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cooked kfc chicken in a takeaway paper bucket

Air fryer KFC Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken Drumsticks

  • Author: Catherine
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8-9 Pieces of chicken


This Healthy Copycat KFC Southern Fried Chicken recipe will blow your mind! The Air Fryer Buttermilk marinated Chicken Drumsticks are juicy, crispy, tender and so easy to make! The BEST homemade Fried Chicken you will ever make!


Chicken Drumsticks:

  • Chicken drumsticks – 1kg /2.2pounds
  • Hot sauce* (Franks hot sauce works well) – 75ml / 1/3 cup
  • Egg – 1 x egg
  • Buttermilk – 250ml (if making your own buttermilk – 250ml / 1 cup of whole milk + the juice of 1 x lemon, leave for 5 minutes to thicken)
  • Vegetable oil for spraying the chicken


KFC Original Recipe Copycat Seasoned flour:

  • Plain/All-purpose flour – 272g / 2 x cups
  • Salt – 3 x teaspoons
  • Dried thyme – 2 x teaspoons
  • Dried Basil – 2x teaspoons
  • Oregano – 1 x teaspoon
  • Celery salt – 2 x teaspoons
  • Dried mustard – 1 x teaspoon
  • Paprika – 3 x teaspoons
  • Marjoram – 2 x teaspoons
  • Ground ginger – 1 x teaspoon
  • Ground white pepper – 2 x teaspoons
  • Ground black pepper – 2 x teaspoons




  1. Preheat prep: Preheat the air fryer (if this setting is available on the model your using)
  2. Buttermilk Marinade: Add the buttermilk, egg and hot sauce to a large bowl. Whisk until combined then add the chicken drumsticks to the bowl, stir and set aside to use straight away or for the best results marinate overnight in the fridge. (Optional – Check out the recipe notes section further down the recipe card for instructions on how to make your own buttermilk)
  3. Making the Copycat KFC Original Recipe Seasoned Flour: Add flour into another large bowl alongside with the all the 11 KFC spices & salt to make the seasoned flour. Mix until all the spices have combined with the flour evenly. Add 4 x tablespoons of the buttermilk marinade to the seasoned flour and mix. Little crumb will form which will help with the overall crispiness’ of the chicken.
  4. Dredging the chicken: Using hands take one drumstick out of the buttermilk marinade, shake of the excess liquid, then add to the seasoned flour. Use your hands to cover the drumsticks with the flour, apply pressure to ensure the flour adheres fully. Shake off the excess and place into the air fryer basket.
  5. Air frying the chicken drumsticks: Spray the dredged chicken drumsticks generously with vegetable oil, then air fry for 10 minutes at 180c/350f . After the initial 10 minutes of cooking stop the air fryer and turn the chicken drumsticks over to crisp up the other side of the chicken. Spray the chicken with oil to cover any flour patches. Then air fry for a further 7-8 minutes at 180c/350f degrees until cooked
  6. Serving Suggestion: Remove the cooked pieces of chicken from the air fryer basket and serve straight away.


How to make homemade Buttermilk – (if making your own buttermilk – 250ml / 1 cup of whole milk + the juice of 1 x lemon, leave for 5 minutes to thicken)     

Hot sauce – I like to use the Franks Hot Sauce for the buttermilk marinade

  • Prep Time: 8
  • Cook Time: 17
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Air Frying
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: air fryer, fried chicken, kfc recipe, buttermilk, southern fried chicken, copycat recipe, take out, take away, air fryer recipes