Air fryer Cornish hen is a Whole30 meal that is ready in thirty minutes. It is also gluten free, dairy free, and delicious. This recipe uses only a few staple ingredients and makes for a crispy and delicious air fryer recipe. This post is an easy guide to learn how to cook Cornish hen in the air fryer!
Cornish Hen Ingredients
To make Cornish hen in the air fryer you’ll need one Cornish hen, about 2 pounds, and a tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil. The seasoning requires garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, and thyme. You will also need salt and pepper to taste.
How to Make Cornish Hen in the Air Fryer
Start this recipe by preheating the air fryer to 375 degrees F for about 5 minutes. Combine the spices in a small bowl and mix them well.
Place the Cornish hen on a cutting board and rub the oil over it until its evenly covered. Sprinkle the seasoning onto the hen and rub it over the entire hen, over and under the skin, until evenly coated.
Once coated, place the Cornish hen, breast side down, onto the air fryer rack and cook for 20 minutes. Then flip the hen and cook for an additional 12 minutes.
You may need to adjust the cook time up or down a little depending on the size of the Cornish hen. Once the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees, the Cornish hen is fully cooked.
Once fully cooked, take the hen out and let it rest for about 10 minutes to lock in the juices before slicing and serving.
Serving and Storing Instructions
Serving your Cornish hen with a side of roasted veggies and rice is one of my favorite ways to go. It also works well with the classic mashed potatoes and corn sides. You can also let it cool and shred or slice it and use it as the protein topper for a fresh salad or even tacos!
To store this recipe let it cool to room temp and place it in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will keep for around 5 days. Shredding the leftovers for a salad later on is a great option as well. This recipe works great as leftovers whether its on its own or sliced/shredded to add protein for another recipe or quick lunch!
Frequently asked questions
How is cornish hen different from chicken?
Cornish hens are eaten at about 4 or 5 weeks old before they’ve fully grown as opposed to chickens which have grown more. They’re more lean than an adult chicken with a lower fat content and are lower in calories.
Why make Cornish hen in the air fryer?
The air fryer is a great way to get a crispier, better seasoned skin on your Cornish hen. It adds to the flavor of the leaner meat of the Cornish hen and locks in the moisture.
Why make Cornish hen instead of chicken?
Cornish hens are more tender and tend to marinate and season better than a chicken. They have the same nutritional value with more flavor and cook faster with the smaller size.
Why do cornish hens taste different than chicken?
Cornish hens taste similar because they are just a smaller chicken. They are younger and therefore more tender when cooked and take a seasoning or marinade better resulting in a slightly different flavor.
Other Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!
- Air Fryer Bone in Chicken Thighs
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
- Dijon Chicken and Potato Skillet
- Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
- 1 (2-pound) Cornish hen
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F. for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the spices
- Lay the Cornish hen on a cutting board and rub the olive oil onto it on all sides. Then sprinkle the seasoning over it and rub into the skin and under the skin until it’s evenly coated
- Place the Cornish hen breast side down into the basket or onto the rack and cook for 20 minutes. Flip the Cornish hen to breast side up and cook an additional 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Remove from the air fryer and let rest for 10 minutes to lock in the juices before slicing or serving
- You may have to adjust the time up depending on the size of your cornish hen
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