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Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast Recipe

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New to making breaded air fryer chicken? Does it always end up dry and tasteless? No more! You can make a beautifully golden air fryer chicken breast that is SO juicy it glistens. And it’s easier than you think! Keep reading for my simple recipe, helpful tips and more…

A real close up shot of a sliced juicy air fryer chicken breast on a plate with a fork. Set against a mottled white backdrop.

Breaded air fryer chicken breast

If you’re in the market for an incredibly easy midweek meal, you’ve just hit the jackpot! This air fryer chicken has a beautifully crisp golden crumb and an especially juicy centre.

And none of that coating with egg nonsense. This recipe uses olive oil for a better flavour and to keep things simple.

It pairs well with almost any side too! From air fryer chips to potato salad and rice. You really can’t go far wrong.

In fact, on a hot Summers day, this would be perfect alongside a tuna salad pasta. No need to switch the oven on!

Ever struggle to think of dinner ideas? Grab my FREE meal planning kit and learn how to plan 5 midweek meals in less than 10 minutes!

4 x Juicy air fried chicken breasts with a crispy golden crumb coating in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Set over a grey pewter tray on a light brown linen napkin. There is also a fork on the side and some scattered potatoes and chopped parsley in the background.

How long do chicken breasts take in an air fryer?

It depends on the air fryer you’re using and the size of your chicken breasts. But on average, they take somewhere between 10-15 minutes.

This quick cooking time makes them perfect for midweek meals!

A close up of someone holding a fork with a piece of juicy air fried chicken breast on a fork, over a plate of sliced breaded chicken. There is a bowl of small potatoes, a pot of chopped parsley and a crumpled light brown linen napkin in the background.

Can raw chicken be cooked in an air fryer?

Raw chicken can absolutely be cooked in an air fryer. That’s what makes it so brilliant for speedy meals.

In fact, this breaded air fryer chicken recipe does exactly that!

A close up shot of someone holding a piece of juicy air fried chicken breast on the end of a fork with a wooden handle.

Can I put foil in an air fryer?

Yes you can! Think of your air fryer like a mini fan oven. You can put foil in your normal oven right? So you can put foil in your air fryer!

This helps especially if you have a rotating air fryer like I do. If you remove the rotating blade and line the bowl with foil, the meal possibilities become endless.

4 x juicy air fried chicken breasts with a crispy golden coating in a baking tray lined with scrunched up paper. Set over a white mottled backdrop on a white board with a light brown linen napkin to the side.

Do you flip chicken in an air fryer?

If you want an evenly cooked chicken breast then yes, I would recommend flipping it halfway through the cooking time.

View your air fryer like a regular oven, just with hotter air. With that in mind, treat the food just as you would in an oven at a high temperature.

Someone sprinkling chopped parsley over some sliced air fryer breaded chicken breasts on a plate. Set over a white mottled backdrop, there is also a bowl of small potatoes and a light brown linen napkin in the background.

Why brine chicken?

To brine simply means to soak in salt water. Lean cuts of meat don’t have much fat. Fat is what adds flavour and keeps things juicy.

Chicken breasts tend to dry out very easily if not cooked properly. However, brining them not only seasons the meat throughout, it holds all the moisture inside once cooked.

For something that only takes 60 seconds of hands on time, you’ll be rewarded with the most delicious and succulent chicken you’ve ever tasted.

No brainer right?!

4 juicy air fried chicken breasts coated in golden breadcrumbs set in a baking tin lined with paper over a white chopping board. There are also potatoes, plates, scattered parsley, a light brown linen napkin and a small pot of parsley in the background.

Ingredients and substitutions

Confused about what ingredients to buy? Not sure about a substitution? Here’s what you need to know…

