If you’re looking for a tasty and healthy alternative to traditional fried chicken, you might want to try cooking Cornish hen in an air fryer. Air frying is a healthier cooking method that uses hot air to cook food instead of oil. It results in crispy and succulent Cornish hen without the added calories and fat from deep-frying.
In this article, we’ll show you how to cook Cornish hen in an air fryer, from preparing the hen to serving it on your plate.
Preparing the Cornish Hen
Before cooking the Cornish hen, you need to prepare it properly. Start by cleaning the hen thoroughly under cold water and patting it dry with paper towels. Make sure to remove any giblets and excess fat from the cavity.
Next, you can season the hen with your desired flavors. You can use a dry rub or a marinade to add flavor to the hen. Some popular herbs and spices for Cornish hen include rosemary, thyme, garlic, and paprika.
Once you’ve seasoned the hen, it’s time to preheat the air fryer. Set the temperature to 375°F and let it preheat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, you can prepare your Cornish hen for cooking.
Cooking the Cornish Hen
When the air fryer is preheated, it’s time to cook the Cornish hen. Place the hen in the air fryer basket, breast side down. Set the temperature to 375°F and the cooking time to 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of the hen.
Halfway through cooking, flip the hen over using tongs to ensure even cooking on both sides. You can also baste the hen with some melted butter or oil for added flavor and moisture.
Once the cooking time is up, remove the Cornish hen from the air fryer and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute, making the hen juicier and more flavorful.
In the next sections, we’ll show you how to check if the Cornish hen is done and how to serve it.
Cooking the Cornish Hen
Cooking Cornish hen in an air fryer is a breeze, but you need to follow a few simple steps to ensure that the hen is cooked to perfection.
First, place the Cornish hen in the air fryer basket, breast side down. This allows the dark meat to cook first and get crispier, while the breast meat cooks evenly.
Next, set the temperature to 375°F and the cooking time to 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of the hen. Keep in mind that air fryers cook food faster than conventional ovens, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Halfway through cooking, flip the hen over using tongs to ensure even cooking on both sides. This will also help the skin get crispy all over. You can also baste the hen with some melted butter or oil for added flavor and moisture.
Checking if the Cornish Hen is Done
To make sure that the Cornish hen is fully cooked, you need to check its internal temperature and the color of the skin.
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the hen’s thigh, avoiding the bone. The internal temperature should be at least 165°F for the hen to be safe to eat. If the temperature is lower than 165°F, you need to cook the hen for a few more minutes.
You can also check the color of the skin. The skin of a cooked Cornish hen should be golden brown and crispy. If it looks pale or soggy, you need to cook the hen for a few more minutes or increase the temperature of the air fryer.
Once the Cornish hen is cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve it. In the next section, we’ll show you how to plate the hen and suggest some side dishes to go with it.