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Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken in a cooling rack with lemon wedges

Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken

Crispy, juicy, and totally hassle-free southern comfort food is easier to achieve than you think. This is one of the easiest chicken dishes you can instantly make with minimal preparation. The best part about this is that it’s a healthier version of the iconic fried chicken dish without sacrificing the quality!
Course Main
Cuisine Southern
Keyword air fryer, fried chicken, southern fried chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 408kcal
Author Imma


  • air fryer


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons (7.5g-10g) salt adjust to preference
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ - 1 tablespoon (9.5g-19g) hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) creole seasoning
  • 4 cups (980g) buttermilk

Chicken Coating

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (128g) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (7g) paprika
  • 2 tablespoons (19.4g) garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons (14g) onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) cayenne pepper
  • 1 - 1 ½ tablespoon (1g-1.5g) dried herbs (Thyme, Oregano, Parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) white pepper


  • Place chicken in a large bowl or large Ziploc. Then seasoned with salt followed by all the crushed garlic, hot sauce, and Creole seasoning.
  • Pour buttermilk in the marinated chicken, transfer the chicken to a gallon-sized zipper-lock freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, herbs, and white pepper.
  • Remove all the marinated chicken from the buttermilk. Then dredge in the flour mixture, shaking any excess flour. You may use a Ziploc bag for this process, too.
  • Double dip the chicken in the remaining buttermilk (add fresh buttermilk as needed) followed by the flour mixture - shake off any excess flour. Place on a lined baking tray until ready to be cooked.
  • Let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes. This will help the coating to stay on better.
  • Preheat air fryer - I preheat mine at 400 Degrees/ 204 degrees C for 5 minutes when ready to air fry.
  • Set your air fryer to 375°F. Lightly grease the metal basket and the chicken on it in a single layer, do not over crowd. You will have to batch cook the chicken. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Cook chicken for about 15 minutes depending on the size of your chicken. Also, keep in mind that each air fryer cooks differently.
  • Flip half-way through while cooking.
  • If it is your first time making chicken in the air fryer, check frequently especially the last few minutes of cooking, and adjust according to your desired brownness. Chicken is fully cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165 F (74 degrees C) and the outside is crispy and golden brown.
  • Remove and serve with salads or any side dish of choice.


  1. Don't have an air fryer. Make this original skillet Southern Fried Chicken HERE.
  2. See my buttermilk substitutions HERE.
  3. Nutritional information would vary depending on the chicken part.
  4. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1258mg | Potassium: 489mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 829IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 4mg