If you're craving some fried chicken but don't want the hassle of deep frying, then this recipe is for you. This crispy air fryer KFC chicken will definitely fulfil the craving and with a fraction of the oil, it's a lighter option too. These super crispy buttermilk brined air fryer chicken are ridiculously easy to make and the taste is reminiscent of that infamous Colonel's recipe. So grab some chicken, flour and spices and let's make this!
Now, I will preface this by saying very clearly, this is not traditional fried chicken. It's air fryer KFC style chicken. Meaning, it will be crispy yes, but it won't be as crispy as deep frying. It will still be very, very delicious and is a great option for crispy chicken thighs when you have that craving but don't want to go through the hassle of deep frying. With that said, I think as long as you know that going into making these, you will love this recipe. I know I do, I made these air fryer KFC chicken twice in the span of one week!
Don't be alarmed by the number of ingredients, they're mostly dried spices. And all of these spices combined provides for a very delicious flavour profile that you're going to love.
This recipe is fairly straightforward to make.
Depending on how much chicken you're making, you will likely need to work in batches. I recommend making one type first (legs or thighs) and keep them in the your oven on the lowest temperature to keep warm. Alternatively, you can leave them sitting out and then air fry for one to two minutes after to reheat and crisp them up again.
In a large bowl, pour in the buttermilk. Add the chicken pieces and cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.
When ready to cook, combine the flour along with all of the spices, salt and nutritional yeast (if using) in a large baking dish or bowl.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and pour in about 1/4 cup of the buttermilk to the flour mixture and mix to combine. This creates some craggily bits on the chicken.
If making the chicken legs (bone-in) make them first. Preheat the air fryer. Remove the legs and place in the flour and coat on all sides, tapping any excess off.
Turn the air fryer to 370ºF. Add the chicken legs to the basket and spray well with oil. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, checking halfway to see if more oil needs to be sprayed on any floury/dry spots. There is no need to flip the pieces.
Place a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for easier cleanup). Remove the chicken legs and immediately sprinkle with flaky salt on top and then place on the wire rack and place in the oven on the lowest setting to keep warm if making more chicken.
For the thighs, repeat the same technique as the legs and place in the air fryer. Bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes, checking halfway to spray any dry/floury spots. There is no need to flip the pieces over.
After 15 minutes, increase the temperature to 360ºF and bake for four to five minutes, until browned and very crispy on top. Immediately sprinkle with flaky salt.
Serve all the chicken pieces together and enjoy!
I recently purchased a new air fryer, the Cosori based on doing a TON of research online and I absolutely love it. Here’s why.
Check out the Cosori Air Fryer here!
Looking for more air fryer goodness, check these ones out!
Ready to make this? Let's get to it!
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This super crispy air fryer KFC chicken is made with way less oil, easy to make and incredibly delicious.
There is no need to flip the chicken pieces, otherwise you risk losing some of the batter when flipping and you won't retain the same crispiness from just leaving it on one side.