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Air fryer Nashville hot chicken is a healthier version of the classic spicy fried chicken! Crispy buttermilk-soaked chicken thighs are fried until perfectly crispy and brushed in a spicy cayenne sauce.
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4 from 3 votes

Air Fryer Nashville Hot Chicken

Air fryer Nashville hot chicken is a healthier version of the classic spicy fried chicken! Crispy buttermilk-soaked chicken thighs are fried until perfectly crispy and brushed in a spicy cayenne sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 409kcal

Ingredients

Fried Chicken

  • 1-1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Canola or vegetable oil spray

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (or more depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Dill pickles for serving

Instructions

Fried Chicken

  • In a large bowl, whisk buttermilk, hot sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, and several shakes of pepper. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, making sure chicken is fully submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate chicken at least 1 hour or up to 8.
  • Remove chicken from fridge and mix beaten egg into mixture until combined. Set aside for a moment.
  • In a large shallow bowl or pie plate, combine flour, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons buttermilk marinade over top and toss to combine.
  • Add the chicken to the flour mixture, turning and tossing in flour mixture until evenly coated. Allow chicken to sit in flour mixture 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spray the grate on a 4-qt air fryer and preheat 3 minutes at 400F.
  • Working in two batches, spray both sides of two breaded chicken thighs well with pan spray. Place in a single layer in air fryer and fry at 400F 10 minutes until chicken registers 165F, flipping thighs halfway through cooking. Repeat frying process with remaining breaded chicken.

Sauce

  • In a small bowl, whisk all sauce ingredients until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brush sauce evenly over hot fried chicken and serve hot with pickles. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken thigh | Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.6g | Protein: 37.8g | Fat: 19.1g | Saturated Fat: 4.2g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 298mg | Potassium: 155mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 4.3g | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg