Air fryer Cornish hens are delicious, juicy roasted little chicken that are done in less than 30 minutes of cooking time! They’re great for a weeknight dinner but also a little fancy if you’ve got a special occasion dinner!
What You Will ❤️ About Air Fryer Cornish Hens
- Done in 30 Minutes! Because it’s a mini chicken – it cooks quick so you’ll have dinner in 30 minutes!
- Easy to Season! This is my favorite spice rub for chicken and I use it all the time. This is like everybody gets their own mini rotisserie chickens!
- Delicious!!! This roasted hen has a delicious roasted chicken flavor. And it’s the perfect size for 1-2 people!
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- Cornish Hen – I can fit one in my air fryer basket or two in my air fryer oven
- A whole cornish hen serves 1-2 people
- Dry Rub Mix – coarse sea salt, paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, onion powder, white pepper, garlic powder, crushed rosemary
This recipe was made using the Paula Deen Air Fryer.
How to cook a Cornish hen in the air fryer?
Can’t you just TASTE the crispy skin on this air fryer Cornish hen from this super easy recipe! And there was no olive oil on this either! The skin on the hen just crisps up beautifully in the air fryer.
Here are the simple steps to a perfect dinner with this easy air fryer recipe:
- Remove Cornish hen from package, rinse and pat dry with paper towel
- In a small bowl – mix together all spices (salt thru rosemary) and rub spice mix all over Cornish hen
- Stuff onion and lemon chunks in the cavity of each hen
- Spray the tray with non-stick cooking spray. Place Cornish hen in air fryer basket breast side down.
- Air fry at 400 for 25 minutes – flip chicken over halfway through
- Check with an instant read meat thermometer in the hens breast to be sure the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- Let the hen rest for five minutes and the internal temperature will rise to 165 degrees. Discard the onion and lemon.
Tips, Tricks & FAQ
The only difference between Cornish Game Hens and a regular chicken is the size! A Cornish hen is about 2 pounds whereas chickens are double that. So – they’re basically just small chickens!
I always take my Cornish hens out 24-48 hours before I’m cooking. Keep in the refrigerator to thaw in a slow manner. If you need to thaw in a couple of hours, you can put it in a large bowl with cold water and change the water every 30 minutes.
After cooking a chicken, I always pull all the meat off the chicken and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also put the leftovers in a freezer bag and keep for up to three months.
For reheating, I usually use the leftover meat in a recipe like a casserole. If you’re reheating to make a sandwich, the microwave is the best way to reheat – it’s quick and won’t dry out the chicken. Just heat, covered with a damp paper towel, for 1-2 minutes.
- Fresh Herbs – you can always swap out some of the dried herbs for fresh or add other fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme inside the hen.
- Whole Chicken – use the same seasoning mix to make a whole chicken in your air fryer!
- Poultry Seasoning – skip the list and just go with poultry seasoning!
- BBQ Seasoning – Grab your favorite BBQ seasoning rub and coat the chicken with that instead for a delicious bbq chicken.
Best Air Fryer Accessories
Here’s my ultimate list of best air fryer accessories – whether you have a basket- or oven-style! I’ve also included a price guide as well as my favorite recipes for those accessories.
Leftover Chicken Recipes
I was actually able to have two delicious meals from this air fryer cornish hen recipe! I had a nice roasted hen dinner one night and leftover juicy meat for my salad the next day.
More Yummy Air Fryer Recipes
If you’re looking for other delicious air fryer recipes – I’ve got you covered! Here are some of my favorites:
- air fryer turkey breast
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Air fryer breaded pork loin sandwiches
- Air fryer chicken legs
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Air Fryer Cornish Hens
- Remove Cornish hen from package, rinse and pat dry1 Cornish Hen
- In a bowl – mix together all spices (salt thru rosemary)1 tsp coarse sea salt, 1 tsp paprika, dash red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp crushed rosemary
- Rub spice mix all over Cornish hen
- Stuff onion and lemon chunks in the hen1/4 onion, 1/2 lemon
- Air fry at 400 for 25 minutes – turn halfway through