You are going to love Air Fryer Cornish Game Hen. The tender meat is so moist and juicy. These small hens are full of flavor, and are perfect individual or fancy family dinner.
If you are not familiar with Cornish game hens they are basically small chickens. They are a cross between the Cornish Hen and White Plymouth Rock breed of chicken.
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They mature faster than regular chicken, and are rarely more than 2 pounds. Because they are younger than chickens, they have less fat and more white meat and less dark meat.
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I think these small hens are just perfect to serve for a gourmet dinner, or even a holiday dinner. But they are also simple enough to have on your family dinner table too. If you need a bigger meal, you can make Air Fryer Whole Chicken too.
What you need to make Game Hen
I make these game hens in my Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer and my Instant Vortex air fryer. Because they are so small, they should fit in even smaller air fryer baskets. Besides an air fryer, I highly recommend a meat thermometer. This will help ensure your meat is cooked to the proper internal temperature.
Ingredients needed to make this recipe are:
Cornish Hens such as Tyson Cornish Game Hens
The herbs I use are my favorite seasonings and make the hens have crispy skin and juicy meat. I used the same combination on my air fryer turkey breast. Of course, you can add other ingredients, such as garlic cloves, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, or any other fresh herbs you'd like.
How to make Air Fryer Cornish Game Hen
Using a paper towel, lightly pat the hens dry. In a small mixing bowl, add the herbs, salt, and pepper, to the melted butter, making an herb butter rub.
Brush a light coating over both of the entire hens, covering with the butter mixture. Place each hen in the air fryer basket, or air fryer tray, breast side down. I line my basket with parchment paper. It's not necessary, but makes for easier clean up.
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Air fry the hens at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, and then flip to the other side, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on the size. The hens will be done cooking when they have reached internal temperatures of 165 degrees F.
How do you know when a Cornish hen is ready?
Although the outside of the hen may be turning a beautiful golden color, it needs to have an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If you have slightly bigger hens, you may need to add additional cook time. A digital thermometer is a really useful tool when making air fryer recipes.
How can I get the skin crispy?
The butter herb mixture helps to do that! This perfect dinner has a fantastic flavor from the herbs too.
What can I serve with Cornish hens?
I love sweet potatoes, baby potatoes, cranberry sauce, just to name a few. But because this recipe is so versatile, you can serve any of your favorite side dishes.
How many people does a Cornish hen feed?
A small hen can feed 1-2 people. It's a little tricky to determine serving size because they are only 1-2 pounds. My husband can eat the ENTIRE chicken, if it's small enough.
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Air Fryer Cornish Game Hen
- Air Fryer
- 2 Cornish Game Hens
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp rosemary
- ½ tsp sage
- Using a paper towel, lightly pat each hen dry.
- In a small bowl, add the salt, pepper, and herbs, to the melted butter, making an herb butter rub.
- Brush a light coating over both of the entire hens, covering with the butter mixture.
- Place each hen in the air fryer basket, breast side down.
- Air fry the hens at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, and then flip to the other side, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- The hens will be done cooking when they have reached internal temperatures of 165 degrees F.
*Nutritional information is a calculated guesstimate. Please note that this can change with different brands and modifications you may make to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements you're using with each recipe.
This came out very good and moist. Thanks!
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it!
I have a square af. Also it comes with a rotisserie. How long would I need to cook it?
You will need to adjust the cook time according to the wattage of your air fryer. This recipe was made with a Cosori 5.8 and that is at 1700 watts, so you may need to adjust your cook time by adding or taking away a little time. Either way, it should be close to the same time within a couple of minutes I would guess.