This Air Fryer Fried Chicken is a 20-minute recipe for the best "fried" chicken! It's tender and juicy on the inside with a perfectly golden-brown, crispy, and flavorful exterior. It's a healthier, easier, less-mess alternative to classic fried chicken!
Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F according to manufacturer's directions.
Slice chicken breasts into strips (I usually get 3-4 per chicken breast). Add to a shallow dish and pour buttermilk over top, turning to coat the chicken.
In a large freezer bag or baking dish, combine flour, bread crumbs, seasoning salt, paprika, black pepper and salt.
Remove chicken from buttermilk and coat in flour mixture, pressing firmly to ensure it adheres to the chicken.
Brush the bottom of the air fryer basket with canola oil, and add as much of the chicken as possible while leaving a space in between each piece (you may need to do two batches, depending on the size). Spray the top of the chicken pieces with non-aerosol oil spray.
Place the basket in the air fryer and set the timer for 7 minutes. Flip the chicken, spraying the top again with oil spray and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until the chicken is crispy and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Repeat cooking process with remaining chicken if necessary and serve.
Slice evenly. Cut the chicken pieces similarly in size so they cook evenly.
Press the chicken into the breading. When you bread the chicken, press it firmly into the mixture so the breading can really stick.
Grease the basket. You'll want to grease the air fryer basket before you add in the chicken so it doesn't stick.
Check the internal temperature. Not all air fryers cook exactly the same, so I recommend using a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165ºF before serving.
Spice it up. If you prefer spicy fried chicken, add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to the spice blend.
Storage:Leftover fried chicken will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then air fry at 400ºF for 4-5 minutes to warm and re-crisp.