Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe

Enjoy the classic taste of fried chicken with a healthier twist using an air fryer. This Air Fryer Fried Chicken recipe delivers crispy, golden-brown chicken with juicy, tender meat inside—all without the excess oil of traditional frying.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 1 hour (optional but recommended)
  • Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 4 chicken drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
  • Cooking spray or olive oil spray


Marinate the Chicken (Optional but Recommended):

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl, ensuring they are well-coated.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results.

Prepare the Coating:

  1. In a shallow dish, combine the flour, panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using).
  2. Mix well to ensure even distribution of the seasonings.

Coat the Chicken:

  1. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade, allowing any excess to drip off.
  2. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, pressing lightly to ensure the coating adheres well.
  3. Shake off any excess coating and set the chicken aside on a plate.

Air Fry the Chicken:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray or olive oil spray.
  3. Arrange the coated chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding; cook in batches if necessary.
  4. Lightly spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray or olive oil spray.
  5. Air fry the chicken at 375°F (190°C) for 25-30 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through the cooking time and spraying any dry spots with additional cooking spray. The chicken should be golden brown and crispy, and the internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).


  1. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  2. Serve the air fryer fried chicken hot with your favorite dipping sauces and sides.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Main Dish: Pair with mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or a green salad.
  • Finger Food: Serve with a variety of dipping sauces like ranch, barbecue sauce, or honey mustard.

Cooking Tips:

  • Uniform Pieces: Try to use chicken pieces of similar size for even cooking.
  • Double Coating: For an extra crispy coating, dip the chicken back into the buttermilk and dredge in the flour mixture a second time before air frying.
  • Resting Time: Allowing the chicken to rest after cooking helps retain its juices.

Nutritional Benefits:

  • Chicken: High in protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Air Frying: Uses significantly less oil than traditional frying, reducing overall fat and calorie content.

Dietary Information:

  • Low-Fat: Lower in fat compared to traditional fried chicken due to the air frying method.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs for a gluten-free version.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Healthier Alternative: Enjoy the taste of fried chicken without the guilt of excess oil.
  • Crispy and Flavorful: Achieves a perfect crispy texture with a flavorful coating.
  • Quick and Easy: Simple to prepare and cooks in under 30 minutes.


Air Fryer Fried Chicken is a healthier, delicious alternative to traditional fried chicken. With its crispy coating and juicy meat, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy the convenience and health benefits of air frying while indulging in the irresistible taste of fried chicken. Serve it with your favorite sides for a complete and satisfying meal.

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