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Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken

This crispy crunchy fried chicken is made in the air fryer for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Air fryer fried chicken on a white platter.

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If you LOVE Fried Chicken but hate the mess LISTEN UP!! Make it in the air fryer, no deep frying is needed. Air Fryer Fried Chicken is LIFE changing. If your love language is fried chicken (like mine is) then you need this great recipe. 

Air fryer fried chicken on a white platter.

This Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe has it all and makes the best-fried chicken!! The crispy exterior and all the herbs and seasonings and juicy chicken make this one of the BEST fried chicken recipes I’ve ever made!

Spice mix for Air Fryer Fried Chicken.

Of course, you know I have a couple of classic fried chicken recipes. Here’s one from my Keto phase, low-carb fried chicken. It IS deep-fried chicken and the crust is made of ground almonds and it is like real fried chicken. But it’s also messy because the coating isn’t flour but if you love fried chicken and you miss it, this recipe will work.

Crispy fried chicken made in the air fryer on a white platter.

The second is this Classic ALL-American Fried Chicken. No keto no funny stuff just classic buttermilk fried chicken for your soul and tummy. Both are amazing recipes and TASTE heavenly but they are messy. LIKE DEEP FAT FRYING MESSY. 

One piece of fried chicken.

The air fryer changes that! The only mess you have is from triple dipping your chicken for the PERFECT breading and crispy crust. PLUS boneless fried chicken cooks up in about 15 minutes or so in the air fryer as long as it’s been preheated. 

Do You Preheat the air fryer?? 

That is a solid YES for this recipe. Preheating the air fryer means it’s not heating up WHILE trying to cook your food. That can cause some inconsistency in your finished product because the whole unit isn’t hot. Just press the preheat button and let it get warm while you dip and roll your chicken. Perfectly cooked chicken will be your reward.

Soak the chicken before air frying? 

Now, this particular recipe doesn’t call for soaking your chicken. BUT YOU CAN! Absolutely you can. Soaking can impart flavor and improve the texture of your chicken if you have time to do it.

Some recipes say you NEED a minimum of 6-12-24 hours for a soak to actually work. And I think a lot of us don’t have that kind of time or the thought process to prep something today for tomorrow. I know I DON’T. But you can if you’re planning for tomorrow or later this week. 

You can soak the chicken in buttermilk or pickle juice for up to 24 hours before cooking for better flavor. But you don’t have to. You can make this chicken today and plan to soak it the next time you make it. Because you will be making it again. I PROMISE YOU!

Ingredients for fried chicken made in the air fryer.

What do I need to make Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer?

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or your preferred cut
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Corn starch
  • Salt 
  • Black Pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic granules
  • Onion powder
  • paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • Oil to spray OR brush on

Tools needed to make fried chicken in the air fryer

  • Small bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Tongs
  • Plate or baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  • Air fryer
  • Air fryer basket liner if desired
  • Oil sprayer OR pastry brush do not use aerosol cooking spray
Dipping chicken in ranch dressing.

What Kind of Chicken Should I use??

You can use any cut you prefer. I prefer to use thighs. They’re smaller so they cook quickly and yet remain juicy. If you’re using boneless skinless chicken breast you might think about cutting them into 2-3 strips so they cook evenly before they get tough and dry. 

You can use Bone-In chicken use chicken wings or chicken drumsticks using this recipe, they will need a little longer in the air fryer. Just use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature to know when it’s done.

Dipped chicken in ranch dressing.

About the Oil

Typically in an Air Fryer, you just need a spritz of oil for cooking. For crispy chicken, you want to spray on the oil so the flour coating is evenly wet with oil. You can ALSO use a pastry brush dipped in oil. Any spots not sprayed or brushed with oil will be dry spots or floury spots.

Lay the dipped chicken on a parchment paper-covered plate and spray one side. Then open the preheated air fryer and lay the sprayed side DOWN. Then spray the second side with oil right in the basket. 

Fresh fried chicken in the basket of an air fryer.

You can Double this Recipe!

You can double or even triple this recipe. Simply multiply the ingredients by however many batches you want to make. And then air fry them in batches so there is room in the air fryer basket around each piece of chicken. And once you’re done with all the chicken you can stack them all back in the air fryer for a quick warm-up if you prefer them that way.

Storing leftovers

To store the leftovers let them cool uncovered in the refrigerator. Then place it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. They can stay in the refrigerator for up to 3 days so these are perfect for batch cooking and meal prep! 

What to Serve with this Fried Chicken

This easy chicken gives you time to make any kind of dish you like! This Vegetarian Plov would be nice with it. Or maybe just a quick baked acorn squash?

Dipping Sauces For Fried Chicken

Other Favorite Air Fryer Recipes

Air fryer fried chicken on a white platter.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

5 from 48 votes
This crispy crunchy fried chicken is made in the air fryer for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 485kcal
Author: Laura
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken
  • 1 ½ tsp salt-divided
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 1 ½ tsp Italian Herbs Seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic granules or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBSP light olive oil or vegetable oil for spraying or brushing on the chicken


  • set out 3 bowls on the counter
  • put the chicken in the first bowl
  • sprinkle with half the salt and pepper, rub into the chicken and set aside
  • In the second bowl mix the flour and starch with the remaining salt and pepper and all the herbs and spices
  • in the 3rd bowl lightly beat the eggs
  • line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper and set aside
  • preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes on 400°
  • while it preheats take one piece of chicken and roll it in the flour
    Dipped chicken in seasoned flour.
  • then in the eggs
    Floured chicken in egg.
  • and then again in the flour
    flour and egg on chicken for fried chicken.
  • place the floured chicken on the prepared pan or plate
    Plate of floured chicken pieces.
  • repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken
  • spray or brush the chicken with oil, completely coating it with a light coat of oil
  • when the air fryer is hot put an air fryer liner in the basket if using
  • then lay the chicken in a single layer oil side down
  • spray or brush the second side of chicken with oil, coating it as before
  • air fry at 400° for 7 minutes
  • flip and air fry again for 5-6 minutes or until a digital instant-read thermometer reads 165°


Serving: 1g | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 1119mg | Fiber: 1g
laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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