Learn how to make air fryer fried chicken with a moist center that’s surrounded by a crispy parmesan crust. It’s the ultimate comfort food.
Let’s talk about the greatness of finger-lickin’ fried chicken. For years, I was intimidated to fry my own chicken at home. However, once I made this pickle-juice fried chicken I was shockingly surprised how easy it was. That recipe was inspired by a trip I took to Dollywood and this recipe just so happens to be my fail-proof air fryer version! In my mind, you can never have enough fried chicken recipes!
HOW TO KEEP AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN MOIST:
When breading chicken for any frying method, you will need a bowl for your wet ingredients and a bowl for your dry. The wet ingredients here are what makes this chicken recipe so incredibly juicy and delicious. Trust me on this one, folks. It’s savory, tangy and has a touch of sweetness. When mixed together the combo is simply marvelous in all kinds of ways. For the wet ingredients you’ll need:
- Duke’s Mayonnaise
- Pickle Juice
- Smoked Paprika
- Powdered Sugar
The dry ingredients are a simple mix of seasoned panko breadcrumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I strongly encourage you to shred your own parmesan, the flavor difference at the end is 100% worth it!
STEPS FOR MAKING AIR FRYER FRIED CHICKEN:
Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch bite-sized chunks. Do your best to have each chunk around the same size so they cook evenly. Submerge each chunk, one at a time, into the pickle-mayonnaise and then dredge in the mix of parmesan and panko.
Next, place each coated piece of chicken on a parchment paper lined air fryer tray. Make sure the chicken has at least a 1/2 inch to an inch in-between the chunks. My Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer is a double-decker box of magic, so I can cook two chicken breasts at a time. If you have a single layered fryer, you may have to cook these in batches.
Cook the chicken for 12 – 15 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. The end result is mouthwateringly delicious.
OTHER AIR FRYER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
- 2 Large Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. Pickle Juice
- 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 2 tbsp. Powdered Sugar
- 1 cup Parmesan, shredded
- 1 cup Seasoned Panko Bread Crumbs
- Line the air fryer baking trays with parchment paper.
- Cut chicken breasts into equal-sized 1-inch chunks and set aside.
- Mix together the mayonnaise, pickle juice, smoked paprika and powdered sugar in one bowl. In a second bowl, mix together the parmesan and panko bread crumbs.
- Fully submerge each chicken chunk, one at a time, into the mayonnaise mixture and then shake off any excess sauce. Toss into the parmesan-panko mixture and turn to coat.
- Divide each coated chicken bite evenly, in a single layer, between two parchment-lined air frying trays. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to bake in two or more batches.
- Preheat air fryer to 390 for 5 minutes. Place trays of chicken in the air fryer and set timer for 12 minutes. Rotate trays at the 6 minute mark.
- At the end of 12 minutes, check for internal temperature of 165F before consuming. If you prefer a darker colored crust, you can cook the bites up to 15 minutes.
NOTES ON THIS RECIPE:
- I prefer using panko breadcrumbs in this recipe, as they help make the crust extra crispy. You can substitute with regular bread crumbs but the texture will be different.
- This recipe was written using my Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer. Times and temperatures may vary using other brands of air fryers. Just make sure to always test the temperature of your chicken for at least 165F before consuming.
- These are great as a high protein snack, but if you’d like to make them into a full meal I suggest serving them inside a biscuit (a true southern treat!), tossed together as a Fried Chicken Cobb Salad or with a bowl of Tomato Basil Soup.
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