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Air Fryer Juicy Cornish Hens

These Air Fryer Juicy Cornish Hens are cooked fresh or frozen with plenty of herbs and spices for full flavor. These mini rotisserie chickens are great for any dinner or holiday main dish.

air fryer Cornish hens, fresh spinach, and carrots on a white plate

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FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.

What is a Cornish Hen

Cornish hens rarely weigh more than 2 pounds each. They are a particular breed of chickens and are often referred to as game hens. The flavor and taste is a lot similar to chicken.

You can prepare Cornish hens the same way you would prepare chickens. There are lots of flavor options to choose from.

Each hen serves 2, so they are a lot easier to portion than a whole chicken. Simply slice in half.

I buy mine with the giblets removed. If you have hens with the giblets you will have to remove them from the cavity. You can read about How to Remove Giblets from Chicken here.

How to Make Cornish Hens in the Air Fryer

  1. Rub the Cornish hens in oil, poultry seasoning, thyme, smoked paprika, rosemary, and garlic powder.
  2. Place the hens breast side down in the air fryer.
  3. Air fry.

Cook Time/How Long to Cook

Cook for 25 minutes on one side, flip and then cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cornish hen reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.

Air Fryer Temperature

I use 350 degrees.

More Spices and Substitution Tips

Can You Cook it From Frozen?

Cook frozen birds for 20 minutes on 350 degrees. Open and season the chicken, flip the chicken and season it on the other side.

Cook it for an additional 20 minutes on 370 degrees, flipping halfway through.

air fryer Cornish hens, fresh spinach, and carrots on a white plate

Recipe Tips

  • Wear cooking gloves while handling the chicken if preferred.
  • Be sure to wash your hands and kitchen utensils really well after handling raw chicken.
  • Try to season every inch of the chicken to avoid bland chicken. Use more seasoning than the recipe suggests if needed.
  • Removing the chicken without altering the presentation can be tricky. The chicken will need to rest after cooking. If you are having trouble removing the chicken with tongs (without altering the presentation), you can always allow the chicken to cool some and then remove it with your hands.
  • Use any of your favorite seasonings. Common seasonings include poultry seasoning, sage, paprika, and more.
air fryer Cornish hens, fresh spinach, and carrots on a white plate

What to Serve with the Dish

Air Fryer Loaded Baked Potatoes
Air Fryer Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Air Fryer Roasted Asparagus
Air Fryer Garlic Cheesy Bread
Air Fryer Homemade French Fries

More Air Fryer Chicken and Poultry Recipes

Air Fryer Whole Chicken
Air Fryer Turkey Breast
Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
Air Fryer Chicken Breast

Be sure to check out my post on 20 Quick and Easy Air Fryer Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes.

air fryer Cornish hens, fresh spinach, and carrots on a white plate
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5 from 4 votes

Air Fryer Juicy Cornish Hens

These Air Fryer Juicy Cornish Hens are cooked fresh or frozen with plenty of herbs and spices for full flavor. These mini rotisserie chickens are great for any dinner or holiday main dish.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer cornish hens
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 530kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Place the lemon slices in the basket.
  • Pat the cornish hens dry. I use paper towels.
  • Rub both sides of each bird with oil. Sprinkle the seasonings and spices on both sides.
  • Place the cornish hens breast side down in the air fryer on top of the lemons. You don't want the legs to overcook.
  • Air fry for 25 minutes on 350 degrees.
  • Open the basket and flip the corn hens. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until your cornish hens have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer. If you like really crispy skin, adjust and add additional cook time as necesary.
  • Place the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, which is typically the chicken thigh area. I like to test the breast too, just to ensure the entire chicken is fully cooked
  • Remove the hens from the air fryer basket and place it on a plate to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting into the chicken. This will allow the moisture to redistribute throughout the chicken before you cut into it.

Video

Notes

  • I buy my hens with the giblets removed. If you have hens with the giblets you will have to remove them from the cavity. You can read about How to Remove Giblets from Chicken here.
  • Be sure to wash your hands and kitchen utensils really well after handling raw chicken.
  • Try to season every inch of the chicken to avoid bland chicken. Use more seasoning than the recipe suggests if needed.
  • Removing the chicken without altering the presentation can be tricky. The chicken will need to rest after cooking. If you are having trouble removing the chicken with tongs (without altering the presentation), you can always allow the chicken to cool some and then remove it with your hands.
  • Use any of your favorite seasonings. Common seasonings include poultry seasoning, sage, paprika, and more.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 0.5hen | Calories: 530kcal | Protein: 48g | Fat: 39g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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Recipe Rating




Carmen B. McCall

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Can I inject my Cornish hen prior to frying?

staysnatched

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Yes you can.

Cynthia

Friday 13th of November 2020

I made this last night and it was great! I was very nervous to try it but I put on my big girl pants and it came out perfectly! Thank you! :-)

staysnatched

Saturday 14th of November 2020

Wonderful! I'm so glad you tried it.

Mefortune

Sunday 25th of October 2020

I made this Cornish Hen in the air fryer and it was delicious!

staysnatched

Monday 26th of October 2020

Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

April

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

Actually tried this recipe today (minus the lemons 'cause I didn't have any) and this recipe turned out FANTASTIC!!! Best Cornish Hens EVER!! Next i will try this same recipe with a whole chicken!!

staysnatched

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

Yes! Whole chicken works just as well as cornish hens!

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

Just did this recipe minus the lemons 'cause I didn't have any and this still turned out FANTASTIC!!!