Best Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe + Video

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Air fryer fried chicken is crispy and delicious with only a fraction of the fat and calories! Make this recipe for an easy comfort food meal. There’s nothing like the texture of this crispy fried chicken recipe! 

fried chicken in air fryer


Crispy air fryer chicken is literally the best. Not only do I love the way that the air fryer cooks the chicken, but I love that it’s an easy recipe that uses less oil than deep frying.

Plus, crispy chicken cooked in the air fryer is always way less messy than deep fried chicken on the stove top! 

This is one of the best fried chicken recipes out there, and you’ll love the quick cook time.

It tastes just like classic fried chicken, even though you’re skipping some of the traditional methods of frying. 

Air frying is a great way to cut down on excess oil and grease, while still having juicy chicken with perfectly crispy skin.

The whole family loves when I make easy air fryer recipes like this, and I’m always whipping up a second batch for them to enjoy! 

Add this air fryer chicken recipe to your radar for the next time that you’re craving a piece of chicken.

You’ll appreciate the simple cooking process and the golden brown, perfectly cooked air-fried chicken. So much flavor! 

Follow the simple steps on the printable recipe card below! 

ingredients for air fryer fried chicken

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Thanks to this handy countertop appliance, you can enjoy healthier fried chicken in a few simple steps!

Plus, it only requires a few spritzes of oil instead of an entire bottle, making clean up a breeze.

applying coating to piece of chicken

Recipe Tips

  • Guarantee extra juicy meat. Marinate the poultry in extra buttermilk if you have the time. Keep it covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.

    However, you can skip this step if you are pressed for time.
  • Use enough oil. Although this is a healthier fried chicken recipe, you still need to be sure it’s fully coated in oil.

    Otherwise, any spots that are missed will taste like raw flour when it’s done.
  • Give it some heat. Add a little kick to this recipe by stirring ¼ cup of your favorite hot sauce into the buttermilk dip.
  • Don’t have buttermilk? Make your own! Simply mix one tablespoon of vinegar or fresh lemon juice with one cup of milk.

    Let it sit for a few minutes until thickened and curdled, then use as directed.
  • Check the internal temperature. Insert a digital thermometer into the center of each piece, and pull it out when it reads 163­°F.

    It will continue to cook as it rests, reaching a safe 165°F or more.
piece of meat in batter for frying

Serving Suggestions for Air Fried Chicken

If you want to keep it simple and healthy, some coleslaw or fresh fruit would be more than enough.

Otherwise, put your machine to work and use it to make air fryer baked potatoesair fryer chicken tendersEverything Bagels, or cook up frozen French fries or crispy onion rings!

Want some comfort food options? You can’t go wrong with any of my mac and cheese recipes, and German or Southern potato salad is sure to be a hit.

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Air Fryer – Different brands and sizes will require different cooking times, so be familiar with your model and make adjustments as needed.
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Spray bottle of cooking oil – It’s important not to use non-stick sprays that contain a propellant since that can cause the basket to deteriorate over time.
  • Tongs – This set is so handy and each grips amazingly well!

Air Fryer Fried Chicken FAQ

Which cuts are best for air fryer fried chicken?

Any type that is bone-in with skin on is preferred. You can use skinless, just keep in mind that the breading might not adhere to the surface as well.

Try to find pieces that are uniform in size so they cook evenly. I’ve typically used a combination of legs and thighs since larger pieces like breasts will need a bit longer.

How should I store and reheat leftovers?

Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 6 months, then thaw in the refrigerator before reheating or enjoy cold.

While air fryer fried chicken is best the same day, you can reheat it in the air fryer at 370°F for about 10 minutes.

frying chicken in air fryer

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air fryer fried chicken

Best Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Air fryer fried chicken is crispy and delicious with only a fraction of the fat and calories! Make this recipe for an easy comfort food meal.
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Air Fryer
Servings 4


  • 2 pounds skin on chicken, legs and thighs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • oil for spraying chicken – vegetable, canola or olive oil

Chicken Coating

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Dry chicken with a paper towel and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined.
  • In a separate large bowl combine flour, garlic powder, seasoned salt, paprika, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Add chicken to coating and toss the chicken until coated.
  • Remove chicken from the coating and dip into the buttermilk mixture.
  • Return dipped chicken to the flour mixture, toss to coat the chicken.
  • Spray the basket of the air fryer with oil. Place the prepared chicken in your air fryer basket, leaving room around each piece to allow air to flow. Liberally spray the chicken with oil.
  • Cook at 370°F for 15-20 minutes. Cooking times will vary between air fryers so closely monitor your cook time and temperature.
  • Turn the chicken over with tongs and spray with more oil.
  • Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 163°F.
  • Repeat with any remaining chicken.
  • Serve immediately.


Donna’s Notes

Make sure your chicken is covered with oil. All flour spots will taste floury when the chicken is done if you don’t stray them with oil and cook it.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
If you would like a little kick, add 1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce to your buttermilk dip.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 588cal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 3226mg | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 5mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for air fried chicken recipe

Originally published July 2020, updated and republished May 2024

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    1. We haven't tested the recipe with almond or coconut flour. My only concern would be that almond flour cooks much faster (and would be more likely to burn) than all purpose flour. Feel free to give it a shot and let us know how it goes.

  1. The recipe doesn't indicate when to use the parchment paper. Are you supposed to line the air fryer with it and then spray with oil, or spray the air fryer and then line with parchment and then place chicken?

  2. 5 stars
    This was a great recipe for a lower fat style of fried chicken. Still had a great taste, and it was quite simple for a fried dish.

  3. I’m surprised you don’t recommend Fryer Chickens. These days all you seem to find in the grocery stores are these old hens. Having been raised on a farm the only chicken that we will ever fry would be the young fryers.
    Large chickens are for baking.

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