Are you looking for a simple and delicious recipe to elevate your dinner? Look no further! In this article, we will show you how to cook a cornish hen in an air fryer, resulting in a crispy skin and juicy meat that will leave your taste buds craving for more. The best part? You probably already have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen!
How to Thaw Cornish Hens
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s talk about how to thaw your cornish hens properly. There are a few methods you can choose from:
Thaw in the refrigerator
Thawing the cornish hens in the refrigerator is one of the safest methods. Simply place them in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours, allowing them to thaw slowly and evenly.
Thaw with water
If you’re short on time, you can use the water thawing method. Fill a large bowl with cold water and place the packaged cornish hen in it. Remember to change the water every 30 minutes until the hen is completely thawed.
Room temperature is a no-go
Avoid thawing cornish hens at room temperature, as it increases the risk of foodborne illness. Always prioritize safety by following proper thawing methods.
How to Make Cornish Game Hen in the Air Fryer
Now that your cornish hens are thawed, it’s time to dive into the cooking process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your air fryer cornish hens:
Preheat the air fryer to 380º F for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, rosemary, and thyme to create a flavorful spice blend.
Rub olive oil all over the cornish hen, including the cavity. Season with salt, and then generously apply the spice blend all over the bird, making sure to get underneath the skin for extra flavor.
Place the seasoned cornish hen in the air fryer basket. Cook at 380ºF for 20 minutes with the breast side down, then flip it and cook for an additional 10 minutes with the breast side up. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
Allow the cooked cornish hen to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This will help retain its moisture and result in juicier meat.
- Use an instant meat thermometer to check the doneness of the bird.
- Letting the hen rest after cooking will keep it moist and result in juicier meat.
- You can season the cornish hen in advance and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Adjust the cooking time for smaller or larger birds, and always use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s fully cooked.
What to Serve with Cornish Hens
Looking for the perfect side dish to complement your air-fried cornish hens? Here are a few suggestions:
- Roasted veggies like air fryer broccolis or bacon-wrapped asparagus
- Roasted cauliflower steaks
- Air fryer spaghetti squash
- Loaded mashed cauliflower for those following a low-carb or keto diet
Feel free to get creative and explore other side dish options. If you’re wondering how many cornish game hens to serve per person, one per person should be sufficient, but you can always split them in half for those with smaller appetites.
How to Store Leftovers and Reheat Cornish Hen
If you have any leftovers, don’t worry, they can still be enjoyed later. Here’s how to store and reheat your air-fried cornish hens:
Store leftover cornish hens in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat in the air fryer, simply place the leftovers in the basket and heat at 400 degrees for 3-5 minutes without preheating or 1-2 minutes with a preheated air fryer.
If you prefer to use the oven, preheat it to 350ºF. Place the roasted cornish hen in a baking dish, add a few tablespoons of water, cover with foil, and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Cooking time may vary depending on the amount of leftovers you’re reheating.
Cooking cornish hen in an air fryer is a game-changer. It yields a crispy skin and juicy meat that will impress your guests or simply elevate your weeknight dinner. Plus, it’s easy to make with ingredients you likely have on hand. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds will thank you!
For more healthy air fryer recipes and ideas, make sure to visit Family Cuisine. Subscribe and follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date. Happy cooking!