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Air Fryer Cornish Hen

What is a Cornish Hen?

A cornish hen, also known as Rock Cornish game hen, are small whole chickens that grow quickly and are ready to be cooked at about four weeks old. 

These mini rotisserie chickens can weigh anywhere from 1 to 5 pounds and are primarily white meat, making them lean meat. These little birds also taste like regular chicken, though they’re a bit pricier per pound.

Cornish hens are bred for their very tender meat since the chicken is so young. They are either male or female, despite being called hens. 

Equipment used

To make this delicious air fryer cornish hen, you only need a few things. You will need an air fryer, a pair of tongs, and a meat thermometer to check for doneness. 

I have a 4qt ninja foodi air fryer which was the perfect size for a 1.5lb cornish chicken. I could even fit two cornish hens inside! It’s also perfect for my air fryer whole chicken.

Ingredients Used

raw cornish hen, chicken seasoning

Here are the ingredients to make this easy air fryer recipe.

  • Whole Cornish hen (approximately 1.5lbs): You can find it in many grocery stores here in the U.S in the chicken section.
  • Olive oil: You may also choose to use any other
  • cooking spraycooking spray or melted butter.
  • Chicken seasoning: I use my homemade chicken dry rub for this recipe. It is made of common spices and herbs that you most likely already have in your spice drawer, like garlic powder and black pepper. But you can also use your favorite seasonings.

How To Make This Easy Recipe

This cornish game hen recipe involves just a few simple steps.

  1. First, thoroughly rinse the whole chicken over running water, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Preheat your air fryer to 360F.
  3. Get a large bowl and spray the cornish hen with some olive oil.
  4. Rub the chicken seasoning all over the entire chicken. 
  5. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, breast side down, and air fry for 30 minutes.
  6. Flip with a pair of tongs and then air fry for an additional 10-15 minutes. Use a digital thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches 165F.
  7. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
homemade chicken dry rub on game hen

Storing and Reheating

To store leftover cornish hen, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it. You can also put the leftover pieces of cornish hen in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

You can freeze it if you would like to store it for longer. Wrap it up in cling film or put it in a freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer. It will remain fresh this way for up to three months.

Thaw the hen overnight in the fridge so you can easily reheat it. Then air fry it at 350F for a few minutes until it is heated. Check for doneness with a meat thermometer. A reading of 165F shows it’s safe to eat.

What can I eat this recipe with?

Like regular chicken, these delicious air fryer cornish hens are versatile and can be eaten in different ways. You can garnish with fresh herbs and eat with gravy or your favorite hot sauce.

You can use it as a meal prep for the family or even during holidays or special occasions. Serve this finger-licking air fryer cornish hen recipe with some cauliflower rice or in some delectable stew.

low carb game hen on a plate

Tips on making this recipe

  • It is always a good idea to make sure the chicken is dry before putting it in an air fryer, so it cooks faster.
  • Rub the insides of the hen with the dry rub so that it is fully seasoned. For more flavor, season the flesh under the skin all over the bird.
  • When checking for doneness with a thermometer, make sure the thermometer is not touching bone but flesh only. Bone tends to be hotter while cooking, so the thermometer might give you a false reading.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to cook a hen in the air fryer?

 

You should be able to thoroughly cook a cornish hen in the air fryer in about 40-45 minutes. But, of course, it depends on the size of the hen and the power capacity of your air fryer. If you have a powerful air fryer with a strong and effective fan, the hen will cook a bit faster than that.

 

Is Cornish hen healthier than chicken?

 

Cornish hen is comparable in nutritional value to regular chicken. They are a good source of protein and low in carbs, making them perfect for those who want to eat healthier.

 

 

Need some more holiday recipes? Try these!

Keto Cranberry Sauce

Keto Coleslaw

Shakshuka (African Poached Eggs)

Sugar Free Cranberry Almond Coleslaw

air fryer cornish hen on a bed of lettuce

Recipe

small cornish hen on a bed of lettuce

Print

 

Air Fryer Cornish Hen

 

 
 
Dazzle your family and friends with this insanely delicious air fryer cornish hen recipe! It’s perfect for a small family gathering and adds elegance to a special occasion.
 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
 
Servings 1
Calories 906kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • First, thoroughly rinse the whole chicken over running water, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 360F.
  • Get a large bowl and spray the cornish hen with some olive oil.
  • Rub the chicken seasoning all over the entire chicken.
  • Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, breast side down, and air fry for 30 minutes.
  • Flip with a pair of tongs and then air fry for an additional 10-15 minutes. Use a digital thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches 165F.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

This recipe serves 1 and contains 0 net carbs per serving.

 

  • It is always a good idea to make sure the chicken is dry before putting it in an air fryer, so it cooks faster.
  • Rub the insides of the hen with the dry rub so that it is fully seasoned. For more flavor, season the flesh under the skin all over the bird.
  • When checking for doneness with a thermometer, make sure the thermometer is not touching bone but flesh only. Bone tends to be hotter while cooking, so the thermometer might give you a false reading.

Nutrition

Calories: 906kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 78g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 455mg | Sodium: 1439mg | Potassium: 1085mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 486IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4mg

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