Black Folks Soul Food Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken

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Healthy eating motivates many people to look for alternatives to their deep fryers.

If you’re tired of greasy fried food, but don’t want to give up the taste of Southern fried chicken, then you’ll love this Black folks soul food air fryer Southern fried chicken recipe!

Black Folks Soul Food Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken

When searching for appliances that use less oil, then give the air fryer a try!

A healthy alternative to deep-frying, air frying allows you to enjoy your favorite foods without the grease, guilt, and calories.

Fried chicken in the air fryer with flour

Air fryers can do most everything you ask of them!

So when I tried my Southern soul food fried chicken recipe in the air fryer, and was still able to achieve crispy, flavorful chicken. I had to share this air fryer Southern fried chicken recipe!

Black people fried chicken recipe

People often ask, “What is Southern fried chicken?”

Instead, they should ask, “What is the secret to good fried chicken?

Because the answer is soul food Southern fried chicken. A recipe that Black folks created and perfected!

What’s the difference between fried chicken and Southern fried chicken?

Surprisingly, the answer has nothing to do with how either batch of chicken looks.

Simply put, the difference between fried chicken and Southern fried chicken is in the flavor.

The Southern soul food seasonings and flavor.

Most soul food is Southern. But not all Southern food is soul food. 

Here’s how you can tell if a batch of fried chicken (chicken battered in flour) is a Southern soul food recipe:

Crunchy flavorful outside with juicy, seasoned tender meat inside.

Yep – that’s a Black folks’ soul food Southern fried chicken recipe!

Basically, chicken with a balance of tender meat and crispy skin, blasted with flavor from the juicy meat inside to the crispy texture on the outside.

Soul Food Fried Chicken Recipe

How do you make a traditional Black folks’ soul food Southern fried chicken recipe?

How do you make the best fried chicken that’s both crispy and tender? 

To do this, you no longer need years of experience perfecting the precise temperature for hot oil in a Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet. 

Today, all you need is an air fryer (or a deep fryer) to get the party started! 

Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

Do air fryers work for soul food Southern fried chicken?

When it comes to traditional Southern fried chicken recipes, people today often ask, “Can this be made in an air fryer?”

Of course, the answer is yes, and you won’t believe how good fried chicken tastes when made in an air fryer!

Who can learn to fry Southern-style chicken?

This recipe is easy enough for anyone to make and everyone to love!

Whether you’re frying drumsticks, chicken breasts, wings, or all parts of the chicken.

Choose your adventure with your millenium appliance of choice (air fryer, deep fryer, or even Instant Pot for a buttermilk brine for chicken). Then prepare to perfect this soul food Southern fried chicken recipe!

You got this!

Or, as the young folks say: “You understand the assignment.”

Air fryer Southern fried chicken

Kitchen equipment for this soul food air fryer Southern fried chicken recipe

Shop my kitchenware HERE!

Can you make this recipe in the Instant Pot?

Yes, check out this recipe HERE for Instant Pot fried chicken!

Black People Fried Chicken Recipe

Ingredients for soul food air fryer Southern fried chicken

  • 6 pieces of chicken
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, divided 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon of red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Peanut oil or vegetable oil cooking spray (for brushing or spraying on the chicken)
  • ½ cup of buttermilk (½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk & ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar)

I doubt that you have buttermilk just hanging out on a regular in your refrigerator. (I create recipes for a living, and I don’t!). So here’s a quick and easy way to make just the amount of buttermilk you’ll need for this recipe!

Buttermilk milk to apple cider vinegar ratio – 1 cup of milk : 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Buttermilk for this recipe: ½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk + ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. 

Air Fryer Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken

Instructions for a soul food Southern fried chicken recipe in the air fryer

  1. Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the seasoning mixture all over each piece of chicken.
  3. Place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl or 1-gallon resealable food storage bag. 
  4. Shake (or mix) the sealed bag to combine the ingredients for a homemade poultry seasoning, and set the flour mixture aside.
  5. Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside.
  6. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, and set that mixture aside too.
  7. The chicken will go through a 3-step process from here.
  8. First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly. 
  9. Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture.
  10. Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated. 
  11. Remove the chicken pieces from the bag (or bowl) and lightly brush or spray the chicken with peanut oil or vegetable oil.
  12. If using an air fryer with a basket, spray the basket with peanut oil or vegetable oil. 
  13. Place the chicken into the air fryer, making sure it’s skin-side up. It’s okay if the chicken pieces touch; just don’t overcrowd them.
  14. Air fry at 360 degrees F for a total of 20 minutes.
  15. Halfway through, after about 10 minutes have passed, flip the chicken over in the air fryer and return to cooking.
  16. Air fry at 360 degrees for the remaining 10 minutes or until the chicken is golden-brown and crisp all over.
  17. Serve air fryer soul food Southern fried chicken right away, and enjoy!

