Air Fryer Fried Chicken


 The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Marinate: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 8 pieces
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1438 Calories
77g Fat
81g Carbs
99g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1438
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 77g 99%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 463mg 154%
Sodium 2655mg 115%
Total Carbohydrate 81g 29%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 99g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 198mg 15%
Iron 11mg 61%
Potassium 1027mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Want to make crispy fried chicken with minimal oil and limited mess? It's time to break out the air fryer fried chicken. The chicken cooks up quickly and in the air fryer is able to help get it crispy on the outside while staying juicy on the inside. We marinated the chicken in pickle juice and buttermilk, which adds flavor and moisture. Since the chicken is not fried in oil, we found other ways to add in lots of flavor. You won’t miss the deep frying and neither will your kitchen walls!


  • 3 pounds chicken (mix of thighs, breasts, legs, and wings)

  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 3 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided

  • 1/4 cup dill pickle juice

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  2. Toss the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper and the pickle juice. Allow to marinate for at least 3 hours covered in the refrigerator. You can marinate for up to 1 day. 

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  3. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk and another teaspoon of the salt and pepper in a bowl.

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  4. Place the flour and paprika in a separate bowl and add another teaspoon of salt and pepper. Whisk it to combine.

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  5. Place the chicken into the flour mixture and toss to coat completely.

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  6. Then dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture, tossing to coat. Then place the chicken back into the flour mixture and cover with the flour mixture. Shake off the excess.

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  7. Place the breaded chicken pieces onto a baking sheet in a single layer. 

    Let them air dry for at least 10 minutes. 

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  8. Set your air fryer to 380 F. Place your chicken in the air fryer in a single layer. Add the olive oil to the bottom of the inner drum of the air fryer. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 F and the outside is crispy and golden brown. 

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  9. Cook the other chicken pieces until you are finished. You can keep the finished pieces in a warm 200 F oven while you wait for all of the pieces to finish cooking in the air fryer. 

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  10. Serve immediately with your favorite sides like macaroni and cheese or collard greens.


  • You can complete this recipe with just dark meat or just white meat. The smaller pieces will cook faster so you can cook the smaller pieces and the larger pieces separately if you want to have the most even cooking.
  • You can also complete this recipe with chicken tenders or other boneless pieces of chicken. The cooking time will be shorter without the bones. 


  • If you don’t have buttermilk, you can add a little vinegar to some whole milk and this will mimic the flavor and the texture of buttermilk.
  • The air-drying is an important step. If you don’t allow them to air dry for 10 minutes then the breading is more likely to stick to the basket and not get crispy.