This Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich is EXACTLY what chicken sandwiches are supposed to be! This may not be “authentic” but it’s damn good.
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Here’s a fun little confession: I’m not an authentic Southern girl. I wish this weren’t the case, but it’s true.
I grew up in Central Pennsylvania, but when I got married, I moved to North Carolina with my husband and spent 5 years there before moving to California. Until moving to NC, I hadn’t even heard of a chicken sandwich, I mean, we just don’t consider them a delicacy in PA. I’d say this is rather unfortunate, to be honest. We are moving back to North Carolina in less than 2 months and I couldn’t be happier about it! Hellooo endless fried chicken sandwich options!
Anyway, all that to say that none of the southern food that I make is actually authentic, I usually add my own twist and these Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken Sandwiches are no different!
They’re kind spicy, pretty sweet, and not actually deep fried.
If you’re looking for a copycat Chic-Fil-A sandwich, this really isn’t it. But it’s crazy delicious, and really easy.
DO I NEED AN AIR FRYER?
To make this recipe: yes. In general? I’d say yes, yes you do! I’ve seen a lot of jokes around the internet about air fryers, comparing them to easy bake ovens and such. While I find these jokes absolutely hilarious, I think that everyone needs an air fryer. They’re not a frivolous kitchen gadget that you’ll toss into a cabinet and never use again.
I recommend getting the Philips AL Air Fryer. You can find it right here on Amazon.
After buying one on a whim, I found myself using it almost everyday and now I’m a pretty passionate fan of the air fryer. I use it to reheat foods, make frozen fries, and of course, to make these chicken sandwiches.
Air Fryer Southern Chicken Sandwich
- Air Fryer
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs trimmed
- 1 cup buttermilk *see recipe notes if you'd like to make your own buttermilk
- 4 cups corn flakes ground
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch cayenne
PREPARE THE CHICKEN
- 3 eggs beaten/scrambles
- prepped panko coating
HOT HONEY SLAW
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 3 tbsp mayo
- 3 tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch cayenne
YOU'LL ALSO NEED
- 8 potato buns
- 2-3 tomatoes sliced
- bread and butter pickles
- American or pepperjack cheese
- Prepare your chicken thighs by trimming the fat and placing them into a plastic bag or bowl with the buttermilk. Zip the bag or cover the bowl for about 20 minutes or overnight.
- To make the panko, place the corn flakes into a blender or food processor and pulse until course but not completely fine.
- In a bowl, combine the cornflakes, flour, salt, and cayenne.
PREPARE THE CHICKEN
- Get your air fryer ready by spraying the air fryer with an even coating of cooking spray.
- Get your panko and beaten eggs ready in two seperate bowls.
- Get your marinated chicken and place one chicken thigh into the eggs, then place it into the panko. Then place the prepped chicken thigh into the air fryer. Repeat this process until you run out of space in your air fryer (depending on the size of your air fryer, this will vary).
- Air fry for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Repeat this process until all of the chicken is cooked.
MAKE THE HOT HONEY SLAW
- In a bowl, place the shredded cabbage, mayo, honey, red pepper flakes, and cayenne into a bowl and toss until combined. Set aside.
ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICH
- Place a fried chicken thigh into a potato bun, add a little slaw, sliced tomatoes, pickles, and cheese. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Q: Do I need an air fryer?
A: Yes, for this recipe, you do. I recommend using the Philips XL Air Fryer, you can find it right here. I use it, recommend it, and honestly love it.
Q: Can I use sugar-coated corn flakes?
A: Definitely not. Please use only classic corn flakes. Sugar coated would probably make this taste kind of strange.
Q: Can I use regular buns? Or do they have to be potato buns?
A: I really recommend you take potato buns for a spin, and if you’re feeling crazy, you can toast them! If you want to use some other type of bun, feel free, I ultimately don’t think that it will take anything away from the recipe.
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