How to cook fried chicken the traditional way?

How do you make fried chicken from scratch?

Check out this recipe HERE!

Black Folks Fried Chicken In The Air Fryer

What sauce goes with Black folks soul food Southern fried chicken?

There are countless opinions out there, but these five will be everyone’s favorite when it comes to fried chicken. 

  1. Hot sauce
  2. Ranch dressing
  3. Pure honey 
  4. Honey mustard
  5. Ketchup
  6. BBQ sauce

What do you serve with soul food Southern fried chicken?

Several soul food recipes are favorites when serving Southern fried chicken. From cornbreadbaked macaroni and cheese to creamy mashed potatoes, potato salad, coleslaw, or collard greens.

And for dessert, Black folks Southern banana pudding or Black folks Southern peach cobbler recipe!

Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken In The Air Fryer

Some folks even use Southern air-fried chicken in their chicken salad recipe!

FAQs & things to know: Black folks soul food air fryer Southern fried chicken

Air fryer fried chicken settings:

What is the ideal temperature to cook fried chicken in the air fryer?

360°F is ideal for cooking soul food flavored fried chicken in an air fryer.

Of course, air fryer models vary, so pay attention to your chicken while cooking until you have your cooking time and temperature down. Usually 360 to 4000 degrees for air-fried chicken.

Cook time:

How long should you air fry chicken in an air fryer?

Cooking time for fresh chicken in an air fryer is 20 minutes; however, you will need to flip the chicken after half of the time. So another 10 minutes for a total cooking time of 30 minutes. Or until the chicken is golden-brown and crisp all over!

Which part of chicken should you use for this Black folks soul food Southern fried chicken recipe in the air fryer?

The good news: You can choose whatever chicken pieces you like. No matter if you want half or whole chicken (with skin on), wings, legs, or your favorite cut of chicken.

Pro tips: 

  • Some Southern cooks like to use a baking sheet or a large bowl to separate the dark meat and white meat. They dredge the dark meat first, fry, and then dredge the remaining chicken (the white meat) and fry.
  • What else can you use to season the flour? Other than a sprinkle of salt and pepper, some Southern fried chicken recipes even call for cornstarch to thicken the batter for extra crunch or hot sauce for more heat!

Why is my air-fried chicken not crispy? Be careful not to overcoat the chicken in oil.

When making fried chicken in the air fryer, should you use a cooking oil spray? 

Yes, because it makes a massive difference with the crispy chicken exterior. Don’t miss out on this crucial step for your cooked chicken!

Why is it necessary to use any oil in your air-fried chicken recipe?

Why is hot oil important?

Hot oil is only essential when preparing fried chicken in a deep fryer, Dutch oven, or skillet. 

For this air fryer recipe, you can use peanut oil (preferred if there are no allergies) or vegetable oil to spray your air fryer basket. Then lightly brush on or spray the chicken pieces with oil before placing them in the air fryer.

What do you coat the chicken in before air frying?

Follow these 3 steps for coating soul food Southern fried chicken:

  • First – coat the chicken in the soul food seasoned flour.
  • Second – dip the chicken in the buttermilk and egg mixture.
  • Third –  Transfer the chicken to a final coating of flour.

Not crispy?

Why does fried chicken become soggy underneath the breading?

Do you wash your chicken?

Yes, but to avoid soggy chicken, make sure it’s dry before dredging it. Excessive moisture from damp or thawing chicken will make the flour soggy, preventing it from adhering correctly. 

Why is my air-fried chicken not crispy?

Be careful not to overcoat the chicken in oil. You want just enough to evenly coat the flour but not make the batter soggy.

Instead, lightly brush or spray the oil to get the crispiest results.

Soul Food Fried Chicken In The Air Fryer

Does the air fryer cook the chicken quicker than traditional frying?

Yes, the air fryer does cook the chicken faster than the traditional frying process. 

Air frying also cooks more evenly than deep-frying because there are no hot spots. As a result, you can get crispy Southern fried chicken while still keeping your meat moist!

If you’re using almond flour for this recipe, keep an eye on the chicken while it’s air frying, as almond flour tends to cook faster than other wheat flour.

Should you marinate the chicken before dredging it?

Yes, you can marinate the chicken in buttermilk from 1 hour to overnight before dredging it.

Check out this air fryer crispy chicken recipe HERE, where the chicken sits in a buttermilk marinade for only 20 minutes instead of 24 hours with an Instant Pot!

