be! Toss the wings in your favorite sauce!

Video About do you need flour to air fry chicken

How to make Air Fryer Fried Chicken