Looking for a way to make crispy, juicy and crunchy fried chicken in your air fryer? Look no further. This Air Fryer Fried Chicken recipe is the absolute best and way less fat than frying!

The air fryer is everything! We love ours so much! If you don’t know much about the air fryer, check out our How to Use an Airfryer Post. We provide many air fryer tips, air fryer recipes and more! 

Air Fryer Fried Chicken in an air fryer basket
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BEST Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe

Fried chicken is always a good idea. Seriously, who doesn’t love a golden brown crispy piece of fried chicken? I know I do. But, I was always hesitant to make it, because I didn’t have a good and easy recipe and couldn’t justify the calories and unhealthy food.

Flash forward a few years to when I bought an air fryer. I absolutely love using it to make meals. It’s so easy, and takes such a short amount of time compared to the alternative. Plus, it gives things such a great crunch without the oil and deep fried factor!

Finally, I found a quick and easy way to make fried chicken! This air fryer fried chicken recipe is unbelievable. The fried chicken turns out so delicious. The chicken is still nice and juicy, but the outside is golden brown and crunchy! You won’t believe it was cooked in the air fryer.

You can use it to make chicken thighs, chicken breasts, chicken tenders, or even wings! In less than 30 minutes cooking time, you’ll have traditional fried chicken that everyone will go crazy for.

Serve this great fried chicken recipe with our healthy Air Fryer French Fries! The Buffalo Dipping Sauce is absolutely to die for and only requires 2 ingredients and 2 minutes to make! Perfect while you are air frying up your chicken!

Fried Chicken Air Fryer Recipe ingredients

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need to make your air fryer fried chicken. This delicious recipe makes for the tastiest breading! I list chicken thighs and chicken legs, but you can also choose to make chicken wings or chicken tenders or even chicken breasts using this same recipe!

  • 3 Chicken Thighs (Bone in, Skin on)
  • 3 Chicken Legs (Bone in, Skin on)
  • 1 ¼ cup Buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • ¾ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • Juice of ½ of a lemon
  • 1 ¼ cup Flour (for dredging)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Fried Chicken in Air Fryer with Flour

How to make Air Fryer Fried Chicken
  1. Start by placing your chicken in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, and squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken.
  2. Next, prepare the marinade by mixing all of the ingredients, except the flour, together. Then, pour the mixture over the chicken and let it marinate for a minimum of 1 hour and a half, or can let it marinate overnight.
  3. After your desired marinating time, you will remove the chicken from the marinade and dredge it in the flour, thoroughly coating each chicken piece. Shake off the excess flour. 
  4. Next, transfer the dredged chicken to a wire cooling rack to let it set for about 15 minutes.
  5. While you’re waiting, you will want to preheat the air fryer for about 5 minutes.
  6. While air fryer is preheating, brush both sides of each chicken piece with olive oil. Then, lightly salt and pepper each piece of chicken for extra flavor.
  7. Finally, put the chicken in the heated air fryer basket. Based on your preferred setting, cook for half the cooking time and then shake or flip, and cook for the remaining cooking time. For reference, we cooked our chicken at 380 degrees for 25 minutes, flipping at the 12-minute mark.
  8. Once the chicken is ready, remove it from the fryer and place it onto parchment paper-lined serving dish and serve immediately while it’s nice and hot.
Finished Air Fryer Fried Chicken

This dish will be ready in 2 hours and 5 minutes including marinating time. It serves about 2-4 people.

Tips for the Best Air Fryer Fried Chicken

There are a couple of tricks to making sure that your fried chicken turns out just right when using an air fryer.

First, don’t stack. You want to have the chicken in a single layer.

Second, as mentioned above, give it a shake halfway through! This is such an important step to ensure your fried chicken has an even, golden and crunchy outside.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken on a plate with corn on the cob

How long to cook Fried Chicken in Air Fryer

The cook time of your fried chicken can vary depending upon the thickness of your meat, as well as the cut you are cooking and if the chicken is skinless or has the skin on.

