Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe

Enjoy crispy, juicy fried chicken with a fraction of the oil, using your air fryer. This recipe delivers all the flavor and crunch of traditional fried chicken without the guilt. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion.


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a bit of heat)
  • Cooking spray


  1. Marinate the Chicken:
  • In a large bowl or ziplock bag, combine the chicken thighs and drumsticks with the buttermilk. Ensure all pieces are well-coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight for the best flavor and tenderness.
  1. Prepare the Coating:
  • In a shallow dish, combine the flour, breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using).
  • Mix well to ensure an even distribution of spices.
  1. Coat the Chicken:
  • Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, allowing any excess to drip off.
  • Dredge each piece in the flour mixture, pressing firmly to ensure a good coating. Shake off any excess coating.
  1. Preheat the Air Fryer:
  • Preheat your air fryer to 360°F (182°C) for about 5 minutes.
  1. Cook the Chicken:
  • Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Place the coated chicken pieces in the basket in a single layer, ensuring they are not touching. You may need to cook in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
  • Lightly spray the tops of the chicken pieces with cooking spray to help them crisp up.
  1. Air Fry the Chicken:
  • Cook at 360°F (182°C) for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. The chicken should be golden brown and crispy, with an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).
  1. Rest and Serve:
  • Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the juices redistribute and keeps the chicken moist.

Enjoy your crispy and delicious air fryer fried chicken!

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