Keto Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer
Keto fried chicken in the air fryer is a low carb version of a classic southern recipe. Stick to your diet while enjoying crispy, chicken packed full of flavor!
Is there anything better than a crunchy piece of fried chicken? It’s hard to imagine a more delicious food. Unfortunately, most versions are calorie and carb bombs thanks to a generous dredge through flour and being deep fried in oil.
Our Keto Fried Chicken recipe cuts the carbs thanks to a keto friendly substitute for breadcrumbs and lowers the calories thanks to frying it up in the air fryer. Your taste buds won’t know the difference but your waistline and health will be grateful for this classic remake.
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What You’ll Need
- Chicken – Any combination of breasts, thighs, and legs or just use your preferred cut. We use bone-in with skin intact for this recipe. If you use other cuts, you may need to adjust the cooking time to avoid over or under cooking the chicken.
- Crushed pork rinds – Pork rinds are keto-friendly substitutes for panko breadcrumbs. If you prefer, you can use an equal substitution of almond flour in place of the pork rinds. For a slightly different flavor, you could use a mixture of Parmesan cheese and almond flour instead.
- Almond flour – This keto friendly flour that heats well in the air fryer.
- Spices – You’ll need salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper.
- Eggs and water- The chicken gets dredged in this combination to help the pork rinds stick to it.
- Cooking spray – Whatever kind you have on hand is fine or you could use oil in a spray bottle if you prefer.
How to Make It
Prepare the breading and eggs. Combine the pork rinds, almond flour, salt, and spices in a shallow bowl or a large plate. Crack the eggs into a different shallow bowl and add the water. Mix the water and egg with a fork or whisk.
Coat the chicken pieces. One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture. Roll the dipped piece in the flour mixture until it is well coated. Though you can use tongs if you prefer, it is easiest to get the pieces fully coated using your hands. Set the pieces aside as you finish coating them.
Place chicken in the air fryer. When all the pieces are coated, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray and place them in the basket of your air fryer. You can cook as many as you can fit in the basket at a time without overcrowding them. Give each piece enough space during cooking so the air completely surrounds each piece.
Cook the chicken. Cook for 9 minutes and then carefully turn the chicken pieces over and cook for an additional 9 minutes. Depending on your air fryer, you may need to set the time to 18 minutes and then flip halfway through. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 degrees F by the end.
Serve the chicken hot with your favorite sauces or side dishes.
Fried chicken that you can get at the grocery store or restaurants like KFC are not keto friendly. They use a lot of flour in their coatings and batters. We made our fried chicken keto friendly by replacing the wheat flour with keto versions for the breading.
Frying or air frying is fine for keto diets. It does not change the carb contents of the food. An air fryer helps with an low calorie diet for those looking to reduce their calories as well as their carb intake.
What is a Keto Substitute for Pork Rinds?
Pork rinds can be controversial in the food community, but we promise you when they are added to the breading, they take on the flavor of all of the spices you add. They won’t taste like pork rinds at all.
We like pork rinds because they give the chicken a crunchy crust similar to using panko breadcrumbs. If you don’t like pork rinds, you can replace them with an equal amount of almond flour.
Or, if you don’t mind a slightly different flavor, you can use a mixture of ½ cup grated Parmesan and 1.5 cups almond flour.
What to Serve with Keto Fried Chicken
Need some ideas of what to serve with this recipe? Here are some of our favorite pairings:
- Tex-Mex Coleslaw
- Keto Avocado Coleslaw
- Best Cauliflower Mash Keto
- Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fryer Zucchini
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
- Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
- Oven Roasted Cabbage Steaks
Keto Fried Chicken in the Air Fryer
- Combine the crushed pork rinds, almond flour, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper and pour into a shallow bowl or on a large plate.
- Crack the eggs into a second bowl and add the water. Whisk together.
- Coat each piece of chicken by first dipping it in the egg mixture, then rolling it in the almond flour mixture to coat it. You can use your hands to make sure the flour coats the chicken completely. As you finish with each piece set it aside.
- Once all of the pieces of chicken are breaded preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray 2 pieces of chicken with cooking spray and place them in the basket of your air fryer. See note 1 below.
- Cook for 9 minutes, then open the air fryer, gently turn the chicken over, and place the basket back in the fryer to continue cooking for 9 minutes more, or until the internal temperature of each piece is 165 degrees F.
- If you can fit more pieces of chicken in your air fryer without crowding it then you can add more. Only spray the chicken when it is ready to be fried.