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Instant Air Fryer Southern “Fried” Chicken

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The minute I bought an air fryer, the first thing I thought of making was fried chicken. I love fried chicken. Seriously, who doesn’t? But what I don’t love is making it. It’s messy, it splatters, and after you have a ton of grease you have to figure out what to do with (my grandma always had the stove top coffee can where she kept her grease, but seriously, who uses coffee cans anymore? I don’t think I can fit much oil in my Keurig K-cups).

I tried my hand at many an air fryer “fried” chicken recipe and searched online and in my cookbooks, but what I always found was chicken made with breading. Breadcrumbs or crushed crackers or corn flakes. And though they are all good and tasty, that’s not what I have in mind when I am craving fried chicken. What I think of is Southern Fried Chicken. The kind with the egg and buttermilk and flour dredge that is packed with flavor and spices. Juicy int he middle and crispy and crunchy on the outside. I had come to believe that that was an impossible feet in the air fryer. My hopes were dashed that you couldn’t use a real batter in the air fryer. Boy was I mistaken.

After a few tests and some research and failed attempts, I finally found a way to use the traditional method, but with a few tricks I made it work for the air fryer. No dry flour coating or overcooked chicken. If you follow my 4 steps you will have perfect Southern Fried Chicken that you would swear came from a deep fryer!

Instant Air Fryer Southern “Fried” Chicken

recipe by Lana Horruitiner-Perez

  • 12 Chicken Drumsticks (you can use any mix of chicken parts)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 – 2 Tbl Adobo (or any seasoning you like)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbl Milk
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1/4  cups Corn Starch
  • 1 Tbl Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbl Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tbl Paprika
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Lawry Salt

**For the seasoning mixture, you can use whatever seasoning you like for your fried chicken. You can also add Cayenne Pepper for some heat or add Tabasco in the Egg wash. Just make sure you add enough seasoning.**

Equipment:

Olive Oil Spray

 


Place Chicken in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp Salt and 1 – 2 Tbl Adobo. Toss well and set aside. adobo bottle

In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbl Onion Powder, 1 Tbl Garlic Powder, 1/2 Tbl paprika, 2 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper, and 1 tsp Lawry Salt. Set Aside.

In a bowl whisk together 2 Eggs and 2 Tbl Milk. Then add 1 heaping tsp of the Seasoning Mixture you just made. Whisk together and set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cup Flour, 1/4 cup Corn Starch, and the rest of the Seasoning Mixture. flour dredge

Place a baking rack on a baking sheet and then set up the Flour and Egg Mixture next to it.

Take one piece of Chicken and roll it in the Flour Mixture. Pat off any extra and place straight into the Egg Mixture. Roll around to coat and then place on the baking rack. Continue with the rest of the Chicken pieces.

Once all the Chicken has been coated in Egg Wash, take one piece at a time and dredge in the Flour Mixture again. (It’s important to whisk the Flour Mixture to redistribute the seasoning.) Pat off any extra and place back on the baking rack.

chicken rack

Now the most important part of the whole recipe that makes it work in the air fryer is to allow the Chicken to rest for at least 15 mins. If you wait even longer, the more the Flour will absorb the Egg Wash and allow the Chicken to brown. (The reason you allow it to sit, is because Flour is very dry. Dry ingredients do not brown in the air fryer, so without some sort of moisture, the Flour will not brown and you will get powdered Chicken.)

IMG_20200206_145258
On the left is before it sat for 15 mins and the right is after.

If there are any dry patches of Flour, use the Olive Oil Sprayer or Olive Oil Pam, and lightly spray the Flour. You can also take a paper towel and dip it in the Egg Mixture. Dab the spots of Flour to moisten. olive oil spray

Instant Omni/Omni Plus:

Place the black tray on the bottom and the baking rack in the middle position. Press “AIR FRY” and adjust Temperature to 380° F and the Time to 25 mins. Press “START”.

Instant Vortex Plus:

Place the drip tray on the bottom. Don’t place the slotted trays inside while preheating. Press “AIR FRY” and adjust Temperature to 380° F and Time to 25 mins.

Once the Air Fryer Oven beeps, add Chicken. (At 9 mins left, flip chicken and check the temperature with a thermometer. Cook for a few minutes more until the internal  temperature reaches 170° F)

Remove and serve. Buen Provecho!fried chickenfried chicken

Carne con Papas

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Instant Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken

After a few tests and some research and failed attempts, I finally found a way to use the traditional method, but with a few tricks I made it work for the air fryer. No dry flour coating or overcooked chicken. If you follow my 4 steps you will have perfect Southern Fried Chicken that you would swear came from a deep fryer!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer, Instant Air Fryer, Instant Omni Plus
Servings: 4
Calories: 640kcal
Author: drlanaperez

Equipment

  • Instant Air Fryer Oven

Ingredients

  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl Adobo
  • cup flour
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 1 Tbl Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbl Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tbl paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Lawry Salt
  • 2 egg
  • 2 Tbl milk

Instructions

  • Place Chicken in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp Salt and 1 – 2 Tbl Adobo. Toss well and set aside. 
  • In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbl Onion Powder, 1 Tbl Garlic Powder, 1/2 Tbl paprika, 2 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper, and 1 tsp Lawry Salt. Set Aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together 2 Eggs and 2 Tbl Milk. Then add 1 heaping tsp of the Seasoning Mixture you just made. Whisk together and set aside.
  • In a larger bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cup Flour, 1/4 cup Corn Starch, and the rest of the Seasoning Mixture. 
  • Place a baking rack on a baking sheet and then set up the Flour and Egg Mixture next to it.
    Take one piece of Chicken and roll it in the Flour Mixture. Pat off any extra and place straight into the Egg Mixture. Roll around to coat and then place on the baking rack. Continue with the rest of the Chicken pieces.
  • Once all the Chicken has been coated in Egg Wash, take one piece at a time and dredge in the Flour Mixture again. (It’s important to whisk the Flour Mixture to redistribute the seasoning.) Pat off any extra and place back on the baking rack.
  • Now the most important part of the whole recipe that makes it work in the air fryer is to allow the Chicken to rest for at least 15 mins. If you wait even longer, the more the Flour will absorb the Egg Wash and allow the Chicken to brown. (The reason you allow it to sit, is because Flour is very dry. Dry ingredients do not brown in the air fryer, so without some sort of moisture, the Flour will not brown and you will get powdered Chicken.)
  • If there are any dry patches of Flour, use the Olive Oil Sprayer or Olive Oil Pam, and lightly spray the Flour. You can also take a paper towel and dip it in the Egg Mixture. Dab the spots of Flour to moisten. 
  • Place the black tray on the bottom and the baking rack in the middle position. Press “AIR FRY” and adjust Temperature to 380° F and the Time to 25 mins. Press “START”.
  • Once the Air Fryer Oven beeps, add Chicken. (At 9 mins left, flip chicken and check the temperature with a thermometer. Cook for a few minutes more until the internal  temperature reaches 170° F)
    Remove and serve. Buen Provecho!

Nutrition

Calories: 640kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 292mg | Sodium: 3238mg | Potassium: 719mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1133IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 5mg
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Rochelle
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Rochelle

5 stars
I used skinless chicken breasts. The next day the leftovers made great cold sandwiches! Thank you so much. Would never have thought I would have “fried chicken” again since I am on meds for high cholesterol.

Lilly
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Lilly

5 stars
Really yummy!