Chicken thighs and chicken breasts tend to have a longer cook time than chicken tenders because they are usually a thicker cut of meat.

Generally speaking, chicken breasts and chicken thighs will be cooked for about 25-28 minutes, whereas chicken tenders would be cooked for about 15-18 minutes. Again, it depends on the thickness!

If you are questioning if the chicken is fully cooked, we recommend using a meat thermometer to test the chicken.

Fried chicken in Air Fryer FAQs

Can I Stack Chicken in an Air Fryer?

The easy answer is: NO! You shouldn’t be stacking your chicken in the air fryer. If it overlaps just a bit, that’s fine. But to optimize your result when cooking in the air fryer you should try to lay out the chicken evenly in the air fryer basket.

The air fryer functions a lot like your oven, and you wouldn’t stack chicken on top of each other if you were cooking in the oven, so you shouldn’t in the air fryer either. The air fryer cooks your food when the hot air circulates evenly. So, you need to make sure that every surface of your food can be reached by the hot air.

Can I Cook Frozen Chicken in the Air Fryer?

You can definitely cook frozen chicken in the air fryer, but I don’t recommend it for this recipe. Typically if you are cooking frozen chicken in the air fryer, you simply need to increase your cook time! It’s super handy.

But, for this recipe, I wouldn’t recommend using frozen chicken, primarily because of the marinade and to ensure that the breading sticks to each piece of chicken properly!

Finally, an easy and delicious fried chicken recipe. I searched high and low for the perfect recipe, and what makes it even better is that I can cook it in my air fryer. It makes things so quick!

Why is my fried chicken not crispy in air fryer?

Your fried chicken may not be crispy in the air fryer due to several factors, such as not preheating the air fryer, overcrowding the basket, using too much oil or batter, or not cooking it long enough at the right temperature. Adjusting these factors can help achieve a crispy texture.

Can I put raw chicken in my air fryer?

Yes, you can put raw chicken in your air fryer. Air fryers are designed to cook raw ingredients, including chicken, without the need for pre-cooking. However, it’s important to ensure that the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken with Bite

How to store this Fried Chicken Air Fryer Recipe

To store air fryer fried chicken, let it cool to room temperature and then place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in foil before refrigerating for up to 3-4 days. Reheat thoroughly before consuming.

How to reheat Fried Chicken in Air Fryer

You can re-heat the leftover air fried chicken, but I wouldn’t do it in the air fryer. I recommend reheating the chicken in the oven. Just pop it on a baking sheet and warm it on 300 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. 

How to serve Air Fryer Fried Chicken

The Best Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe
4.90 from 19 votes
Air Fryer Fried Chicken

BEST Fried Chicken in Air Fryer with Flour

Serves — 6
Air Fryer Fried Chicken is crispy, juicy and crunchy and way less fat than frying!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
marinate 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 3 Chicken Thighs Bone in, Skin on
  • 3 Chicken Legs Bone in, Skin on
  • 1 ¼ cup Buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • ¾ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 ¼ cup Flour for dredging
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste


  • Place chicken in a bowl or resealable plastic bag. Squeeze lemon over chicken.
  • Prepare marinade by mixing all ingredients except flour. Pour mixture over chicken and marinate for a minimum of 1 hour and a half to overnight.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and dredge in flour thoroughly coating each chicken piece.
  • Transfer dredged chicken to wire cooling rack to set for 15 minutes.
  • Pre-heat air fryer for 5 minutes.
  • While air fryer is preheating brush both sides of each chicken piece with olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper each chicken piece for extra flavor.
  • Place chicken in heated air fryer basket. Based on your setting cook for half the cooking time and then shake or flip. (We cooked our chicken at 380 degrees for 25 minutes flipping at 12 minutes.)
  • Once chicken is ready remove from fryer onto parchment paper lined serving dish and serve immediately! Enjoy!

Nutrition Info

Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 733mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2.2mg

This crunchy and delicious Air Fryer Fried Chicken is one of my favorites, and I have a feeling it will soon be one of yours, too. Enjoy!

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