Des

Hey! I'm Des!

Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

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Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Crispy, juicy, golden brown and delicious Air Fryer Fried Chicken. This is an easy, less messy version of the classic Southern comfort food.

Who else just loves fried chicken? The crispy crunchy outside, the succulent inside. It is considered one of the all time favorite American comfort foods for a reason. 

And now, I’ve perfected this American classic for the air fryer. 

Tips For Making Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken:

BRINE: Like my super popular Brined Fried Chicken, I highly recommend brining the chicken first. It greatly helps in keep the chicken tender. For this recipe, I use a traditional water based brine but you can also use buttermilk. 

COAT IN FLOUR/CORNSTARCH: Coating the chicken in a mixture of flour and cornstarch will is my trick to making sure the skin is extra crispy. The cornstarch helps protect the chicken from moisture loss. To learn a little bit more about the actual science of why cornstarch makes things crispy check out this article from Cooks Illustrated. 

SPRAY WITH COOKING SPRAY: You won’t need to use nearly as much oil with air fryer fried chicken, but because you are using flour/cornstarch, you want to use a little bit of oil. It’ll help things brown. 

COOK IN A SINGLE LAYER: I have been making a lot of things in my air fryer lately and have discovered certain things, like fried chicken, need to be cooked in a single layer. This helps prevent the chicken from sticking together and ensures all spots get brown. 

Overhead photo of chicken in the air fryer.

How do you make air fried chicken?

Step 1: Make the brine. Brine the chicken for 2 – 4 hours. 

Step 2: Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Make sure to do this step carefully and clean the sink afterwards to prevent spreading bacteria. 

Step 3: Coat the chicken in the seasoned flour/cornstarch mixture. Be sure to shake off the excess. 

Step 4: Spray chicken with cooking spray. Cook at 390 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn and spray with more cooking spray after 15 minutes. 

4 Step by step photos of air fryer fried chicken. Step 1: Brine chicken. Step 2: Rinse and pat dry. Step 3: Dredge Step 4: Air Fry

DES’ TIP: Depending on the size of your air fryer, you’re going to need to cook this chicken in batches. Keep the chicken warm by placing on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet and putting it in a warm oven. 

When it comes to my family, most of us love any kind of fried chicken. Except my eldest. That is, until he tried this. His reply “Mom this is the best crispy chicken ever!” kind of sealed the deal for me and gave this recipe a permanent spot on our rotation. 

Looking for more comfort food to serve along side this Air Fryer Fried Chicken? Here are some of my favorites! 

Gravy Recipe

Southern Style Green Beans 

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

 

Other Air Fryer Recipes: 

Chicken Strips in the Air Fryer

Air Fryer Mushrooms

Air Fryer French Fries 

 

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe

Serves 5 (2 drumsticks per person) Prep Time: Cook Time:
5 based on 8 reviews

Chicken Brine Ingredients:

  • 10 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 quarts cool water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dried summer savory
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

Chicken Breading Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon summer savory
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • cooking spray

Instructions

1

Combine 1 quart water, 1/2 cup of kosher salt, brown sugar, 3 tablespoons summer savory and garlic powder together in a large pot. Heat over medium heat until salt and sugar dissolve.

2

Pour in remaining quart of cool water. Allow brine to come to room temperature.

3

Place chicken pieces in a gallon size bag. Pour brine over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but not more than 4. You can also complete this step in a non-reactive bowl with a lid.

4

Rinse and pat dry the chicken

5

Combine breading ingredients together in a bowl, mix well. Dredge chicken in flour mixture to coat completely and shake off any excess.

6

Working in batches, place the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer. Spray with cooking spray. Cook at 390 degrees for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn chicken and spray any dry spots with more cooking spray.

7

Remove chicken from the air fryer and keep in a warm oven on top of a wire rack while you cook the remaining chicken. Serve hot.

Notes

I usually need to cook this chicken in two batches as I can fit 5 chicken drumsticks per batch. Nutrition facts for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 339 , Total Fat: 5.8g , Saturated Fat: 1.5g , Cholesterol: 81 mg , Sodium: 11408mg , Carbohydrates: 42.1g , Fiber: 2.2g , Sugar: 7.5g , Protein: 27.8g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    katerina @ diethood.com
    February 21, 2020 at 8:13 am

    This is fantastic!! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    February 21, 2020 at 5:32 am

    Awesome! I never thought to do this with my Air Fryer!

  • Reply
    Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    February 20, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    This Air Fryer Fried Chicken looks totally awesome!

  • Reply
    Jen
    February 20, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    My husband was raving about how amazing this chicken was and I loved how easy it was to make. Thanks for giving us a total winner!

  • Reply
    Dorothy Reinhold
    February 20, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    I am loving my air fryer more and more each day! This is going on the menu this week.

  • Reply
    Sara Welch
    February 20, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    This was so easy and delicious; way better than any fried chicken I have had in a restaurant! My new favorite dinner recipe!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    February 20, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything better than fried chicken, and this looks so amazing!

  • Reply
    Carrie Robinson
    February 20, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    I just love some good fried chicken! This looks perfect. :)

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.