We test deep-fried vs air-fried chicken

Based on 9 ratings

Ruby Goss

Senior Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

instagram.com/ruby.goss/

Difficulty

Medium 👍
85
min.
Preparation
15
min.
Baking
70
min.
Resting

Ingredients

Servings:-4+
1¼ kg whole chickens
1 l water
100 g salt
400 g flour
1 tbsp starch
1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
450 ml buttermilk
eggs
salt
vegetable oil (for coating)
2½ l vegetable oil (for frying)
lemon (for serving)
Metric
Imperial

Utensils

  • knife
  • cutting board
  • poultry shears
  • liquid measuring cup
  • 3 bowls (large)
  • plastic wrap
  • paper towels
  • disposable gloves
  • whisk
  • 2 baking sheets
  • pot (large)
  • food thermometer
  • slotted spoon
  • tongs
  • wire rack
  • air fryer
  • pastry brush

Nutrition per serving

Cal
1120
Protein
70 g
Fat
60 g
Carb
85 g
  • Step 1/6

    Break down whole chicken into breast meat, thighs, wings, and drumsticks or use your preferred, store-bought cuts—it’s up to you! Make an easy brine by mixing water and salt in a large measuring cup until salt is mostly dissolved. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl, cover with the brine and use a sheet of plastic wrap to cover the surface of the chicken itself, in order to help submerge everything. Leave for approx. 1 hr. to brine in the fridge.
    • 1¼ kg whole chickens
    • 1 l water
    • 100 g salt
    • knife
    • cutting board
    • poultry shears
    • liquid measuring cup
    • bowl (large)
    • plastic wrap

    Break down whole chicken into breast meat, thighs, wings, and drumsticks or use your preferred, store-bought cuts—it’s up to you! Make an easy brine by mixing water and salt in a large measuring cup until salt is mostly dissolved. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl, cover with the brine and use a sheet of plastic wrap to cover the surface of the chicken itself, in order to help submerge everything. Leave for approx. 1 hr. to brine in the fridge.

  • Step 2/6

    Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Now set up the breading station: Add flour, starch, smoked paprika, ground garlic, ground onion powder, and salt to a large bowl. Add buttermilk and eggs to another large bowl and whisk well. Season with salt. Dredge all the chicken pieces first in the flour mixture, then place onto a large baking sheet.
    • 400 g flour
    • 1 tbsp starch
    • 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
    • 1 tbsp garlic powder
    • 1 tbsp onion powder
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 450 ml buttermilk
    • eggs
    • salt
    • paper towels
    • 2 bowls (large)
    • disposable gloves
    • whisk
    • 2 baking sheets

    Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Now set up the breading station: Add flour, starch, smoked paprika, ground garlic, ground onion powder, and salt to a large bowl. Add buttermilk and eggs to another large bowl and whisk well. Season with salt. Dredge all the chicken pieces first in the flour mixture, then place onto a large baking sheet.

  • Step 3/6

    Next, add approx. 3 tbsp of the buttermilk mixture to the flour, and use a fork or whisk to incorporate it until you have a mixture of fine flour and small chunks. Use one hand to dip chicken in the buttermilk, drip off excess, and use the other hand (this way you end up with less mess on you) to toss through the flour until coated and shaggy-looking—the chunky pieces will become the crispy crust. Return chicken to the baking sheet and let sit for approx. 10 min. for the coating to stick.

    Next, add approx. 3 tbsp of the buttermilk mixture to the flour, and use a fork or whisk to incorporate it until you have a mixture of fine flour and small chunks. Use one hand to dip chicken in the buttermilk, drip off excess, and use the other hand (this way you end up with less mess on you) to toss through the flour until coated and shaggy-looking—the chunky pieces will become the crispy crust. Return chicken to the baking sheet and let sit for approx. 10 min. for the coating to stick.

  • Step 4/6

    For the deep-fried method, heat up oil in a large stainless steel pot, over medium-high heat, until it reads 175°C/345°F on a thermometer. Safely lower approx. 3 pieces of chicken into the oil, one at a time, using tongs. Cook for approx. 10 – 14 min, until golden brown and cooked through. Gently stir the oil a couple of times during the cooking process to rotate the chicken. White meat like chicken breast takes less time to cook, and should register at least 71°C/160°F internally. Dark meat like thighs or any meat on the bone should register 74°C/165°F. To test, lift a piece of chicken out of the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs and pierce with the meat thermometer. Remove the chicken from the pot and let drain on a wire rack. Continue with all remaining chicken.
    • 2½ l vegetable oil (for frying)
    • pot (large)
    • food thermometer
    • slotted spoon
    • tongs
    • wire rack

    For the deep-fried method, heat up oil in a large stainless steel pot, over medium-high heat, until it reads 175°C/345°F on a thermometer. Safely lower approx. 3 pieces of chicken into the oil, one at a time, using tongs. Cook for approx. 10 – 14 min, until golden brown and cooked through. Gently stir the oil a couple of times during the cooking process to rotate the chicken. White meat like chicken breast takes less time to cook, and should register at least 71°C/160°F internally. Dark meat like thighs or any meat on the bone should register 74°C/165°F. To test, lift a piece of chicken out of the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs and pierce with the meat thermometer. Remove the chicken from the pot and let drain on a wire rack. Continue with all remaining chicken.

  • Step 5/6

    For the air fryer chicken, heat up the air fryer to 200°C/400°F or to your air-fryer’s recommended heat setting for chicken (if it has one). Cook in batches, according to the size of your air fryer, for approx. 20 min. Halfway through the frying time, flip the chicken pieces and brush with more oil. Place cooked pieces onto a rack.
    • vegetable oil (for coating)
    • air fryer
    • pastry brush

    For the air fryer chicken, heat up the air fryer to 200°C/400°F or to your air-fryer’s recommended heat setting for chicken (if it has one). Cook in batches, according to the size of your air fryer, for approx. 20 min. Halfway through the frying time, flip the chicken pieces and brush with more oil. Place cooked pieces onto a rack.

  • Step 6/6

    Serve chicken with a dipping sauce of choice (try one part gochujang or sriracha and two parts mayonnaise) and lemon slices. Enjoy!
    • lemon (for serving)

    Serve chicken with a dipping sauce of choice (try one part gochujang or sriracha and two parts mayonnaise) and lemon slices. Enjoy!