Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken is a traditional, Southern soul food recipe. This dish is quick to whip up, with less than 5 ingredients. The results are crispy, crunchy fried wings. You can use fresh or frozen chicken, and details include how long to cook and air fryer temperature.
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This recipe was originally published in 2018 and has since been updated.
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The chicken wings are brined with buttermilk, breaded, and seasoned to perfection. This dish has the amazing down home cooking flavor the whole family will love.
Pair this with my Southern Style Soul Food Macaroni and Cheese!
I love that the air fryer takes me back to my roots. I grew up eating fried food. A LOT of it. Back in the day eating fried food regularly was pretty customary, especially among people with my similar background.
Fried chicken, pork chops, catfish, you name it, we fried it all! My family has roots in the south. We specialize in amazing tasting food, but it’s not always healthy.
When I got older I learned more about the dangers of consuming certain foods, especially in excess. I gave up fried foods because it is typically drenched in vegetable oil.
The air fryer is here now. So now I can eat pretty much anything I want (exaggerating maybe a little). 🙂
Is Air Fried Chicken Healthy?
Yes! Using an air fryer cuts out a ton of fat. It also gives you the option to use an oil other than vegetable oil for frying. I love to use olive oil because it’s loaded in monounsaturated fats. The good kind!
How to Make Fried Chicken in an air Fryer
- I like to combine the seasoning with the flour. This way the breading is directly seasoned.
- After coating the chicken with buttermilk, dredge each chicken wing in the seasoned flour mixture. You can also toss the wings in a Ziploc bag with the flour and shake. Just be sure most of each wing is coated. If the entire wing isn’t coated you will see uneven parts in the breading when cooked.
- Next, spray the chicken with cooking oil. Spray both sides. Spray at a distance to ensure the breading does not fly off.
- Load the chicken in the air fryer and air fry!
Can You Use Frozen Chicken?
Yes. You will however, not be able to bread the chicken while it’s frozen. Fresh always will work better. If cooking from fronzen, allow the chicken to cook in the air fryer for 5-6 minutes first. Then continue with the breading steps.
Air Fryer Temperature
I set my air fryer to 400 degrees.
Can You Stack Chicken in an Air Fryer?
I load the wings in the air fryer on one level, careful not to overfill the basket. If you overfill the basket it will impact your ability to obtain crunchy chicken. I do not recommend stacking the chicken.
How Long to Cook/Cook Time
It can take up to 25 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your chicken. Always use a meat thermometer to test the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
How to Reheat
I reheat the chicken on 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes or until crisp.
Why is Buttermilk Used
Buttermilk is slightly acidic, which helps tenderize chicken when you soak it in it. The buttermilk will help break down the protein in the chicken without toughening up the meat. If you want tender and juicy chicken, marinating it first is your best bet.
Refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.
How to Substitute Buttermilk
You can use 1/4 cup of milk plus 1 tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice. You can read more about How to Substitute Buttermilk here.
- Instead of shaking, I open the air fryer and turn the wings over every 5 minutes. This helps keep the breading intact. You can also shake the basket. Do what works best for you.
- Use a meat thermometer to test the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
Pair this Chicken with These Dishes
If you are looking for low carb air fryer wings, check out my Keto Air Fryer Chicken Wings recipe.
Click here for a complete listing of Air Fryer Recipes.
Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- 2 1/2-3 pounds whole chicken wings
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken seasoning to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooking oil I use olive oil.
- Pat the chicken wings dry and add them to a large bowl. Drizzle with the buttermilk. For best results, cover and store the chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes to 3 hours. This will tenderize the chicken. I typically marinate for an hour minimum, you can go up to overnight.
- Combine the flour, chicken seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl large enough to dredge the chicken. Stir and mix well.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour and seasonings. Ensure both sides of the chicken are fully coated. Use a spoon to get areas of the chicken wing that were missed.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil.
- Add the chicken wings to the air fryer. Do not overcrowd the basket. Cook in batches if necessary. Spray the chicken with cooking oil.
- Cook for 20 minutes on 400 degrees. Stop and flip the chicken every 5 minutes, a total of 4 times.
- Use a meat thermometer and ensure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Add additional time if you prefer the chicken is crisper.
- Remove the chicken from the air fryer. Cool before serving.
- You can use 1/4 cup of milk plus 1 tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice.
- You can substitute the chicken seasoning for 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
- If there are areas of the chicken that are still white from the flour, spritz it with oil.
- If you have trouble with getting the chicken to crisp, spritz more oil.
Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)
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