Chicken
Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken

This recipe skips the frying and takes advantage of the convenience of those small convection ovens known as air fryers. Yet we still make sure that each piece of chicken is full of juiciness and covered in a crispy, flavorful coating. Our secret lies in a buttermilk brine that tenderizes and infuses flavor into the chicken, paired with a breading blend rich in herbs and spices to ensure that satisfying crunch and all the flavor, in every bite. We're bringing all the finger-licking fried chicken goodness without the stress or fuss.

Why our recipe?

  • Tasty brine that infuses flavor into the meat itself and keeps it juicy.
  • The breading is rich in herbs and spices for a fried chicken that is never bland.
  • Blend of flour and corn starch for maximum crunchiness.

An overhead view of a plate of three pieces of fried chicken prepared in the air fryer.An overhead view of a plate of three pieces of fried chicken prepared in the air fryer.

Whether you're cooking for two or ten, follow our step-by-step instructional recipe to serve deliciously crispy chicken everyone will love. Don't forget to let the cooked chicken rest for a few minutes before serving to preserve all the juicy goodness!

Notes on ingredients

An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make our air fryer fried chicken recipe.An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make our air fryer fried chicken recipe.
  • Chicken: Skin-on, bone-in chicken is the usual choice for fried chicken. You can always use boneless chicken, but fried chicken requires the skin. This is a hard combination to find, but if you want to go boneless you can buy regular bone-in chicken thighs and then cut the bone yourself. All you need is a good pair of kitchen scissors!
  • Milk butter: the natural acidity and enzymes in buttermilk tenderize the chicken.
  • Spicy sauce: It doesn't add any heat, but it adds a nice bit of flavor.
  • Herbs and spices: flavor both the brine and the chicken breading. Use good quality herbs and spices for best results.
  • Flour: used as a base for breading chicken.
  • Cornstarch: used in other fried foods and creates a different texture and crunch for maximum crunch.

Oil spray

Although air frying significantly reduces the amount of oil needed compared to traditional deep frying, a small amount of oil is still essential for best results. Oil plays a crucial role in air frying as it helps conduct heat more evenly and promotes that golden, crispy exterior that is essential to fried chicken.

Use olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, or a quality cooking spray.

When it comes to applying oil, a light spritz with a sprayer or brush is sufficient. Your goal is to lightly coat the surface of the food, not soak it. This minimal application helps improve texture without adding excessive fat.

A hand holding a fried chicken leg with a bite taken out of it.A hand holding a fried chicken leg with a bite taken out of it.

Storage and heating instructions:

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. The USDA recommends eating cooked chicken within 3-4 days.

To heat, preheat air fryer to 375 degrees and place remaining chicken pieces in fryer basket, making sure they do not overlap. Heat for about 4-6 minutes, turning halfway to allow both sides to crisp. This method heats the chicken evenly, brightening the crispy exterior and keeping the inside juicy.

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