Air Fryer Fried Chicken: Crispy, Juicy, and Healthier
Fried chicken is a beloved comfort food, but traditional deep-frying can be messy and calorie-laden. Enter the air fryer, a kitchen appliance that allows you to enjoy the crispy goodness of fried chicken with significantly less oil. In this article, we’ll guide you through making Air Fryer Fried Chicken that’s not only easy to prepare but also a healthier alternative to deep-fried chicken.
The Magic of Air Frying
Air frying works by circulating hot air around the food, creating a crispy exterior while maintaining the juicy interior. It’s a game-changer when it comes to making fried chicken that’s both delicious and guilt-free.
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s gather the essential ingredients you’ll need for Air Fryer Fried Chicken:
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (or a combination of both)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Cooking spray (for the air fryer)
1. Marinate the Chicken
- Place the bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks in a bowl and pour buttermilk over them. Ensure that the chicken pieces are fully coated in the buttermilk. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. This step helps tenderize the chicken and adds flavor.
2. Prepare the Breading Mixture
- In a shallow dish, combine the all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix the seasonings into the flour until well combined.
3. Bread the Chicken
- Remove each chicken piece from the buttermilk and allow any excess liquid to drip off.
- Roll each chicken piece in the breading mixture, ensuring it’s evenly coated with the seasoned flour. Press the flour onto the chicken to create a firm coating.
4. Preheat Your Air Fryer
- Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes. Preheating ensures even cooking and a crispy exterior.
5. Air Fry the Chicken
- Lightly grease the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Place the breaded chicken pieces in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not touching and have some space between them for proper air circulation.
- Air fry the chicken for 25-30 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through the cooking time. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and the exterior is golden brown and crispy.
6. Rest and Serve
- Remove the Air Fryer Fried Chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the chicken moist.
- Serve your crispy and juicy fried chicken immediately as a satisfying and healthier meal.
Air Fryer Fried Chicken offers all the flavor and crunch of traditional fried chicken but with fewer calories and less mess. With minimal ingredients and a quick cooking time, you can enjoy a delicious meal that’s perfect for any occasion.
So, preheat your air fryer, bread those chicken pieces, and get ready to savor crispy, juicy, and healthier fried chicken. Whether it’s a family dinner or a special treat, Air Fryer Fried Chicken is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Happy cooking!