Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Allow me to kick this off by saying that an Air Fryer is the best thing your kitchen is missing. With that said, yes you should buy one. Why? 1) it’s healthier and 2) everything you ever made in a deep fryer comes out just as delicious (if not MORE delicious) in an Air Fryer and finally 3) clean-up is way easier due to a lack of oil. I’ve been playing with recipes a lot lately when it comes to fried chicken. After my annual trip to New Orleans, I decided to put the spices I purchased in the French Market to work. Since I am a nice person, I am also going to provide links to both spices I bought in NOLA and used in the recipe(s) below. Note: there are two recipes here but with only one ingredient change. One will use the Lemon Pepper Seasoning and the other will use the Hot & Spicy Sea Salt. Decide which one you prefer, or make two batches. I made 4 chicken thighs with the first spice and 4 more chicken thighs with the second spice. DO NOT MIX THESE SPICES…Unless you want to burn your tongue forever. The rule is this – if you’re using the lemon pepper you do not need more pepper so just add plain ol’ sea salt. If you’re using hot & spicy sea salt you do not need more salt so just add plain ol’ ground black pepper.

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in, fat trimmed off (8 thighs total if making two batches)
  • 1/2 cup AP flour (1 cup total if making two batches)
  • 1 egg, beaten (2 eggs total if making two batches)
  • Pepper Lemon Seasoning OR N’awlins Hot & Spicy Sea Salt 
  • if using the pepper lemon seasoning, include plain sea salt
  • if using the hot & spicy sea salt, include ground black pepper
  • olive oil spray
  1. Pre-heat Air Fryer to 390 degrees F (I typically pre-heat mine for 3-5 minutes). You do NOT need to pre-heat before each batch, only before the initial one. The fryer will stay hot once you start using it.
  2. Whisk together the flour, lemon pepper OR hot & spicy sea salt, plain sea salt (if using lemon pepper) OR ground black pepper (if using hot & spicy sea salt). Beat the egg in a separate bowl.
  3. Dredge the chicken through the flour mixture, then into the egg, then back into the flour mixture again.
  4. Spray the basket of the Air Fryer with olive oil spray.
  5. Place two thighs into the basket of the Air Fryer and spray the tops of the chicken with olive oil spray, cook at 390 degrees F for 30 minutes. At the 30 minute mark (most Air Fryers will not allow you to set for greater than 30 minutes at a time), use silicone tongs to flip the thighs and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from Air Fryer and serve or store for later consumption. Continue this process until you have cooked all thighs. Do NOT overcrowd the fryer or it will not cook evenly and you may have some pieces of raw chicken. 

The batch made using the pepper lemon seasoning and plain sea salt


The batch made using the hot & spicy sea salt and plain ground black pepper

Both of these came out delicious! If I didn’t tell you these were made using an Air Fryer, you would have thought they were made using the original deep fryer method. The skin is nice and crispy and the inside is moist and juicy. The trick to getting crispy skin is spraying each piece of chicken with olive oil spray. Matter of fact, if and when you do purchase an Air Fryer, just go out and buy olive oil spray. You will definitely need it for most, if not all, recipes you make using this fantastic device.

Before anyone asks, this is the Air Fryer I have. I know there are other ones out there that fit more food in them in one shot but I’m pleased with the one I have. It also comes with a bunch of presets but I have yet to use any of those since the manual controls are so incredibly easy. Another tip is to buy silicone tongs. Most Air Fryer baskets are made using non-stick material therefore a metal tong could potentially scratch the surface, thus making the non-stick material useless.


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