The moment I got an air fryer, I immediately made air fryer fried chicken. Actually, I had wanted to try making well before I ever even got an air fryer.
I love fried chicken. Over the years, I have gotten pretty good making fried chicken. I like to fry the brine the chicken in buttermilk, then dredge it in flour and fry it in peanut oil. The chicken is moist and juicy, while the outside is delicious and crispy.
While I love fried chicken, it is a big process and uses a lot of oil. The idea of air frying appeals to me because it uses much less oil. Less oil soaks into the breading and less oil is wasted afterwards.
This air fried chicken recipe is very easy to prepare and I love the crispy skin. The breading tastes a lot like traditionally fried chicken.
While you can purchase a package of chicken drumsticks, thighs or other portions, I decided to use a whole chicken. The whole chickens were on sale at my local supermarket so I bought a few for cooking.
I broke down the chicken into individual portions: chicken drumsticks, thighs, whole wings and breast. Since the breast portion is much larger that the other pieces, I cut each chicken breast in half. That way, they will cook at a similar time frame as the other pieces.
Breading the Chicken Pieces
I use a common three method system for coating the chicken to get it ready for frying.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour. Shake off any excess flour.
- Dip the floured chicken piece in the scrambled egg wash. Lift out and let any excess egg drip off.
- Dredge back into the flour and make sure the chicken piece is well coated. Shake off any excess flour.
I like to leave the chicken in the flour after it had just gone in the egg wash. Leaving it in the flour, allows a little more flour to coat and stick to the skin. I find that this creates a thicker and crispier coating.
Place the coated chicken on the air fryer basket. Try to make sure that the chicken are not touching each other. Leaving a small amount of space in between the portions will allow the chicken to air fry more evenly.
Spray the floured chicken pieces with cooking spray. Use tongs to lift the chicken so that you can spray the underside as well.
The chicken can now be air fried. Depending on the type of air fryer you use, you may have to cook the chicken in batches. Since I was using an air fryer attachment for my pressure cooker, the basket only allowed me to cook four pieces at a time.
Turn on the air fryer and cook at 350F. Each air fryer is different, so the cooking length may vary, but should probably take anywhere from 30-35 minutes. Some air fryers do not do a great job crisping up the underside. In these cases, you may need to flip the chicken over with about 10 minutes left of cooking.
The chicken is finished cooking once it reached an internal temperature of at least 165F. But, for pieces like drumsticks and thighs, I actually prefer cooking to a higher temperature. Cooking until the internal temperature of the thigh and drumstick reaches 185F will result in a very tender and moist piece of air fried chicken.
Here are some other great air fryer recipes:
- Air Fryer French Fries – fresh cut fries that are made from russet potatoes and are almost as good as deep fried.
- Sweet Potato Fries – the air fryer is perfect for making sweet potato fries. They are soft and sweet inside, while crispy on the outside.
- Chicken Wings – using the air fryer is an excellent way to cook chicken wings. So crispy and so good!
Air Fryer Fried Chicken
- 8 chicken pieces drumsticks, thighs, or wings
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 cups flour
- 2 large eggs
- cooking spray
- Set up 2 bowls. In the first bowl, whisk together the flour, paprika, salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk the 2 eggs until well scrambled
- Dredge each chicken piece in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip the chicken in the egg and then dredge back into theflour mixture. Lift out and shake off excess.
- Spray all sides of the chicken pieces with the cooking spray.
- Evenly spread the chicken pieces in one layer on the air fryer basket. Try to make sure they are not touching.
- Cook in the air fryer at 350F for 35 minutes. If desired, flip the chicken over with 10 mintues remaining.
- Serve hot.