Air Fryer Cornish Hen

I recently bought an Air Fryer, and I’m in love. It’s like a stove and a microwave had a baby. I have used it almost every night, and even lost a few pounds (yea me). Food comes out so crispy even though you don’t use oil. You use spray oil instead. And since spray oil is calorie free, fat free, sodium free, and carb free – it will become your new best friend.


You can also bake in an Air Fryer, but I’m not that much into baking. I’ll try it soon.


Lately, I’ve make chicken wings, fries, chicken breasts several ways (plain, breaded, parmesan, etc.), veggies, but this Cornish Hen recipe is one of my favorites to cook in the stove, so I had to try it in the Air Fryer. I did not miss my stove!



I like to brine the Cornish hen for an hour or two to give it some much needed flavor.


After brining, I also put compound butter under the skin before I cook it. Those two things are magic. You can do the same for a large chicken or a turkey, you will need just double the ingredients.



Just before you are ready to cook, you should preheat the Air Fryer for a few minutes. And when the Air Fryer is ready, you should spray the Air Fryer’s basket and then the food with spray oil. Then I cook the Cornish hen at 390 for 25 minutes. When it’s done, I take the basket out and place a piece of tin foil over the hen and let it rest for a few minutes. I hope you enjoy.



Hint: I use the same “butter” for a lot of different meals, so I make more than what is needed for this recipe and keep it in the fridge so it’s ready to go when I need it. This is awesome tossed with veggies before (and even after) you Air Fry them. You can use a small dollop on a cooked steak too.


Prep Time 1-2 hrs| Cook Time 25 mins


  • Cornish hen
  • Fresh Herbs (Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley)(any fresh or dry herbs)
  • 6 cups of water (enough to submerge one Cornish hen)
  • Ice
  • Heaping tablespoon of Brown Sugar
  • Tablespoon Salt
  • Tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • Spray Oil
  • Tablespoon I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
  • Gallon bag & a bowl
  • Tinfoil
  • Air Fryer
  • Pot
  • 2  cuttings boards (1 for raw chicken, 1 for everything else)



  1. Separate the herbs into two piles. One for the Brine and one for the butter
  2. In a pot, add water and bring it to a boil
  3. Once it boils, add the brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, and herbs (or a tablespoon of dry herbs, rub in palms to break them open)
  4. Cook for 5 minutes
  5. Take the pot off the stove and add ice to cool it down
  6. Place a gallon bag into a bowl (in case it leaks)
  7. Remove the Cornish hen from its plastic container
  8. Remove giblets if there are any
  9. Rinse the Cornish hen
  10. Loosen the skin of the Cornish Hen (do not tear)
  11. Place the Cornish Hen in the gallon bag
  12. Add more water if needed to cover the entire Cornish hen
  13. Close the bag and put the bowl in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours


  1. Remove the leaves off the stems of the fresh herbs and discard the stems and use the leaves only
  2. Chop up the leaves finely (if you use dry herbs
  3. Put I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in a bowl and add the herbs (or a tablespoon of dry herbs, rub in palms to break them open)
  4. Leave it on the counter for an hour


  1. Preheat the Air Fryer at 390 for 5 minutes
  2. Remove the Cornish hen from the gallon bag and discard the bag and the brine
  3. Rub the “butter” under the Cornish hen’s skin on the breasts and legs
  4. Spray the Air Fryer’s basket with spray oil
  5. Place the Cornish hen in the Air Fryer’s basket, breast side up, and spray it with spray oil
  6. Cook the Cornish hen for about 25 minutes, spraying it 1 to 2 times
  7. Take the basket out and put a piece of tin foil over the hen and let it rest for a few minutes.

I served this with a side salad, but any side will do.

20191001_193828I hope you enjoy. If you make this recipe, or any of the recipes, please let me know your thoughts.

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