How to Make It
Pat pickles very dry with paper towels. Cut any spears that are too thick in half lengthwise to create 1/2-inch thick spears. Combine flour and pepper in a shallow dish. Whisk together buttermilk and egg in a second shallow dish. Stir together panko and ranch dressing mix in a third shallow dish. Dredge pickles in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in buttermilk mixture, and dredge in panko mixture, pressing to coat evenly.
Working in batches, place pickles spears in a single layer in an air fryer basket lightly coated with cooking spray. Spray tops of pickles with cooking spray, if desired, for more browning. Cook at 400°F until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining pickle spears. Sprinkle with chives, and serve with your favorite ranch dressing, if desired.