Our best air fryer fried chicken recipe is a take on a Southern Fried Chicken recipe. If you have either spent some time in the Southern states of America, or ever looked through a handful of fried chicken recipes on the Internet, you’ll know that there are as many variations in both the ingredients and instructions for this dish as there are feathers on a chook!
Some cooks like to season both the chicken and the flour it’s coated in, others flavour only the flour. Some chefs put herbs in their seasoning mix, others don’t. So this is our version of Southern fried chicken and my advice to you is to play with the flavourings that you like and make the dish your own.
And if you’d like a little history lesson on the global obsession with fried chicken, you can read more here.
Best Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe
Makes: 2 servings. Prep: 10 mins. (plus soaking time) Cook: 25 mins.
½ whole chicken (skin on) – cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup plain flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Italian seasoning – any herbs like oregano, basil & thyme
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp oil
Oil for spraying
- Place the cut chicken pieces in the buttermilk.
- Refrigerate and leave to marinate for 1-24 hours – overnight is great.
- Mix the flour, herbs and spices in a bowl.
- Line the air fryer with baking paper/parchment – some of the coating will fall off but the paper will minimise the mess.
- Take the pieces of chicken from the buttermilk, letting the excess drop off.
- Place the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and turn to cover. Shake off any excess flour.
- Add oil to the air fryer – if the manufacturer recommends it.
- Put the chicken pieces in the air fryer in a single layer – try to make sure that the pieces aren’t touching each other.
- Set the air fryer to 200C and set the timer for 25 minutes.
- At 13 minutes, open the air fryer and spray any flour spots on the chicken pieces.
- Turn the chicken pieces and continue cooking until golden.
- How long our best air fryer fried chicken recipe takes to cook each batch of chicken will depend on the brand of air fryer (and the size of your chicken pieces – thicker piece will take longer) so keep checking it the first time you try the recipe.
- If you are (rightly) concerned about the possibility of eating under-cooked chicken, buy yourself a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of your fried chicken should be at least 75C for it to be safe to eat.
- Don’t forget to check the chicken halfway through the cooking time and spray any flour spots with oil. If you don’t do this, your finished chicken will have dry flour patches which will ruin the flavour and texture.
- It’s better to use chicken pieces with skin on them as the flour mixture tends to stick to it better.
As I said above, this is simply our best air fryer fried chicken recipe and you should feel free to customise it as you like.
You could try bumping up the taste of your fried chicken by putting some flavourings into the buttermilk for the marinating stage.
- When you mix the spices and herbs to go in your flour, try keeping back a tablespoon of the mix and put it directly into the buttermilk. Then add your chicken pieces and carry on as before.
- Another suggestion is to really boost the spice hit by marinating the chicken pieces in a mix of ½ cup buttermilk and ½ cup of your favourite hot sauce.
- Popcorn Chicken – and if you want to adapt our best air fryer fried chicken recipe into popcorn chicken, it’s easy. Just use small, bite-sized pieces of chicken and cook for less time.
Alternatively, you can add different spices to the flour that you use for dredging your chicken.
Or you can do both and really go to town on the flavour! Experiment away and see what tasty combinations you come up with.
And why not make some delicious sweet potato fries to go with your yummy chicken?