This Air Fryer Fried Chicken is healthy, delicious, easy to make, and can be made gluten-free! It is absolutely loaded with flavorful spices and covered in a crispy, golden-brown cornflake crust.
YOU GUYS! This air fryer fried chicken is the best thing to happen to fried chicken lovers everywhere! I’m a HUGE fan of fried chicken, but I would always stray away from eating it too often because, well, we all know the word “fried” doesn’t scream “healthy!”
Well, folks, now it can! I present to you this air fryer fried chicken from The Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook and my good friend Gina over at the Skinny Taste blog.
This cookbook lays out 75 delicious AND healthy air fryer recipes—one being this air fryer fried chicken, which I’m absolutely obsessed with by the way.
You really don’t need much for this air fryer fried chicken. Most of these ingredients you probably already have on hand!
- Chicken – I use bone-in chicken drumsticks!
- Salt – adds flavor to the chicken.
- Eggs – coats the chicken to help the breading stick.
- Sweet Paprika – made from sweet red peppers, sweet paprika is not as spicy as regular paprika so it adds sweetness.
- Garlic Powder – gives the chicken a nutty flavor to round out the sweet paprika.
- Chili Powder – adds a bit of heat.
- Corn Flakes – crushed up corn flakes act as the base for the breading. You can use regular or gluten-free!
- Salt – complements the other spices and seasonings used.
- Dried Parsley – brightens the chicken flavor and adds balance to the dish.
- Sweet Paprika – gives the breading some sweetness to match the chicken.
- Marjoram – provides a delicate sweetness.
- Dried Thyme – adds an earthy, minty taste.
- Garlic Powder – gives more of that nutty flavor.
- Onion Powder – Onion powder is less strong of a flavor than onion but still adds a subtle sweetness.
- Chili Powder – adds heat to the breading to give the dish even more heat.
How to fry chicken in an air fryer
- Season the chicken and mix your breading ingredients in a small bowl then use a whisk to mix together your eggs and spices in a separate bowl.
- Dip your drumsticks into the egg mix followed by the crumb mix.
- Arrange your drumsticks in a single layer in your air fryer and cook for 28 minutes, flipping halfway through.
That’s it, you guys! Now the word “fried” can scream “healthy!” Can I get a heck yes?!
How to make romaine slaw
Gina at Skinny Taste serves this air fryer fried chicken with a side of romaine slaw which is SUPER yummy!
For the slaw, you’ll need:
- 5 cups romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper, to taste
Combine all the slaw ingredients in a large bowl and toss until the dressing is well-distributed.
That’s it! Now you’ve made a delicious side dish to go with your healthy fried chicken!
Tips for making the best air fryer fried chicken
To ensure that your air fryer fried chicken comes out perfectly, here are some tips and tricks:
- Don’t overlap the chicken pieces in your air fryer. Your chicken should be arranged in a single layer with some space between each piece. That way the air can make its way around the chicken so it’s extra crispy.
- Spray your drumsticks with oil. The oil covers the dried flour spots and makes the outside of the chicken extra golden-brown and crispy.
- Use a meat thermometer. The cook time may vary depending on the air fryer so make sure the internal temperature of your chicken is at least 165 degrees F.
- Go easy on the breading. I found that an even, thin coat of the crust crisps up better in the air fryer!
Can you stack chicken in an air fryer
I definitely DON’T recommend stacking your chicken in the air fryer. It will prevent the chicken from cooking properly and from getting crispy and golden-brown all the way around because the air won’t be able to reach every part of the chicken!
Is air fried chicken healthy?
This air fryer fried chicken is absolutely healthy! A lean protein from the chicken made delicious by only spices and a cornflake crust.
Nutritional information for 1 serving (2 drumsticks): 346 calories, 11 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbs, and 45 grams of protein!
Is this air fryer fried chicken gluten-free?
This recipe can be made gluten-free or not depending on what cornflakes you use. I used regular cornflakes but you can certainly use a gluten-free variety as well!
How to store
This air fryer fried chicken is best served right away, but if you have leftovers, store your chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To reheat, place your chicken back in the air fryer and cook on 370 degrees F until warm. About 10-20 minutes depending on whether or not it’s been frozen.
For other air fryer chicken recipes, check out my Air Fryer Chicken Piccata, my Air Fryer Sweet and Spicy Walnut Chicken Tenders Recipe, or this Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe.
Air Fryer Fried Chicken
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- Olive oil spray
- 1 2/3 cups cornflakes
- Olive oil spray
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 8 bone-in chicken drumsticks skin removed (30 oz/850 g total)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Romaine slaw optional for serving
- In a shallow bowl or plate, beat the eggs with 1 teaspoon water, paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder. Set aside.
- Place the cornflakes in a gallon ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or the bottom of a cup, keeping the pieces a bit chunky.
- Transfer to another shallow bowl or plate.
- Spritz the cornflakes with a little oil (this helps the seasoning stick to the cornflakes), then add the salt, parsley, paprika, marjoram, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Mix well to combine.
- Season the chicken with salt.
- Working with one at a time, dip each drumstick in the egg mix, then in the crumbs, pressing to coat completely. Transfer to a work surface and spray with oil on all sides.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Working in batches, arrange a single layer of the chicken in the air fryer basket - that was 4 drumsticks for me.
- Cook for about 28 minutes, flipping halfway, until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is golden.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before serving with the slaw.
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.