  • Chicken Breasts – Large skinless and boneless work best with the least amount of work for you. You could also use chicken thighs which are cheaper and generally have a better flavour.
  • Olive Oil – As always with this, use the best you can afford. The oil binds the breadcrumbs to the chicken but also adds flavour.
  • Breadcrumbs – I prefer to finely process a slice of stale bread here. Fresh breadcrumbs taste better, help to reduce waste and cut costs. However, pre-made like Paxo breadcrumbs (affiliate link) will work. Panko breadcrumbs (affiliate link) are better.
  • Salt – Table salt is absolutely fine, no need to get complicated here. Sea salt would also work great.
  • Pepper – I like to use white pepper as it adds flavour but not so much heat. You can use black pepper if you wish.
  • Garlic Powder – Brand doesn’t really matter here. Any garlic powder will do!
  • Onion Powder – Same again with onion powder, any brand is fine.
  • Paprika – Smoked sweet paprika is my favourite. It adds a beautiful smoky flavour that really comes through. You can get it in supermarkets but I’ve found better ones at TK Maxx surprisingly!
A front view of a sliced air fried chicken breast, showing the juicy inside. Set on a mottled white plate over a white mottled background. There is also a bowl of potatoes, a wooden handled fork, a pot of parsley and a light brown linen napkin in the background.

Recipe tips and troubleshooting

Here are a few tips you’ll find helpful when making this recipe.

  • Remember that all air fryers and chicken breast sizes vary. Once you’ve made this a few times, you’ll know what works for you.
  • Don’t skip brining if you can help it! Chicken breasts can dry out very easily. Brining them makes for seriously juicy chicken.
  • If you don’t brine, make sure to salt the chicken before coating.
  • Have a rotating air fryer? Remove the rotating blade and line the base with foil. Or you can just use a small bundt pan instead.
  • Slightly flatten any very thick parts of the chicken for a more even cook.
  • Don’t overcrowd your air fryer or you risk steaming. This could give a soggy crumb.
4 x Juicy air fried chicken breasts with a crispy golden crumb coating in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Set over a grey pewter tray on a light brown linen napkin. There is also a fork on the side.

Time management

Have limited time? Struggle with recipe timings? Or juggling around other things? Here’s some time managing info to make your life easier.

  • I recommend brining the chicken breasts for a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 6 hours. It only takes 60 seconds to do then you simply wait. The results are well worth it!
  • Think you’ll forget to brine? Set a reminder on your phone.
  • Want to brine before work but will be longer than 6 hours? Use less table salt (about 10g).
  • There is approximately 6 minutes of hands on time in this recipe. 1 minute brining and 5 minutes coating. They take around 10-15 minutes to air fry.
A front view of a sliced air fried chicken breast, showing the juicy inside. Set on two stacked plates over a white mottled background. There is also a bowl of potatoes, a cactus, a pot of parsley, a fork and a light brown linen napkin in the background.

If you like this recipe…

…you might also like:

Air Fryer Chicken Breast – Step by Step Picture Recipe

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

Ingredients

Here is what you will need to serve 2. Brining is optional, but highly recommended, for optimum juiciness!

For the brine (optional)

  • 500ml (2 Cups) Lukewarm Water
  • 15g (2.5 tsp) Table Salt

For the chicken

  • 2 x Large Chicken Breasts (skinless and boneless)
  • 50g (1 Cup) Fresh Breadcrumbs *
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil

Essential equipment

  • Large bowl (if brining)
  • Large dish
  • Air Fryer #

*1 x slice of stale bread blitzed finely in a food processor works best. Pre-made will also work but you may need more than 50g/1 Cup to completely coat the chicken.

#Only have a rotating air fryer? Remove the rotating blade and line with foil instead.

Brining Instructions (optional)

If you are brining the chicken, pour the lukewarm water (500ml | 2 Cups) into a large bowl and stir in the salt (15g | 2.5 tsp).

Add the chicken, (2 x large skinless boneless breasts) cover and leave for a minimum of 3 hours. Or refrigerate and leave for a maximum of 6 hours.

2 large chicken breasts in a bowl of salt water (brine).

Drain the chicken when you are ready to cook. Then rinse well under a cold tap and pat dry with kitchen roll.

2 large chicken breasts on a white chopping board over a kitchen worktop.

Cooking Instructions

If you didn’t brine your chicken, (2 x large skinless boneless breasts) salt well on both sides and leave for a few minutes to rest.

Add the breadcrumbs (50g | 1 Cup), salt (1/4 tsp), white pepper (1/4 tsp), garlic powder (1/4 tsp), onion powder (1/4 tsp) and paprika (3/4 tsp) to a large dish and mix well.

A large flat dish filled with breadcrumbs and seasonings. Set on a kitchen worktop.

Then pour the olive oil (1 -2 tbsp) over both chicken breasts and rub all over to completely cover.

2 x large chicken breasts on a white chopping board coated in olive oil.