When you say let it sit in the buttermilk, what do you exactly mean by this? Do you mean after you dredge it with flour and then dip it in the buttermilk?

Optionally, the chicken can be soaked in buttermilk (let it sit) from 1 hour to overnight before dredging it with flour.

Why do you soak fried chicken in buttermilk?

The acidity in the buttermilk brine helps to tenderize the chicken meat. So you soak the chicken when it’s raw before it’s fried.

Fried chicken in the air fryer with flour

Why flip the chicken when preparing fried chicken in the air fryer?

You should flip the chicken (chicken wings, chicken thighs, chicken breast, drumsticks, etc.) over halfway through cooking so that it cooks evenly on both sides. This will ensure maximum taste and flavor! 

If you’re preparing a Kosher recipe, are there any substitutes for buttermilk?

Milk itself doesn’t add much flavor to your chicken, even when marinating.

You see, marinating chicken in buttermilk is not for flavor – but rather, the acidity is used to tenderize the meat.

So, you can easily substitute water for milk to make this a Kosher recipe (still add the ½ a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar).

You can also use Kosher salt.

How should you store and reheat leftovers?

Can you put the chicken in the oven after air frying to stay warm?

Yes, but you won’t have to because air fryers have a warmer setting, too! So the best way to reheat fried chicken is on the warm setting in the air fryer to preserve the crispy skin.

Can you use frozen chicken for this air fryer soul food Southern fried chicken recipe?

Yes, but there are other steps involved. So this recipe calls for already thawed chicken.

What do you think of this Black folks’ soul food air fryer Southern fried chicken recipe?

Leave your answer in a comment below!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!

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Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken Recipe In The Air Fryer
Black Folks Soul Food Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken

Black Folks Soul Food Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken

Do air fryers work for soul food Southern fried chicken?
Yes, and you won't believe how good and crispy chicken is when it's air fryer Southern fried chicken! A soul food Southern fried chicken recipe is a unique, flavorful dish that Black folks created and perfected – and here's how to cook it in an air fryer!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 6
Calories: 223kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces chicken
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil cooking sprayfor brushing or spraying on the chicken
  • ½ cup buttermilk ½ cup of buttermilk = ½ cup of milk & ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
    Southern Fried Chicken Recipe: Mix the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl
  • Rub the seasoning mixture all over each piece of chicken.
    Rub the seasoning mixture on each piece of chicken and set the chicken aside for 15 minutes to soak in the spices.
  • Place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl or 1-gallon resealable food storage bag.
    Place 1 cup of the divided flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper in a medium-size mixing bowl or 1-gallon resealable food storage bag.
  • Shake (or mix) the sealed bag to combine the ingredients for a homemade poultry seasoning, and set the flour mixture aside.
  • Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside.
    Pour the second cup of flour into a second resealable bag (or medium-sized mixing bowl) and set it aside.
  • In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, and set that mixture aside too.
    In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg, and set that mixture aside too.
  • The chicken will go through a 3-step process from here.
  • First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly.
    First, place the chicken in the bag (or bowl) of seasoned flour and shake or toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  • Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture.
    Second, shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture.
  • Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated.
    Third, transfer the chicken to the last bag (or bowl) of flour and shake or toss until it’s very well coated.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the bag (or bowl) and lightly brush or spray the chicken with peanut oil or vegetable oil.
  • If using an air fryer with a basket, spray the basket with peanut oil or vegetable oil.
  • Place the chicken into the air fryer, making sure it’s skin-side up. It’s okay if the chicken pieces touch; just don’t overcrowd them.
  • Air fry at 360 degrees F for a total of 20 minutes.
  • Halfway through, after about 10 minutes have passed, flip the chicken over in the air fryer and return to cooking.
    Halfway through, after about 10 minutes have passed, flip the chicken over in the air fryer and return to cooking.
  • Air fry at 360 degrees for the remaining 10 minutes or until the chicken is golden-brown and crisp all over.
  • Serve air fryer soul food Southern fried chicken right away, and enjoy!
    Serve air fryer soul food Southern fried chicken right away, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Some Southern cooks like to use a baking sheet or a large bowl to separate the dark meat and white meat. They dredge the dark meat first, fry, and then dredge the remaining chicken (the white meat) and fry.
  • What else can you use to season the flour? Other than a sprinkle of salt and pepper, some Southern fried chicken recipes even call for cornstarch to thicken the batter for extra crunch or hot sauce for more heat!
Black Folks Soul Food Southern Fried Chicken In The Air Fryer Recipe Card by The Soul Food Pot

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 615mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg
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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this!

  2. Ronald Gagnon says:

    5 stars
    I love non greasy chicken