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Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Air Fried Chicken drumsticks are delicious and easy to make. With just about a few readily available ingredients and about 10 minutes of prep time. The best part of this recipe is the delicious blend of spices that just elevates its taste. You’ll definitely love it!

Crispy Air Fried Chicken Legs

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Legs Recipe

If you own an air fryer, then you’ll know by now how effective they are at making healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals. Part of the appeal of using an air fryer is that you seriously cut down on the amount of oil required for cooking. In this recipe, I used only oil spray to achieve the taste and texture of deep-fried chicken.

After learning how to make fried chicken legs using an air fryer, you may never want to go back to deep-frying your chicken.

Southern Style Crispy Air Fried Butter Milk Chicken

Buttermilk provides a tangy tenderizing flavor that I really love. I will recommend leaving the chicken drumsticks to soak overnight but if you are short of time, you can let them soak for a minimum of an hour. After the chicken drumsticks have been soaked in buttermilk, all you have to do is dredge them in the seasoned flour and air fry them until crispy!

While this recipe used chicken legs, any other part of the chicken can be used like the drumsticks, thighs, breasts, or just cut up a whole chicken and air fry!

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Here is the air fryer I use COSORI smart wifi air fryer. It is big enough for a large family but you can also get it in smaller sizes if you prefer that.

Air fried crispy legs

Why Should You Make Air Fried Chicken Legs?

  • The chicken is crunchy on the outside and moist inside, without all the crazy amount of oil needed for deep frying.
  • If you’re worried about consuming excess unhealthy fat but don’t want to give up on eating juicy chicken legs, then air fryer fried chicken is perfect for you.
  • They are quick and easy to make, with a delicious blend of spices and low prep time.
  • This air fryer fried chicken recipe is great as a standalone dish or side dish to pair with almost any other meal you can think of. You can pair it with my Air Fryer French Fries RecipeOven Baked Jollof Rice Recipe, and Coconut Fried Rice.
  • Because of how tasty, juicy, and tender it is, everyone in the family will enjoy it. Including the picky eaters.
  • You can finally give your oven a break and keep your kitchen cool, especially during the hot-weathered months.

How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken Legs

  1. Marinate the chicken: Buttermilk provides a tangy tenderizing flavor that I really love. I will recommend leaving the chicken drumsticks to soak overnight, but if you are short of time, you can let them soak for a minimum of an hour.
  2. Bread the chicken:  Coat each piece of chicken by rolling it in the flour mixture to coat it. You can do this in a large ziplock bag. It’s more mess-free. Don’t forget to shake off any excess flour.
  3. Spray and Air-fry the chicken: Lightly spray the drumsticks with cooking oil but be sure the oil gets to every part of the chicken otherwise, the unoiled art may end up burning.
Step by step directions on how to make crispy air fryer fried chicken

Tips For Making The Perfect Air Fryer Fried Chicken Drumsticks

There are several common air fryer mistakes that may ruin the quality and taste of your food. Here are some tips to help you avoid them and make the best air fryer fried chicken legs.

  • Try not to overcrowd your air fryer. You can split them into batches of four chicken legs each. For this recipe, I used ten and air fried in three batches.
  • Preheat your air fryer before dropping the chicken inside. A preheated air fryer ensures more heat, even distribution, and less cook time.
  • Season your chicken legs well. In this recipe, I used a spice and seasoning blend of hot sauce, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, and black pepper.
  • Flip the chicken legs to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Take out your chicken legs from the fridge to thaw out while you prepare your marinade and flour mix. Thawing out the chicken makes it cook quicker and more evenly.
  • I like to leave the fried chicken to rest a little after I take it out from the air fryer. It gives the delicious juices time to redistribute around the chicken, so every bite is sumptuous.


Can I use this same recipe to air fry other chicken parts?

You can repurpose this recipe to air fry other chicken parts as well. However, the cooking time may vary depending on the chicken part you use. You can also check out my air fryer chicken drumsticks and air fryer chicken wings recipe.

I don’t like to eat chicken skin, can I remove the skin before cooking?

Chicken skin contributes to the crispiness and crunchiness of your chicken. Although, I’m a fan of the skin and I believe it adds to the flavor of any fried chicken. However, if you’re not particular about the texture of your crust, you can remove the skin before cooking the chicken.

How long do air fryer fried chicken legs need to cook for?

