So, I finally cracked The Air-Fryer Fried-Chicken Puzzle (boy does that sound like a cozy mystery...). I'm including my recipe so you can avoid the three attempts and burnt crusts I suffered in pursuit...
I prefer dark meat (which totally tastes better as fried chicken) but my husband will only eat white meat, so I included breasts and thighs in this last attempt and am happy to say they both cooked perfectly. Do keep an eye on things though - your air fryer might be hotter or cooler than mine and you never know when your delicious dinner might turn into a crispy critter.
Not including a link to Amazon for this because it is too expensive there, but you can find it in your local store.
For two people, this is plenty, you can also tweak the amounts.
- 1 big chicken breast cut into 2 inch nuggets (organic always tastes better!)
- 2 boneless chicken thighs
- 1 egg
- cup of buttermilk (I keep buttermilk powder I mix with water)
- 2 cups of flour (more or less depending on how much you're making)
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs (Italian style is nice...)
- Seasonings to taste -- paprika, garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, cumin... all these things are up for grabs - season with whatever you like! (At least salt and pepper)
- Spray Olive Oil (VERY IMPORTANT!!) I like Bertolli - it really BLASTS!
Setup three plates/shallow bowls -- one with flour and pepper, one with egg and buttermilk, one with bread crumbs and all the other seasonings you want to use mixed into a tasty mixture.
Pre-heat air fryer to 325 degrees.
Not the best picture, but take my word for it, they were yummy!
Dredge the chicken in the egg, then flour, then egg again, then crumbs. Put the finished chicken in your fryer basket. They should look like the picture at the top of this post at this point, and your fingers will be crusted with goop you'll spend the next ten minutes trying to pick out of your fingernails so you don't give your family salmonella. TIP: I usually set my basket on top of a plate so the stuff that falls through doesn't get all over the place. You CAN make it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge too, so you don't have to be dredging when your guests arrive.
Now spray those nuggets WELL with the spray olive oil. Top and bottom. They have to be wet to fry instead of just bursting into flame like charred paper.
Slide those puppies in the air fryer! Cook for 20 minutes. At FIFTEEN minutes I usually cut one open to make sure it's finished (the old cooking version of sacrificing one to the gods for the benefit of the others) and they generally are close, so I give them another five minutes.
Bam! CRUNCHY fried chicken with VERY little grease and fat!