This Air Fryer Fried Chicken recipe results in golden, crispy chicken drumsticks that are juicy and full of delicious flavour. You’ll love this fried chicken that uses no oil, and isn’t greasy.
Disclosure: I am participating in the Chicken Farmers of Canada campaign managed by SJ Consulting. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.
If you’ve been debating on whether or not to get an Air Fryer, this Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe (also, air fryer chicken legs) would absolutely convince you. This is one such time that I wish I could include taste in an article, because WOW. You would swear that it was fried in oil.
Yet this Fried Chicken recipe uses no oil and results in the most crispy, delicious skin ever. Inside, the chicken is juicy and tender to perfection.
This recipe is made with a buttermilk marinade plus a coating; I would hesitate to ever make chicken drumsticks another way again.
How to Make Air Fryer Fried Chicken
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Air Fryer Chicken, a great alternative to traditional fried chicken. The full instructions and printable recipe card are below
- Chicken Legs / Chicken Drumsticks
- Cooking Spray or nonstick spray – Canola, Peanut, Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
- Hot Sauce
- Onion Powder
- All Purpose Flour
- Corn Starch
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
First, you will want to marinate your chicken in a buttermilk mixture for at least 1 hour, and up to 24 hours. The buttermilk helps to keep the chicken juicy on the inside, while the hot sauce adds flavour yet doesn’t result in a spicy chicken.
When it comes time to cook, you place the marinated chicken pieces in a flour mixture that consists of flour, corn starch, and tasty seasonings (in a shallow bowl). If you’d like a more robust taste, feel free to increase the seasoning amounts in the dry mixture a little to suit your preference.
Then you cook the chicken in an Air Fryer, placing each piece of chicken inside so they don’t overlap. You may need to cook more than one batch of chicken pieces depending on the size of your Air Fryer.
When my second batch of crunchy fried chicken was finished cooking, the waiting first batch pieces were still warm, for those concerned about batch cooking.
The chicken is cooked on an Air Fryer temperature of 350 degrees, and for a cooking time of about 30 minutes, pausing half-way to turn each piece. They are cooked when the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees and they are golden brown in colour.
What we all adored most about this Air Fryer Chicken recipe is just how crispy the chicken turned out. It’s way better than your favourite fried chicken takeout restaurant, and without the use of a deep fryer.
Usually I have to blot fried chicken quite a bit, yet with this recipe you don’t have to at all. It produces the same (if not better) taste with less oil, and that just might be the best part!
Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tips
- Do not overlap meat when using the Air Fryer. It’s best to have the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and not touching. An Air fryer works by circulating hot air around food to cook so it’s important not only in cooking but getting that crispy outside.
- When pausing cooking half-way, I spray the dried flour parts of the chicken, turn and spray again. This ensures the coating doesn’t taste like dried flour, but also helps to get that signature golden colour. I use canola oil spray; yet you can use olive, peanut or vegetable spray as well.
- Some people line the Air Fryer rack with parchment paper, yet I have yet to experience the coating sticking to the rack so I don’t think it’s necessary.
- Depending on the size and brand of your air fryer, cook time will vary slightly. Use a meat thermometer.
- This chicken tastes best when served after cooking on the same day Yet you can easily enjoy leftovers by reheating the chicken in the Air Fryer for about 10 minutes on 350 degrees.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Technically you can use the same marinade and coating to make air fryer chicken breast as well, so you could add this to your boneless chicken breasts recipes too.
This crispy fried recipe is so perfect for summer. Not only will you not heat the house by using the oven, yet this easy recipe is always a hit when it comes to summer fun and enjoying the outdoors.
Whether you’re dining on the deck after a long day, or having a picnic – this Air Fryer Fried Chicken is a recipe that everyone will love. I’d even make and pack this chicken for a day at the beach!
Serve this air fryer chicken with french fries, a side salad or your favourite chicken side.
This is a wonderful main dish to add to your air fryer recipes collection and and one of our favourite easy chicken recipes of all time. Our whole family agrees that the taste is amazing.
More Great Recipes to Try:
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Chicken Fajita Foil Packs
- Roasted Red Potato Salad
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Honey Sriracha Grilled Chicken Skewers
- 8 Chicken Drumsticks
- Cooking Spray - Canola, Peanut, Vegetable or Olive
FOR THE MARINADE
- 1.5 cup Buttermilk
- 1/3 cup Hot Sauce
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
FOR THE COATING
- 1.5 cups Flour
- 1/2 cup Corn Starch
- 2 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag and place chicken drumsticks in. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
- Pre-heat an Air Fryer to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, combine the coating ingredients.
- Take 1 chicken drumstick out of the marinade and place into coating bowl, turning chicken until completely covered with dried mixture. Press dried mixture onto the chicken skin if needed.
- Transfer drumstick into a pre-heated air fryer basket.
- Repeat step 4 and 5 until you have chicken pieces in a single layer in the basket, without overlapping the chicken.
- Place basket back into the Air Fryer and set timer for 30 minutes, and start cooking. At 15 minute mark, pause the air fryer and take out the basket. Spray cooking oil on any parts of the chicken that look like dried flour. Using tongs, turn chicken over and spray again.
- Place basket back into the air fryer and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.
- Repeat steps 4-8 with remaining drumsticks as needed.
- cooking time depends on size and brand of Air Fryer
- Adjust seasoning amounts to preference.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 637Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 235mgSodium: 960mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 53g
One thing to remember when buying your chicken drumsticks though, is to look for that ‘Raised By Chicken Farmer’ logo when shopping at your grocer. If your store doesn’t carry this brand with the logo, you can most certainly ask them to.
By purchasing chicken with this logo, is a simple way to know that you’re choosing top quality in animal care and food safety standards. Plus you’re also supporting thousands of local Canadian farmers who are committed to sustainability through innovation, by preserving the health of the land, providing value to Canada’s economy, & making affordable food for Canadians.
Also check out the Chicken Farmers Website where you’ll find great inspiration for your next mouthwatering meal, and make this summer even better.