Buttermilk Fried Chicken Air Fryer — This might be the best Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken! Tender is delicious and guaranteed that the whole family will love this easy batch of crispy air fryer chicken.
The Best Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
Hey, food enthusiasts! Are you ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food without the guilt? We’re thrilled to introduce our mouthwatering Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe, specially adapted for your air fryer! Say goodbye to heavy oil and hello to a healthier version of your favorite fried chicken, all while keeping that irresistible crunch and flavor.
In this recipe, we’re taking the traditional buttermilk marinade, known for perfectly tenderizing the chicken, and combining it with a perfectly seasoned coating. The result? Chicken that’s incredibly juicy on the inside and gloriously crispy on the outside.
And the best part? Thanks to the wonders of air frying, you can enjoy this classic comfort food in a much healthier way.
So, gather your ingredients, and let’s embark on a culinary adventure that promises to bring the flavors of Southern cooking into your kitchen. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this simple yet spectacular dish that’s sure to become a new favorite!
If you are looking for some great sides for this dish, my favorites are AIR FRYER COPYCAT MCDONALD’S FRENCH FRIES, AIR FRYER CARROT FRENCH FRIES, AIR FRYER EASY POUTINE FRENCH FRIES, and AIR FRYER SPICY FRENCH FRIES.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Embark on a culinary journey that brings a classic favorite to your table with a healthier twist: Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
Combining the traditional tenderness of buttermilk-soaked chicken with the crispiness of an air fryer, this recipe promises a delightful balance of juicy and crunchy textures with less oil. Let’s explore the key ingredients you’ll need to create this delicious, guilt-free comfort food:
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Chicken Pieces: Choose a mix of breasts, thighs, and drumsticks for variety. The chicken is a juicy canvas, absorbing the marinade flavors and coating.
- Buttermilk: The acidic properties of buttermilk help tenderize the chicken, ensuring it’s moist and flavorful.
- All-Purpose Flour: The primary coating component, flour, creates the perfect base for a crispy, golden exterior.
- Paprika: This spice adds a mild, sweet flavor and a vibrant color to the coating.
- Garlic Powder and Onion Powder: These aromatic powders infuse the chicken with savory depth and a hint of warmth.
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper: Essential for seasoning, they enhance the natural flavors of the chicken and the coating.
- Cayenne Pepper: A dash adds a subtle heat, giving the chicken a pleasant kick that’s not overpowering.
- Cooking Spray: A light coating of cooking spray ensures the chicken gets a nice golden color in the air fryer.
- Hot Sauce: OPtional For some added heat.
How to Cook Buttermilk Fried Chicken Air Fryer
Cooking buttermilk fried chicken in an air fryer is a healthier alternative to traditional deep frying. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
Marinate Chicken In Buttermilk Mixture: Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Pour the buttermilk over them, ensuring all pieces are coated. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight for best results.
Prepare Coating: Mix the flour with your chosen spices in another bowl. A standard mix could include 1 teaspoon each of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, but feel free to adjust to your taste.
Coat the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shaking off excess. Dredge each piece in the seasoned flour mixture, coating it thoroughly.
Preheat Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F (200°C). This may take about 3-5 minutes, depending on your model.
Arrange Chicken in Air Fryer: Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place the coated chicken pieces in the basket in a single layer, leaving some space between each piece for even cooking. Spray the top of the chicken lightly with cooking spray.
Cook: Set cook time for 10 minutes. Then, flip the pieces over, spray the other side lightly with cooking spray, and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. The exact time may vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces and the model of your air fryer.
Check for Doneness: When checked with a meat thermometer, the chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
Serve: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps to lock in the juices, making it more tender and flavorful.
- Season the Meat Right: Season your chicken generously with spice mixtures that suit your taste buds. Classic southern-style seasoning includes salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. But if you want an additional kick, add cayenne pepper, chili powder, or any other spice you choose. Also, marinating the meat with buttermilk for a few hours or overnight works wonders for tender and flavorful fried juicy chicken.
