These Air Fryer Chicken Legs are easy, delicious, and sure to satisfy any fried chicken cravings you may be having!
With crispy skin on the outside and juicy dark meat on the inside, Air Fryer Chicken Legs are so much better than takeout! Perfectly seasoned and air fried to perfection, these chicken legs are so close to the real thing but without all the grease and cleanup!
BETTER FOR YOU “FRIED” CHICKEN
These Air Fryer Chicken Legs are as close to original fried chicken as you can get without deep frying! Not only are they better for you, but they also don’t come with the mess, the excessive salt, or the grease!
OTHER RECIPES TO SERVE WITH AIR FRYER CHICKEN LEGS
- Homemade Ranch Dressing – If you’re searching for the perfect drumstick dip you can never go wrong with ranch!
- Garlic Ranch Potato Wedges – You can bake these wedges in the oven in about as long as it takes to fry these chicken legs!
- Easy Wedge Salad – This is my favorite salad and a great side dish to balance out fried chicken and potato wedges.
Chicken: This recipe uses 2 pounds of chicken drumsticks – which is usually about 7 or 8 chicken legs.
Marinade: We’re using a classic buttermilk marinade seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Coating: The coating for these chicken legs is a mix of flour, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, basil, oregano, and pepper.
Extras: Make sure to also have cooking spray and butter on hand. You can also dress these legs up with lemon and parsley for garnish.
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER CHICKEN LEGS
STEP ONE: Start by prepping the chicken legs and trimming any excessive skin. Once the chicken legs are prepped, grab a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and combine the buttermilk, garlic powder, paprika, and peppercorns. Add the chicken legs to the marinade in the bag and seal it. Place the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
STEP TWO: Spray the bottom of your air fryer with cooking spray and make sure it’s well coated. Next, in a large bowl, prep the coating. Combine the flour, seasoned salt, garlic, onion powder, paprika, basil, oregano, and pepper.
STEP THREE: Dip each chicken leg into the flour mixture and coat it well. Tap off any excess coating and place each leg into the air fryer. Repeat until your air fryer is full – making sure that the legs aren’t touching.
STEP FOUR: Close the air fryer and cook at 390 degrees F for 12 minutes. Use some tongs to turn the legs over. Then place a pat of butter on the meatiest part of each chicken leg. Close the air fryer and cook for another 12 minutes.
STEP FIVE: Once the chicken is done, take it out, blot it on a paper towel, and place it on a wire rack. Repeat the breading and cooking process until all of the chicken is cooked.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- If you don’t have buttermilk, that’s okay. You can make sour milk instead by combining 2 cups of regular milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar. Give it a stir and let that sit for 5 minute before using.
- Prep the chicken legs and leave them marinating overnight for the best results.
- To keep the first batch of chicken warm while I cook the rest of the legs, I pop the wire rack over a bakign sheet and place it in a 200 degree F (or “warm” setting) oven until I’m ready to serve.
- My boys like to dip their chicken legs in ranch dressing with a little hot sauce swirled in. My husband likes some chili flakes in there too for extra kick.
CAN I MAKE AIR FRYER CHICKEN LEGS AHEAD OF TIME?
I really wouldn’t recommend this. As with any fried chicken, these Air Fryer Chicken Legs are best enjoyed straight from the fryer! But you can still save yourself a lot of time by planning ahead! I recommend that you prep the chicken the day before and leave it marinating overnight! You can also mix the coating the day before and leave it in a sealed plastic bag. That way when you’re ready all that’s left to do is coat, fry, and serve!
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO REHEAT LEFTOVER AIR FRIER CHICKEN LEGS?
The best way to enjoy air fryer fried chicken legs would be to reheat them in the air fryer! Just make sure to grease your air fryer with cooking spray, place the chicken in the basket spaced out, and turn the air fryer to “reheat” or 325 degrees F for about 5-8 minutes until the chicken is heated through. Work in batches until it’s reheated. It’ll taste almost as good as new!
OTHER AIR FRYER RECIPES
- Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings
- Crispy Air Fryer Blooming Onion
- Air Fryer Parmesan Zucchini
- Air Fryer Green Bean Fries
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
- 8 chicken legs (about 2 pounds)
- 2 cups buttermilk (see note)
- 1 teaspon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter (salted preferred)
- Olive oil spray
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Pour into a gallon-sized food storage bag.
- Add the chicken legs to the bag. Remove any air and seal the bag. Place in a dish in the fridge for at least 1 hour to overnight to marinate. (see note)
- In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, bails, oregano, and pepper. Coat the bottom of your air fryer basket really well with olive oil spray.
- Dip 3-4 chicken legs into the breading until coated. Shake off any excess and then place them into your air fryer basket being sure the legs don't touch. (You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.)
- Cook at 390 degrees F for 12 minutes. Then use some tongs to flip the legs over. Place a 1/2 tablespoon pat of butter onto the meatiest part of each leg. Then cook for another 12 minutes at 390F.
- Once the cooking time is up, check that the internal temp is at least 165 degrees F. When the chicken is done, remove it from the basket, blot with a paper towel, and place it on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. (see note)
- Serve warm as it or with your favorite dipping sauce.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make sour milk instead. Mix together 2 cups of milk + 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar. Stir together and let sit for 5 minutes before using.
- You can leave the chicken legs in the marinade for up to 3 days in the fridge in an air-tight container.
- I like to keep the cooked chicken legs warm by placing the wire rack over a baking sheet. Then I place the pan into a warm oven set to 200 degrees F until all the chicken is cooked.