It takes about 25 to 30 minutes to air fry chicken legs. However, the timing may vary depending on how thick and large the chicken pieces are.

To be sure, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken legs. It should have an internal temperature of 165°F. Be sure your thermometer isn’t touching the chicken bones or you’ll get an inaccurate reading.

Can I double the recipe?

The recipe is easy to double (and half), be sure that any changes you make apply to ALL the ingredients on the list. Remember to cook the chicken in one batch and avoid piling the air fryer.

What can I serve with fried chicken?

The options here are limitless. Serve with salad, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, dips like honey mustard sauce and much more!

How long can I store air-fried chicken?

Air fryer fried chicken can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I reheat air fryer fried chicken drumsticks?

So you have some leftover chicken and don’t know what to do with them? Microwaving them can cause them to get soggy. The good thing about air fryers is that you can reheat the chicken legs and they’ll taste as fresh, juicy, and crispy as if you just made them.

While preheating the air fryer at 375°F, bring out the leftover chicken and let it come to room temperature. Arrange them in single-layered batches and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes. Flip once, to ensure it heats up evenly.

Air fried Chicken dipped in hot sauce


  1.  A meat thermometer is necessary to be sure the chicken is well done.
  2. While the chicken is air frying, spray the flour with oil if any dry flour spots appear on the chicken. Without oil, the breading will never crisp up. Instead, it will burn.
  3. Separate the pieces, so they don’t touch. Make sure there is airflow around them. You may need to work in two or more batches if you have a small air fryer.
  4. I do highly recommend spraying the air fryer basket with some oil. It helps prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
  5. Be sure to spray the chicken lightly with oil and make sure the oil coats all the chicken otherwise you will end up with burnt floury spots.

Other Air fryer Chicken recipes you may want to try:

Crispy Air Fried Chicken Legs

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Legs

Air Fryer Fried Chicken Legs are delicious and easy to make. With just about a few readily available ingredients and about 10 minutes of prep time. The best part of this recipe is the delicious blend of spices that just elevates its taste. You’ll definitely love it!
4.78 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch/Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air fryer recipe, chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 10 Chicken legs
Calories: 275kcal



  • 10 drumsticks
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Oil spray


Marinate the Chicken:

  • Combine the buttermilk, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce in a medium bowl. Dip the chicken pieces inside the mixture, ensuring each chicken is covered in the mix. Cover and marinate preferably overnight or at least an hour.

Bread the Chicken:

  • Combine the flour, cornstarch, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, and salt.
  • Remove chicken legs from the buttermilk mixture and shake off any excess.
  • Dip the chicken in the flour mix and coat well. Spray the basket of your air fryer with nonstick spray and transfer the breaded chicken pieces to the basket of your air fryer.

Air Fry:

  • Spray the chicken pieces generously with spray oil and air fry at 370° F for 15 minutes, then flip the chicken pieces over and cook for 10-15 more minutes, or until the chicken is crispy and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.


Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 988mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 562IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating


Sunday 4th of June 2023

Oh my goodness!! Just got my first batch of 6 legs done & they're so juicy, tender & deeeeelicious! No more frying or oven baking for me. This is the best fried chicken I've ever made. I usually overcook it but I did 15 minutes on each side & perfect. Thank you so much. ***** The stars didn't work so here's your 5 Stars.

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Friday 9th of June 2023

Thank you for your kind words, Bea. ❤️❤️


Wednesday 4th of January 2023

Best fried chicken I had ever made! I only marinated for 1 hour but the chicken was still very juicy and soft on the inside, while crunchy and extremely tasty on the outside. Thank you very much for this lovely recipe.

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Monday 28th of August 2023

You are welcome, Laurence.


Monday 20th of June 2022

Wow we LOVED this recipe. I followed it exactly and the chicken came out soo juicy and tasty. We'll definitely make this again! And it was so easy! Next time I'll marinate overnight, although marinating for 1 hour made delicious chicken too. Thanks for sharing! <3

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Saturday 9th of July 2022

So sweet of you to leave great feedback, Mary. I am happy it came out well.💕


Thursday 14th of April 2022

We made this last night and **muah! Chefs kiss** I’ve been looking for a yummy air fryer fried chicken recipe and yours blew us away! So yummy! Will be using this recipe again and again! Thank you!!!