Cold "Fried" Chicken Bites (in an Air Fryer!)

Whenever my husband and I make plans that involve packing a picnic, he always requests Cold Fried Chicken, which is just fried chicken with a couple of special ingredients to keep the breading crispy when refrigerated, making it a perfect make-ahead dish for picnics. I've always used this Food & Wine recipe, which is fantastic, but I really hate dealing with used frying oil. So, when I finally bought an air fryer, one of the first things I tested out was Cold Fried Chicken. While the air-fried breading doesn't stay quite as crispy as its deep-fried counterpart, the results are still delicious, and the cleanup is a breeze (which totally tips the scales for me).


In addition to using an air fryer instead of deep frying, I've also adapted the Food & Wine recipe to use my Cajun Spice Blend because (1) we like the little bit of kick and (2) it streamlines the prep process. (If you don't want the spice, my Good on Everything Rub is a great option as well with all the flavor and none of the kick.) In addition, I've opted for all boneless breast meat, which I cut into bite-sized pieces. I've got nothing against dark meat, mind you. I just find that using all breast meat here means the individual bites cook up more consistently, and you end up with fun little bite-sized nuggets perfect for a potluck picnic.


Finally, keep in mind that this recipe requires a couple of days because of the long marinating time as well as the time needed to chill the final product before packing it up for your picnic. If I'm attending a Hollywood Bowl show on Saturday night, I will start marinating the chicken by Friday morning at the latest.


Ok, let's get "frying," shall we?



Cold "Fried" Chicken Bites (in an Air Fryer!)