This Air Fryer Chicken recipe is easy to make and cook up tender and juicy on the inside with a crispy golden coating on the outside. A simple healthy fried chicken recipe without the oil or the mess.
Easy Air Fried Chicken Recipe
Craving fried chicken but not a fan of the mess or all that oil? Making air fryer fried chicken is so much healthier and you don’t have to worry about using a deep fryer or standing in front of a hot pan of oil splattering everywhere.
And if you’re new to the air fryer, we have a guide on How to Use An Air Fryer with some useful tips and tricks.
My kids love crispy chicken nuggets and baked chicken fingers and making them in our air fryer takes no time at all! We make chicken in the air fryer all the time and when we are not making this crispy air fried chicken, we make this Air Fryer Chicken Breast on repeat.
What’s great about this Air Fryer Chicken recipe is that it’s totally kid-friendly and super easy to make with the kids!
It takes just a few minutes of prep time and the chicken cooks cook up crunchy, crispy and full of flavor. Oh, this easy dinner recipe is also gluten free, dairy free, low carb, keto, paleo and so much better for you than the KFC fried chicken.
Ingredients you need
PALEO BUTTERMILK CHICKEN MARINADE:
Instead of the traditional Southern Fried Chicken recipe that uses buttermilk, we’re going to make a dairy free buttermilk marinade for our keto fried chicken using:
- canned coconut milk
- apple cider vinegar OR lemon juice
- Frank’s hot sauce or your favorite hot sauce
- chicken tenders or chicken breasts sliced lengthwise into 3 even pieces
CRISPY KETO ‘BREADING’:
To try to get as close to the the taste and texture of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) you’re going to use:
- blanched almond flour
- crushed pork rinds OR crushed almond flour crackers (Simple Mills Fine Sea Salt or Hu’s Kitchen) OR crushed cheese crisps if not paleo
- sea salt
- smoked paprika
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- Italian seasoning
- cayenne pepper
How to make Air Fryer Chicken
Cooking chicken in the air fryer is the easiest thing ever.
- SEASON CHICKEN: Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- MAKE THE MARINADE: Whisk together the coconut milk, vinegar and hot sauce in a shallow wide bowl. Add the chicken pieces, coating each piece well and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 24 hours
- COMBINE THE SEASONINGS: In another shallow wide bowl, mix together the almond flour, pork rinds, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and cayenne pepper together.
DUNK CHICKEN INTO ‘BREADING’: Use your tongs to grab one piece of chicken and place into the almond flour ‘breading’, coating well on all sides. Shake off excess and place chicken pieces in the the air fryer basket. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray or avocado spray.
- FRY THE CHICKEN: Close the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 400 F. Set for 9 minutes. Open the basket after 4 minutes, flip the chicken and lightly coat this side with olive oil spay or avocado spray. Continue cooking again for 4-5 minutes, or until golden and the chicken is 165F degrees.
WHAT TEMPERATURE AND HOW LONG TO COOK AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN?
- 380F for air fryer chicken breasts: 9-12 minutes
- 390F for air fryer chicken thighs: 20-25 minutes
- Set temperature to 400F for keto baked chicken tenders: 8-9 minutes
- 400F for air fryer wings: 15-17 minutes
- 400F for air fryer fried chicken legs: 15-18 minutes
How to make Crispy Chicken Tenders in the Oven
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a pan with parchment paper.
- Shake off excess breading and place chicken on prepared pan in a single layer (work in batches if necessary) and spray with cooking spray or oil.
- Bake 18-22 minutes or until cooked through.
IS AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN KETO?
Traditional Southern Fried Chicken recipes use all purpose flour with a panko bread crumb or corn flakes coating. Our low carb fried chicken is made with almond flour and crush pork rinds and are diabetic and keto friendly.
The nutritional info for 2 chicken tenders is:
- 161 calories
- 3g NET Carbs = 4g Total Carbs- 1g Fiber
- 9g Protein
- 13g Fat
IS AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN GOOD?
These fried chicken tenders are a total crowd-pleaser my kids think they are just as delicious and amazing as you can get to “real” fried chicken without the extra fat or calories. Paleo fried chicken tenders are super flavorful, juicy inside and extra crispy on the outside.
WHAT AIR FRYER SHOULD I GET?
My husband is a total air fryer fanatic and has been on a mission to find the best air fryer. So far we’ve tried:
- Power Air Fryer XL
- Power Air Fryer Oven
- Mealthy Crisp Lid
- Philip’s Air Fryer XL
- Kalorik Air Fryer Pro XI
- GoWise Air Fryer
- T-Fal Air Fryer
They each have their pros and cons and so far his favorite has been the Philip’s Air Fryer XL, Power Air Fryer XL and the Kalorik Air Fryer Pro.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PALEO CHICKEN TENDERS?
To make this chicken tender recipe ahead, you can cook the chicken 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container or resealable bag in the fridge. And then you’re ready to serve, just crisp them up in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes on 370F.
IS FRIED CHICKEN FREEZER FRIENDLY?
Place the chicken on a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to an airtight container or freezer bags.
More air fryer recipes:
- 1lb boneless skinless chicken tenders OR chicken breasts, cut into 3 even strips
- 2/3 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar OR lemon juice
- 1/2-1 teaspoon your favorite hot sauce , plus more as desired
- 2/3 cup superfine blanched almond flour
- 3 tablespoons crushed pork rinds
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
SEASON CHICKEN: Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
MAKE THE MARINADE:
Whisk together the coconut milk, vinegar and hot sauce in a shallow wide bowl. Add the chicken pieces, coating each piece well and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
COMBINE THE SEASONINGS:
In another shallow wide bowl, mix together the almond flour, pork rinds, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and
cayenne pepper together.
DUNK CHICKEN INTO ‘BREADING’:
Use your tongs to grab one piece of chicken and place into the almond flour ‘breading’, coating well on all sides. Shake off excess and place chicken pieces in the the air fryer basket. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray or avocado spray.
Shake off excess breading and place about 3-4 chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer tray making sure the pieces do not touch.
You will have to cook in batches. Cook for 4 minutes then carefully flip. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Remove chicken. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a pan with parchment paper.
Shake off excess breading and place chicken on prepared pan in a single layer (work in batches if necessary) and spray with cooking spray or oil.
Bake 18-22 minutes or until cooked through.