- Preheat Your Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F for 5-8 minutes to achieve the best crispy results. The preheating process ensures that your chicken gets ready with a crisp crust and tender texture.
- Use the Right Amount of Oil: You don’t want to skip the oil entirely for the air-fried chicken, as a reasonable amount of oil is required for a crispy coating. Brush the coated with olive oil or olive oil spray a thin layer on the breaded chicken.
- Cook Time and Temperature: The last but the most crucial step is the cooking time and temperature. For perfectly cooked chicken, cook it in the air fryer at 390°F for about 20-25 minutes, flipping it halfway through the cooking time. Using a meat thermometer, ensure that the chicken’s thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 165°F or higher.
FAQ’s Air-Fried Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Why do you soak the chicken in buttermilk before frying?
The mild acids in buttermilk help break down the chicken’s proteins, making it more tender. This is particularly beneficial for leaner cuts of chicken, which can become tough when cooked. Buttermilk helps the chicken retain moisture during cooking, producing juicier fried chicken. Buttermilk adds a subtle tanginess to the chicken, enhancing its natural flavor. It also provides a good base for other seasonings and spices, which can permeate the meat during the marinating process.
Why is my air-fried chicken not crispy?
If your air-fried chicken isn’t turning out as crispy as you’d like, there could be several reasons behind it.
Overcrowding the Basket: If the air fryer basket is overcrowded, it prevents hot air from circulating evenly around each piece of chicken, which is essential for achieving a crispy texture. Cook in batches if necessary.
Not Spraying Enough Oil: While air fryers require less oil than deep frying, a light spray of cooking oil on the chicken can help achieve a more golden, crispy exterior.
Can you air fry wet batter chicken?
Air frying wet batter chicken can be challenging because traditional air fryers are designed for cooking foods with dry coatings or minimal moisture. Wet batter, like those used for classic deep-fried chicken or tempura, doesn’t set up and crisp well in an air fryer.
Can you air fry buttermilk chicken?
Yes, you can air fry buttermilk chicken. Air frying is a healthier alternative to traditional deep frying, achieving a crispy and flavorful outcome.
Should you use buttermilk for fried chicken?
Yes, buttermilk gives much flavor to fried chicken and makes the chicken taste amazing! If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can make your buttermilk by using a cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
Why did my chicken not brown in an air fryer?
While air fryers require less oil than traditional frying methods, a light oil spray on the chicken can aid in browning and crisping. Cooking sprays or brushing a small amount of oil on the chicken can help.
How to store leftover fried chicken?
Let the fried chicken cool to room temperature, and then place it into an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. The leftover chicken will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
What to serve with fried chicken:
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Air Fryer Buttermilk Biscuits
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons salt, optional
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, optional
- 1 teaspoon paprika, optional
- 2 cups all- flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts, or cut up whole chicken, chicken thighs, or legs
- Marinate Chicken: Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Pour the buttermilk over them, and add spices, ensuring all pieces are coated. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight for best results.
- Prepare Coating: In another bowl, mix the flour with your chosen spices. A standard mix could include 1 teaspoon each of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, but feel free to adjust to your taste.
- Coat the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shaking off excess. Dredge each piece in the seasoned flour mixture, coating it thoroughly.
- Preheat Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 390°F (200°C). This may take about 3-5 minutes depending on your model.
- Arrange Chicken in Air Fryer: Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place the coated chicken pieces in the basket in a single layer, leaving some space between each piece for even cooking. Spray the top of the chicken lightly with cooking spray.
- Cook: Air fry the chicken for about 10 minutes. Then, flip the pieces over, spray the other side lightly with cooking spray, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. The exact time may vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces and the model of your air fryer.
- Check for Doneness: The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) when checked with a meat thermometer.
- Serve: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps to lock in the juices, making it more tender and flavorful.
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray, or Olive Oil
- Parchment Paper, optional