Easy air fryer fried chicken recipe! With a light breading these chicken drumsticks, wings or breasts will have moist meat but a nice crispy outside.
We are a little obsessed with creating new air fryer recipes here on The Typical Mom since we got our fancy machine. One of our first creations was this air fryer fried chicken recipe using drumsticks. You could use the same method to make thighs, wings or chicken breasts though. Just adjust the time for those. I assure you this will become one of our favorite dinners too. (affiliate links present)
- Do you have a Ninja Foodi pressure cooker and air fryer yet. Or maybe you have another brand and are ready for something crispy for dinner. Whatever style you might have will work for this throw together meal.
Let me start with a few helpful tips:
- This is the Ninja Cooking system we got
- You can grab a free air fryer cookbook too here. ?
- You’ll find more air fryer recipes here too.
- Then LIKE our easy air fryer recipes page to get new ideas for meals and snack ideas daily!
“Frying” chicken in an air fryer has never been easier using this method! Find this and more on our Ninja Foodi recipes post.
This is what I used, literally 3 ingredients is it!
- Chicken legs – medium size, don’t buy the HUGE jumbo ones
- Olive oil – and olive oil spray
- Louisiana chicken fry mix
- Gallon storage bag – if you just wanna shake the coating on
Other fried chicken coating you could use
- Pork rinds
- Dredge legs in whisked eggs
- Roll chicken pieces in smashed pork rinds – use food processor to get them fine
- Shake n Bake mix
I coated these two different ways.
- First you must rub a generous amount of olive oil on your drumsticks
- Then you can either roll them in the mix on a plate like you see here
- Or at the end it was easier to throw a few legs into a gallon Ziploc filled with coating and shake the mix on
- Either way works, just make sure you have plenty of olive oil on each one so it sticks well
- The skins will crisp up themselves too so it isn’t just the coating
The Louisiana chicken fry mix we used was great because it already had a bit of spice and spices inside. That way I didn’t have to add anything. Just rub on olive oil, shake on mix, air fry.
We love this method because as much as we love fried foods sometimes, deep frying isn’t good for us. Then you can make a side dish like our air fryer tater tots to go with this!
Note: Timing below works well for medium size chicken legs. If cooking chicken breasts I would recommend medium size and cutting them in half so the middle cooks as evenly as the edges. Breasts will take longer than any other chicken pieces. Air fryer chicken wings will take the least amount of time.
- Use this printable air fryer cook times sheet for reference.
Basic steps to this air fryer fried chicken recipe
- Generously rub olive oil on each piece of chicken
- Ensure all pieces are the same size
- Important when cooking chicken so they get done at the same time
- Roll in coating of your choosing
- Lay in your air fryer basket or on to a trivet
- Make sure they’re in a single layer and not overlapping. If you stack chicken they won’t cook evenly or crispy all the way around.
- Turn on air fryer (or use air crisp button on Ninja Foodi).
- Timing will depend on how thick your meat is but should be done in 30 minutes or less.
- Flip pieces about half way through
- Before last 2-4 minutes spray chicken pieces with olive oil to really crisp up the outsides.
- Check internal temperature when done with a meat thermometer
- Needs to reach 165 degrees or more in thickest part of meat
- Eat or drizzle barbecue or hot sauce on top.
Using this method you can have crispy chicken pieces in about 25 minutes! If you don’t have an air fryer, here’s how to bake crispy chicken wings in the oven. You can make this copycat Kentucky fried chicken recipe too.
Other air fryer recipes you should try:
- Our air fryer chicken thighs.
- or an air fryer whole chicken
- Sweet potatoes in the air fryer are a great side dish
- Air fryer kale chips will make you love that green stuff
- For breakfast make a batch of air fryer hard boiled eggs
If you want crispy chicken legs in air fryer with a thicker batter soaked in buttermilk beforehand, try this one too.
Air Fryer Fried Chicken Recipe
- Put drumsticks in a bowl and pour olive oil on top. Rub all legs with olive oil so they are coated well. Preheat air fryer for 5 minutes at 375 degrees.
- One at a time sprinkle seasoning of your choice all over each drumstick. Or if you are using the bagged seasoned breading we did add mix to gallon baggie and shake with 3 legs inside so they are coated well with powder.
- When preheated spray the inside of your air fryer basket lightly with non stick spray.
- Lay legs with meatiest side facing down into your basket so they don't overlap, 4 fit nicely in our Ninja Foodi.
- Close your air fryer lid and set for 24 minutes. Flip legs after 10 minutes, then continue cooking other side for 12 minutes. After 22 minutes has elapsed open the lid and spray tops with olive oil in a can.
- Air fry for 2 additional minutes to really crisp the tops. Continue for another 1-2 minutes if you want them extra extra crispy. (of course always check chicken to ensure they are cooked thru before eating)
- Remove and enjoy...then add another batch.