Individually place each chicken breast into the breadcrumbs, and turn, coating evenly.

A large chicken breast in a dish of seasoned breadcrumbs.

Then place your coated chicken breasts into the air fryer, close it and switch it on.

2 large breadcrumb coated chicken breasts in a foil lined air fryer.

Air fry for approximately 10-15 minutes (the exact time will depend on your air fryer and the size of your chicken). Make sure to flip it halfway through for an even cook.

2 x cooked juicy and golden air fried chicken breasts in a foil lined air fryer.

And there you have it! Perfect air fried chicken breast. Crispy on the outside and juicy in the middle. What more could you wish for?!

Someone holding a fork with a piece of juicy air fryer chicken breast on a fork, over a plate of sliced breaded chicken. There is a bowl of small potatoes, a pot of chopped parsley and a crumpled light brown linen napkin in the background.

How to change up this air fryer chicken breast recipe

Now you’ve mastered breaded air fried chicken, it’s time to switch things up! Here’s a few ideas on how to do it…

  1. Change the spices in the breadcrumb coating. Think oregano, basil or even cumin and turmeric!
  2. Use chicken thighs instead. They’re cheaper and usually have a better flavour!
  3. Cut them smaller and make your own chicken nuggets.
  4. Add southern spices, cut them into fillets and use in fajitas.

Loved this air fryer chicken breast recipe? Pin it!

A real close up shot of a sliced juicy air fryer chicken breast on a plate with a fork. Set against a mottled white backdrop. A text overlay says "Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast"
4 x Juicy air fried chicken breasts with a crispy golden crumb coating in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Set over a grey pewter tray on a light brown linen napkin. There is also a fork on the side and some scattered potatoes and chopped parsley in the background. A text overlay says "Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast"
A close up of a sliced juicy air fryer chicken breast on a plate with a fork. Set against a mottled white backdrop.

Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast - Printable Recipe

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Brine Time (optional): 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 21 minutes

Make beautifully golden air fryer chicken breasts that are SO juicy they glisten. And it’s easier than you think!

Ingredients

For the brine

  • 500ml (2 Cups) Lukewarm Water
  • 15g (2.5 tsp) Table Salt

For the chicken

  • 2 x Large Chicken Breasts (skinless and boneless)
  • 50g (1 Cup) Fresh Breadcrumbs *
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil

Essential Equipment

  • Large bowl (if brining)
  • Large dish
  • Air Fryer #

Instructions

To brine (optional)

  1. Pour the water and salt into a large bowl and stir. Add the chicken, cover and leave for 3 hours (or refrigerated up to 6 hours).
  1. Wash well under cold water and pat dry with kitchen roll.

For the chicken

  1. If you aren't brining, salt the chicken breasts on each side and rest for a few minutes. Then mix together the breadcrumbs, pepper, garlic, onion and paprika in a large dish.
  2. Generously oil the chicken all over.
  3. Toss each breast in the breadcrumbs to completely coat.
  4. Place into your air fryer and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes. (Exact time will depend on your air fryer and how big your chicken is.)
  5. Turn half way to ensure it cooks evenly.

Notes

*1 x slice of stale bread blitzed finely in a food processor works best. Pre-made will also work but you may need more than 50g/1 Cup to completely coat the chicken.

#Only have a rotating air fryer? Remove the rotating blade and line with foil instead.

See the main post for a more detailed, step by step picture recipe.

Be sure to read the sections Ingredients and Substitutions, Recipe Tips and Troubleshooting and Time Management for lots of helpful information before you begin making this recipe. You can find them in the main body of this post.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 3480mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 41g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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Other tasty air fryer chicken recipes

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Jeanette

Sunday 7th of August 2022

This looks absolutely delicious. I’ve been hesitant about buying an air fryer for a few years, not knowing which one to buy and finding recipes the family would enjoy. I’ve looked on line, read reviews and become thoroughly confused. However seeing how easy this chicken recipe is and how moist it looks, I’m going to put my thinking cap back on reconsider. Thank you for your delicious recipes Emma, I’m a keen follower and look forward to receiving your recipe emails and share them with the family. Happy cooking x

Emma

Monday 8th of August 2022

Hi Jeanette. Aww thank you so much for your kind words! You’ve made my day :) I’m happy I could inspire you with my recipes! Emma x

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