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Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe

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close up overhead shot of (Not Fried) Fried Chicken Recipe in a tin pan
This crispy air fryer fried chicken is the best way to fry chicken without the extra work and results in juicy chicken with a crispy crust that your taste buds will love.
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Table of Contents
  1. Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This air fryer fried chicken recipe is just the answer when you are craving something fried but don’t want to cook with hot oil. This recipe requires only five simple ingredients and comes out delicious with a crispy coating surrounding the moist chicken.

close up overhead shot of Fried Chicken in a tin pan

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe Ingredients

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 4 chicken thighs with the bone-in & skin-on (approximately 2-2½ pounds)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CHICKEN: If you prefer white meat chicken pieces to dark meat, I highly suggest you cut two boneless chicken breasts in half so that you have 4 equal-sized breast pieces. This will allow them to fit into your air fryer better and will cook evenly. Your butcher can trim your chicken breast pieces for you if needed.

This recipe is written for bone-in, skin-on pieces of chicken because the chicken pieces stay nice and juicy. You can use boneless skinless chicken, however, you will need to reduce your total cooking time. I would flip your chicken at the 6-minute mark, cook for an additional 4-6 minutes and then test your chicken pieces from there to make sure they are cooked through.

BREADCRUMBS: This is a very simple breadcrumb coating recipe. You can substitute seasoned breadcrumbs for the plain ones or even a panko bread crumb would work just as well and taste delicious. You could also try potato chips or corn flakes for even more crunch.

SPICE: Add a little bit of cayenne pepper or chili powder to your breadcrumb mixture for a kick. Or you can add a dash of hot sauce to your egg mixture.

How To Make This Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe

PRO TIP:

You can easily double this recipe to serve more people (or more pieces to each person). You will need to allow for more time before serving as you will need to cook the additional chicken pieces in batches. 

While you are cooking more pieces, you can keep the previously cooked pieces warm in a 200°F oven with the pieces on a baking tray fitted with a wire rack. This will allow your chicken to stay warm and your coating to stay crunchy.

STEP ONE: Spray the inside of your air fryer basket with a small amount of cooking spray.

STEP TWO: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F according to your model’s instructions. 

STEP THREE: Trim off any excess/overhanging skin from your chicken thighs then place them onto a plate and pat them dry with paper towels.

chicken thighs being pat dry on a plate

STEP FOUR: In a shallow dish, big enough to use for breading your chicken, add the egg whites and give them a quick whisk, with a fork, to break them up. Set aside. 

STEP FIVE: In a second bowl, add the plain bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

salt and pepper added to a bowl of bread crumbs

STEP SIX: Place one piece of the chicken thighs into the egg whites and coat both sides of the chicken with the egg whites.

chicken thighs placed in the egg white mixture

STEP SEVEN: After the piece of chicken is coated with the egg whites, place it into the breading mixture and coat both sides of the chicken thigh evenly. Once breaded, place back onto the plate. Repeat steps 6 & 7 until all the chicken thighs have been breaded.

chicken thighs placed in the bread crumb mixture

STEP EIGHT: Once your air fryer is preheated, place your chicken thighs onto the rack in a single layer with the skin side facing down. Make sure that your chicken thighs are in an even layer. Cook for 12 minutes.

PRO TIP:

Make sure to check your air fryer manual for cook time guidelines for your specific model as times and temperatures vary depending on the type of air fryer you have.

chicken thighs placed in a air fryer

STEP NINE: After the first 12 minutes of cooking time, flip your chicken thighs so that the skin side is now up. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer.

chicken thighs being cooked in a air fryer

STEP TEN: Remove from your air fryer and place them on a serving plate. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

How To Serve

Your delicious fried chicken will be golden brown, with a crunchy coating and juicy meat. It can be served with your favorite steamed or roasted vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes, French fries, or potato salad for a delicious meal.

Our not fried home fries and air fryer chocolate cake are two more easy recipes to make in this great kitchen appliance.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Keep leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to two days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the air-fried chicken in a Ziploc or sealed container for up to two months.

close up overhead shot of Fried Chicken on a plate

Skip the deep frying process needed for traditional fried chicken next time and whip up this crispy fried chicken. It makes the job easy and still results in a tasty dish without all the mess and clean-up that deep-frying involves. Your whole family will gobble up this crispy chicken and be looking for seconds.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze air fryer chicken?

This great recipe can be frozen for up to two months stored in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Can I add other seasonings to the breading?

If you’d like to use seasoned breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs, you certainly can and this will add even more flavor to your chicken.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs?

If you prefer to use chicken breasts, you can substitute them for the chicken thighs in this easy recipe.

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close up overhead shot of (Not Fried) Fried Chicken Recipe in a tin pan

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe

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This crispy air fryer fried chicken is the best way to fry chicken without the extra work and results in juicy chicken with a crispy crust that your taste buds will love.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken thighs, with the bone-in and skin-on (approximately 2 to 2.5 pounds)
  • 4 egg whites
  • teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Spray the inside of your air fryer basket with a small amount of cooking oil.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 375°F according to your model's instructions.
  • Trim off any excess/overhanging skin from your chicken thighs then place them onto a plate and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • In a shallow dish, big enough to use for breading your chicken, add the egg whites and give them a quick whisk, with a fork, to break them up. Set aside.
  • In a second dish, add the plain bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Place one piece of the chicken thigh into the egg whites and coat both sides of the chicken with the egg whites.
  • After the piece of chicken is coated with the egg whites, place it into the breadcrumb mixture and coat both sides of the chicken thigh evenly. Once breaded, place back onto the plate. Repeat steps 6 & 7 until all the chicken thighs have been breaded.
  • Once your air fryer is preheated, place your chicken thighs onto the rack with the skin side facing down. Make sure that your chicken thighs are in an even layer. Cook for 12 minutes.
  • After the first 12 minutes of cooking time, flip your chicken thighs so that the skin side is now up. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Remove from your air fryer and place them on a serving plate. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • You can easily double this recipe to serve more people (or more pieces to each person). You will need to allow for more time before serving as you will need to cook the additional chicken pieces in batches. While you are cooking more pieces you can keep the previously cooked pieces warm in a 200°F oven with the pieces on a baking tray fitted with a wire rack. This will allow your chicken to stay warm and your coating to stay crunchy.
  • Make sure to check your air fryer manual for cook time guidelines for your specific model as times and temperatures vary depending on the type of air fryer you have.

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 1231mg | Potassium: 403mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
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