This Air Fryer Copycat KFC Chicken Recipe is one of my favorites. Made with chicken legs and a delicious blend of herbs and spices that will knock your socks off. You’ll love this air fryer recipe that requires no hot oil and is made in just 20 minutes.
If you’re looking for this recipe and don’t have an Air Fryer, check out my Copycat KFC Chicken where this same recipe is baked and not fried.
I love making yummy copycat recipes, and this KFC chicken is one of my favorites. We love to bake and make things from different restaurants and put our own little twist on them. My favorite part about this recipe is that you don’t need oil, grease, or a deep fryer to have the same great taste.
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WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED?
To make this Air Fryer KFC Chicken you will want to have a few ingredients on hand. Here is what I use for this recipe:
- Chicken legs
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Olive oil spray
If you need this recipe quickly, head down to the very bottom of this post where you can quickly and easily print out the full recipe card. We will even add a few short notes to help make this recipe turn out to be the best it can be.
If you’re not in a rush, please keep reading! We are sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks and explain exactly how to make this Copycat recipe as authentic as possible.
WHAT AIR FRYER SHOULD I USE?
The Ninja Foodi is a grill and has several different options. It’s also called an air crisper, and you can learn more about that here. I like this for larger projects. You can open the top and check on what’s cooking, and you can also use the temperature probe and never undercook or overcook anything again.
The Cosori has a basket, is an actual air fryer, and makes it easy to shake things around while cooking. The handle on the basket makes removing the basket easier, and it’s very easy to clean. Each works very well and I use them both with this big family of mine. I can have them both working and have dinner done FAST.
They both really do work great and I love to use them on an almost daily basis. One last thing I would recommend with whichever air fryer you choose, make sure to get some basket liners. They are amazing and help make cleanup a breeze!
How To Make Air Fryer KFC Chicken step by step
To make air fryer chicken drumsticks or legs, you want to make sure you preheat your air fryer to get it to temperature before you place anything inside of the basket.
- First you will want to soak the chicken drumsticks in the buttermilk for 30-45 minutes.
- Add the panko, flour, and seasonings to a bowl and mix well.
- Dip the drumsticks into the flour mixture, back into the buttermilk, and then back into the flour mixture. Place the coated drumsticks on a coated sheet.
- Place an Air Fryer liner into the basket. Line the chicken pieces along with the liner. Do not stack.
- Spray the drumsticks with olive oil spray and then insert the basket and cook for 10 minutes on 390.
- After 10 minutes, remove the air fryer basket and flip the chicken pieces. Make sure to coat the pieces with olive oil spray again. Insert the basket back into the air fryer and cook chicken for an additional 10 minutes.
This is by far one of my favorite fried chicken recipes, and I know it will soon be yours as well.
Air Fryer Chicken FAQs
- What if I don’t have buttermilk? You can make your own buttermilk by squeezing lemon juice into fresh whole milk. I like to add about 2 tsp per cup of milk. It will start to turn in just a few minutes.
- What can I use in place of buttermilk? If you would rather not use buttermilk in this recipe, you can also coat the chicken with olive oil. Add allo f the chicken pieces into a large bag with ½ cup of olive oil and seal them up. Toss to chicken in the bag to coat them evenly.
If using the olive oil method, dip the chicken into the flour and seasoning mixture after the olive oil before placing the chicken into the air fryer basket. It will still be delicious!
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
If you enjoy this Copycat KFC Chicken recipe, you might also enjoy a few of my other favorite recipes:
- Air Fryer Hamburgers
- Air Fryer Chicken Strips
- Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
- Copycat Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets
- Copycat Chick Fil A Sauce
- and Copycat Chick Fil A Chicken Salad
I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as my family does. It’s a delicious and easy dinner that the whole family completely devours. If you’re looking for a fun snack to go with it, check out these Air Fryer Pizza Rolls.
If you get a chance to make this recipe, make sure to head back over to this page and give the recipe card rating. Not only does it let us know what you think of the recipe, but it also tells other readers to make it, too!
Do you share your recipes on social media? If you get a chance to make this Air Fryer Copycat KFC Chicken, tag us on social media. You can find us @Pinkwhen on most social channels, and as @PinkWhenJen on Instagram.
Thanks again for stopping in, and we can’t wait to see what you think of this recipe!
Air Fryer Copycat KFC Chicken Recipe
- 8 chicken legs
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/2 cup flour all purpose
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- Add chicken legs to the buttermilk and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Combine panko, flour, and seasonings to a bowl. Mix well.
- Remove chicken from the buttermilk and place in a separate bowl.
- Dip the chicken into the flour mixture, into the buttermilk, and back into the flour mixture.
- Lay chicken legs on a sheet as you coat them.
- Place a liner into the air fryer to help keep the chicken from sticking.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees.
- Spray both sides of the chicken with olive oil and then place in the air fryer once it has preheated..
- Cook the chicken legs for 10 minutes, then flip and spray with oil again before cooking for the remaining 10 minutes. Make sure the temperature of the chicken has reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit before removing it from the Air Fryer.
- Serve warm!
- Save any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, make the buttermilk by adding 2 tsp of lemon juice to the milk.
- If you want a lighter coat with less crispy skin, skip the buttermilk, flour, and panko. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil to a sealable bag with the chicken legs, and then add the seasoning. (You might want to also half the seasonings or it will be extra spicy!) Once the chicken is coated with olive oil and seasoning, cook as directed.