Air Fryer Chicken Liver

This Air Fryer Chicken Liver recipe is a lighter take on a classic deep-fried Southern snack. The results are perfectly crisp and creamy chicken livers, just as this delicate nutrient-rich organ meat should be!

chicken liver on a cutting board with potatoes

Can you cook chicken liver in an air fryer? 🤔 You sure can! They are usually deep fried in heavy oil, but these step-by-step instructions will show you how to cook lightly breaded liver with very little oil in your air fryer (or Ninja Foodi!). They come out crisp, golden, and tender every time.

The liver is battered in buttermilk, cornstarch, and simply seasoned flour, but you can switch things up with almost any blend of dry spices. Hot out of the air fryer, these chicken livers are nice and crispy on the surface and smooth and creamy in the center.

If you’re unsure where you stand with chicken liver, this air fryer recipe is a great place to start. And if you’re a chicken liver lover, air fryer chicken livers are guaranteed to please. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s quick and easy. Once soaked, these chicken livers take only 20 minutes to cook.
  • Keto-friendly. Chicken liver is an inexpensive, nutrient-dense, low-carb, high-protein option to enjoy once or twice a week.
  • The air fryer creates a deep-fried-esque crunch with a fraction of the oil.
  • Air-fried chicken livers are good for you! Livers are a great source of iron, folate, and vitamins A, B, & C.

🧾 Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken Liver – Chicken liver is packaged by the pound in plastic tubs and stocked in the poultry cooler. Be sure to source a quality brand (Perdu, Tyson, Bell & Evans, etc.).
  • Buttermilk – Brining chicken livers in buttermilk tenderizes the meat and neutralizes off-putting flavors.
  • Cooking Oil Spray – Using a quality oil with a high smoke point also helps prevent the liver from popping.
  • All Purpose Flour +cornstartch – A light coating of flour with cornstarch helps creates a thin and crispy crust on the surface of the liver.
  • Spices & Seasonings – This recipe calls for onion powder, salt, and black pepper, but chicken liver pairs with lots of flavors. Keep reading for more seasoning ideas.

📖 How To Make Chicken Liver In Air Fryer

1️⃣ Wash, dry, and cut liver. First, wash the liver thoroughly and let it drain well in a colander. Pat the liver completely dry with a paper towel, then cut it into bite-sized pieces.

2️⃣ Soak chicken liver. Add the buttermilk and liver pieces to a bowl, and let soak for at least 30 minutes

3️⃣ Preheat air fryer. Set the air fryer to 375°F, and let it preheat for 3-5 minutes.

4️⃣ Bread chicken liver. While the air fryer preheats, whisk the flour, cornstarch, and dried spices together in a separate bowl. Remove the liver pieces from the buttermilk and shake off the excess. Then, dredge each piece into the flour mixture until coated in a thin, even layer.

5️⃣ Cook chicken livers in air fryer. Add the breaded liver to the preheated air fryer basket and spray the tops with a light coating of oil. Set the timer for 20 minutes. At the halfway point, flip the pieces with tongs. Spray the other side with oil, and continue air frying until the inner meat is cooked to (165° and the exterior is golden brown. Remove with tongs and serve hot.

👩🏻‍🍳 Air Frying Tips

  • After washing the liver, be sure to clean and sanitize your sink to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
  • It’s important to cut the liver into the same size so the pieces cook at a similar rate.
  • Don’t forget to spray the liver lightly with oil. This helps the breading brown and get crispy.
  • Preheating the air fryer makes a difference. The liver starts cooking on contact, resulting in the ideal texture.
  • As with most air fryer recipes, do not overcrowd the basket. Instead, leave space between each piece so that the hot air can circulate on all sides and the liver develops a nice crust.
  • The exact time it takes to air fry chicken liver will depend on the size of the liver pieces and the functionality of your air fryer. After the 10-minute mark, keep an eye on them and remove them once the internal temperature reaches 165F and the breading is firm and golden brown.
  • If a piece or two pops while cooking, have no fear. It happens when air pockets within the meat expand and break the thin inner membrane. To help prevent this, piece the pieces with a fork and coat them with high-heat quality oil.

🌶 Variations & Serving

Seasoning ideas – Switch things up and season the flour with Cajun, blackening, Italian, ranch, dry buffalo, Old Bay, or poultry seasonings.

Spicy chicken livers – Turn up the heat with cayenne, chili powder, or red pepper flakes. Mixing your favorite hot sauce with the buttermilk is also an option.

Dipping sauces – These chicken livers are delicious dunked into various sauces. Try with hot sauce, gravy, blackened or habanero ranch dressing, buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard, and roasted garlic aioli.

Crispy liver and onions – A kid-friendly twist on a timeless dish! Serve your air-fried chicken livers with crispy onion rings.

Make chicken liver a meal – Serve with Southern-inspired sides like:

Storing & Reheating

Storing: Chicken livers are best enjoyed fresh from the air fryer while they’re hot and crispy. Store leftovers in a shallow, airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Keep in mind that the breading will become soggy as it cools.

Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing cooked chicken livers. You can technically freeze them, but the texture is never quite the same. Chicken livers are best stored in the freezer before cooking and thawed in the fridge immediately before you plan to prepare them.

Reheating: Reheating leftover fried chicken liver without making them tough and chewy can be tricky, but you can try returning them to the air fryer and reheating at 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes.

FAQ

Should chicken livers be cleaned before cooking?

Yes. Chicken livers should be rinsed well before cooking to remove the blood and bitter flavors. If any connective tissue is attached, remove it with a sharp knife, and let the liver drain in a colander until fully dry before soaking.

Do I need to soak chicken livers?

Technically, no. Soaking chicken livers isn’t a necessary step, but it’s recommended to help neutralize the metallic mineral tastes and eliminate off-putting flavors and smells.

Can I make this chicken liver recipe gluten-free?

This recipe was tested with regular all-purpose flour, but you should be able to replace it with a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour and achieve the same great tasting results.

Can you eat chicken liver raw?

No.

🍗 More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

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chicken liver on a cutting board with potatoes

Air Fryer Chicken Liver

Air fryer chicken livers are crispy on the outside and soft and creamy in the middle, just as this delicate cut of organ meat should be! These tasty morsels of breaded chicken liver are a great way to get the whole family loving liver!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings (1/2 cup each)
Calories: 247kcal

Equipment

  • colander
  • sharp knife or poultry shears
  • 2 medium mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Tongs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken liver
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstartch
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • quality cooking oil spray like pure avocado oil or coconut oil

Instructions

  • First, wash the liver thoroughly and let it drain well in a colander. Pat the liver completely dry with a paper towel, then cut it into even bite-size pieces.
  • Add the buttermilk and liver pieces to a bowl, and let soak for at least 30 minutes
  • Set the air fryer to 375°F, and let it preheat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the flour, cornstarch, and dried spices to a medium mixing bowl, and whisk until fully combined. Remove the liver pieces from the buttermilk and shake off the excess. Then, dredge each piece into the flour mixture, coating them in a thin even layer.
  • Add the coated liver to the bottom of the preheated air fryer basket and spray the top of each piece with a light coating of oil. Set the timer for 20 minutes. At the halfway point, flip the pieces over with tongs. Spray the other side with oil, and continue air frying until the inner meat is cooked through (165°) and the exterior is golden brown. Remove with tongs and serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 398mg | Sodium: 726mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 12663IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 11mg

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