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Air Fryer Fried Chicken is crispy, tender, juicy, and oh so flavorful. You’ll wonder why you ever deep fried! Brining instructions included to solidify your pro chef status! 

Overhead view of air fryer fried chicken inside an open air fryer.

We couldn’t give up fried chicken. Pork chops? Sure. Certain veggies? Absolutely. But fried chicken, NEVER. That crispy skin and juicy meat gets us every time. The only thing we don’t love about fried chicken is cooking over that popping oil. No matter how careful we are, wearing an apron or not, we somehow always get oil stained clothing. It seriously makes us think twice before considering frying, but we love fried chicken, leaving us in quite the pickle. Air frying chicken has been a game changer. We no longer second guess if we really want to go through the work of frying, and we never feel guilty, no matter how often we have this for dinner! Seriously everyone, you need this recipe in your life. 


Brining is entirely optional, but you’ll be glad you did. This flavor is amazing!

Chicken Options:

Bone-in or boneless? Skin on or skinless? We know there are a lot of choices here. Skin on and bone-in chicken always has more flavor, and we highly recommend it. You can always use boneless chicken, but you do need skin on.  This is a difficult combination to find, but if you want to go boneless you can buy regular bone-in chicken thighs and then cut out the bone yourself. All you need is a good pair of kitchen shears!

Can I use different cuts of chicken? 

You absolutely can! We love to stick to drumsticks and thighs, but you can always air fry chicken breasts and wings if you prefer. 

Stovetop Frying?

If you are looking for a traditional method to make fried chicken, we’ve got you covered!

Why is there hot sauce in Air Fryer Fried Chicken?

This may seem like an odd ingredient in fried chicken, but trust us, you need to add it. It doesn’t add any heat, but it does take this fried chicken flavor over the top!

Overhead view of a dinner plate with fried chicken.

Storage and Reheating Instructions: 

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in an oven preheated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through. 

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious and easy chicken recipes:

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken

8 chicken pieces

Overhead view of air fryer fried chicken inside an open air fryer.
Air Fryer Fried Chicken is crispy, tender, juicy, and oh so flavorful. You’ll wonder why you ever deep fried! Brining instructions included to convince your guests that you are a pro chef! 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Brine (optional) 4 hours
Total Time 35 minutes
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Buffalo Hot Sauce optional
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Dredging Mixture

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Cooking oil to spritz or baste
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, hot sauce (optional, for added flavor), garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add in chicken pieces. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours.
  • Prepare the breading by combining flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt in a gallon sized resealable plastic bag or shallow dish. Mix thoroughly.
  • Working one at a time, remove chicken pieces from buttermilk mixture. Shake gently to remove any excess and place in the breading mix to coat thoroughly. Tap off any excess. Set on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes while the flour and buttermilk brine meld together.
  • Spritz the inside of the air fryer basket with non-stick oil. Place breaded chicken into the basket of the air fryer. Lightly spritz, making sure all flour gets coated with cooking oil of your choice. Only put in 4-5 pieces of chicken at a time. Air fryers come in several sizes, so be sure to not crowd the space to ensure there is plenty of airflow.
  • Select Air Fry method, 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook for 10 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken and continue to cook for another 10-12 minutes, or until white meat hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit internal, or dark meat hits 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking time will vary based on the size of chicken and which air fryer you use. Use a meat thermometer to ensure 100% accuracy for food safety.
  • Remove from basket and repeat for any remaining chicken pieces. Be sure to let rest for 5-10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!


Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 750mg | Potassium: 351mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 517IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fryer Fried Chicken, Fried Chicken
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