Air Fryer Cornish Hen

So……I got a new toy for Christmas…. An Air-Fryer!! I am over the moon excited. Frying without oil? No greasy mess or taste. I have already made two new recipes. Air Fryer Cornish Hen, that came out perfectly in just about 30 minutes.
Air Fryer Cornish Hen

I would say I scored in the gift department! I love trying new fangled gadgets. And “as seen on TV” this air fryer so far, has lived up to and exceeded my expectations.

My first trial with my new toy was French Crullers, which I will post at a later date. The recipe needs a few tweaks first.

Air Fryer Cornish Hen

So, for fried foods we all think of chicken….oh, hum……I thought Cornish Hen. Small, serves one or two, and I saw a recipe for deep fried Cornish Hen so it was a natural choice.

The recipe is pretty straight forward. Buttermilk soak, seasoned flour, eggs, and panko crumbs. Chicken fries crispier and is more tender and juicy if soaked in buttermilk before cooking, according to southern women or so I am told. I figured it would work with Cornish Hens too. I ended up soaking mine a bit longer than 24 hours……time management skills were off a bit….lol.

Air Fryer Cornish Hen

A breading station is easy to set up, messy, but worth the mess when the outcome is crispy, golden, and juicy. I purchased seasoned flour, not sure I will make the purchase again, as it seemed to have just a bunch of pepper. It wasn’t all that expensive, but not sure it was worth the extra $.

Anyway, egg dip, be sure to cover your food completely with the egg so the crumbs stick. Speaking of crumbs, I use panko crumbs for all of my breading, or when I want a crunchy topping.

Air Fryer Cornish Hen

Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for deep-fried foods. The biggest difference between panko and standard breadcrumbs, panko is made from bread without crusts. Crustless bread is coarsely ground into airy, large flakes which gives fried foods a light, crunchy coating. The flakes tend to stay crispier longer than standard breadcrumbs because they don’t absorb as much grease.

Using and air-fryer you need virtually no oil. I used a small amount of coconut oil cooking spray, just enough to let the crumbs crisp up.

Air Fryer Cornish Hen

I wasn’t sure how this would turn out having “no oil” to fry? The result was really amazing. The coating was crispy and of course NOT greasy. In short…. it was perfect!

The only down sides to my new toy are;
1. It is not a small appliance. It is about the size of my stand mixer.
2. The cooking area is not large for an appliance of its size. I said earlier that I made French Crullers and I could only fit 4 in the basket at the same time, so several cooking cycles were necessary.

The pluses are:
1. The obvious…oil free frying.
2. Shorter cooking times.
3. Clean up is super easy….no left over oil to try and discard or store.

Air Fryer Cornish Hen

All and all, it is a fun, easy to use toy……I can’t wait to try French Fries!!!

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Air Fryer Cornish Hen

Air Fryer Cornish Hen

  • Author: Marty Boyd
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 12 1/2 pound Cornish Hen
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup seasoned flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Eggs, slighty beaten
  • Coconut Oil Spray


  1. Rinse and place Cornish Hen in a ziploc bag with enough buttermilk to cover. Place bag in a bowl to prevent leakage. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
  2. Set up a dipping station with seasoned flour, egg, and panko crumbs.
  3. Remove hen from buttermilk, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip off. Discard buttermilk. Dredge hen in the seasoned flour making sure to cover the entire hen. Then dip hen into the beaten eggs, and finally coat with the panko crumbs.
  4. Spray lightly with coconut oil spray for extra crispy skin.
  5. Place hen in Air-Fryer and “Fry” for 30 minutes at 360 ° F. or until internal temperature is 165*
  6. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes and serve with your favorite side dish.


Depending on the size of your hens this dish can serve 1-2.


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