Did you know you can be enjoying tender, moist, flavorful roast chicken in under 30 minutes? If you are looking for an easy entree to serve one or two people this Air Fryer Cornish Hen is a perfect choice.
Cornish Hen is a traditional favorite dish in England, often served for Christmas dinner. The cornish hen is an offspring of the crossbreed between white Plymouth rock and cornish chicken breeds. They are perfect for celebrating special occasions or impressing dinner guests.
The use of an air fryer to prepare the dish has recently become popular in America with many people finding it easier than cooking in an oven or on the stovetop. Cornish game hens can fit into many smaller air fryers that are too small to cook an entire air fryer whole chicken. The taste after air frying is similar to enjoying mini rotisserie chickens with similarly crispy skin. They do not taste gamey like other poultry classified as game birds.
Cornish Hen - Choose one that is between 1.25 and 1.5 pounds. If the packaging in the store is clear make sure to choose a bird with the skin intact. The little guy on the right has torn skin which was not ideal.
Olive Oil (optional) - Even though the skin will crisp in the airfryer without oil I do drizzle a bit on the chicken to help it get extra crispy.
Kosher Salt - Kosher salt is great for flavoring your food. It enhances the natural flavors of anything you sprinkle it on.
Black Pepper - Pepper is also a traditional flavor enhancer used with salt. It is a staple in most kitchens.
How to make an air fryer cornish hen?
This simple cornish hen recipe is one of the easiest recipes ever. It takes about 2 minutes to prep and cooks in less than 25 minutes.
Step One: Season the bird. I use a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.
Step Two: Preheat the air fryer to 400. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the Cornish hen inside the basket breast side down. Cook for 12 minutes. Flip breast side up and cook an additional 12 minutes.
Step Three: Check the internal temperature of the chicken by placing an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. You want it to be 156-158. You can then let the bird rest to come up to 160.
Fresh Herbs - I love using fresh herbs from my garden when they are in season. Sometimes I will finely chop them and use them as a rub and other times I will fill the cavity of broiler chickens with handfuls of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage.
Lemon Pepper - Most lemon pepper seasoning is dried lemon zest, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sometimes, citric acid is added to boost the tangy flavor of the lemon. If you choose a salt-free seasoning make sure to add a little salt.
Poultry Seasoning - If you have a favorite poultry seasoning you can use it in this recipe. Our favorite blend for chicken or pork is equal parts onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, with half a part salt. It is smoky, salty, and delicious on just about everything.
What air fryer do you have?
I have the air fryer lid for my Instant Pot. I own a ton of kitchen appliances and didn't have room for another (we actually gave away our first air fryer for lack of space) so having gadgets that can multi-task is very important. I've been very happy with how well the air fryer lid works!
Why air fry cornish hens?
The air fryer is a relatively new and innovative way to cook chicken. It is not just frying the chicken, but rather cooking it in a hot air stream that circulates around the food, ensuring an even browning of the exterior and crispiness. An air fryer also does not require oil when cooking food. I generally use a bit of olive oil to hold on to the seasonings but you can omit it if you want.
In conclusion, the air fryer cooks food in a more healthy way than frying while also cooking the food quickly. It is great for people who want to eat fried food but are trying to be healthier.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Cornish Hen
Chicken is so versatile you can serve it with almost anything. Some of our favorite side dishes are roasted sweet potatoes, roasted veggies, Caesar salad, or other steamed vegetables like broccoli or green beans.
How to Store Air Fried Chicken
You can store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Or you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer for 2-3 months.
In conclusion, the air fryer cooks food in a more healthy way than deep frying in oil while also cooking the food quickly. I'm sure this easy cornish hen will become one of your favorite air fryer recipes!
- 1.25 - 1.5 lb cornish hen
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 400 and spray basket with cooking spray.
- Brush cornish hen with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place breast side down in the air fryer basket.
- Cook for 12 minutes. Flip. Cook for an additional 12 minutes breast side up.