Delicious Ninja foodi cornish hen recipe with super crispy skin every single time! Learn how to cook cornish game hens in your ninja foodi air fryer in just few simple steps. Ready in less than 30 minutes.
If you were looking for a way to cook cornish hens healthy way, without extra oil and butter, here it is! Perfectly air fried in Ninja foodi using aircrisp function, these little birds will make an amazing lunch or dinner!
Air fryer is just an amazing tool when it comes to cooking poultry. Classic air fryer cornish hen recipe can be found on our sister site.
One hen can feed 2 people easily. I can even share one bird between me and two kids and it will fill us up, if we serve it with a side dish. About it later in the post.
How to make Ninja Foodi cornish hen
Lay thawed bird on the plate and season it everywhere including the cavity. If giblets are not removed, take them out.
Season chicken with the spice blend i provided in a recipe card or use your own. Make sure hen is covered entirely in seasoning. Sprinkle some in to the cavity as well.
Now, place cornish hen in ninja foodi air fryer basket and close the lid. Cook for 25 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit. If you only cooking one hen there is no need to flip it because its enough air to circulate in the air fryer and cook it properly.
If you cook more than one game hen, please flip in half way through the cooking process. This will ensure proper skin crisping.
Once done, carefully open the aircrisp lid and using tongs pull the chicken out. Be extra careful, it may start falling apart.
What is a cornish hen
Cornish hens are just a breed of chicken and usually weight no more than 2 lb. They taste exactly like chicken too. Grocery stores usually carry them in a freezer and hens are rock frozen. I never saw a fresh hen in the store! Maybe some states has butcher shops with fresh hens, please let me know in comments if you found one.
Can you cook it from frozen
Yes you can. Cook frozen bird unseasoned for the fist 20 minutes on 360 degrees. Then open the AirCrisp lid, drain all the liquid from the bottom of the pot and season the bird. Its important to drain juices from a frozen cornish hen because they will create steam that will prevent birds skin from getting crispy. Only follow this step when using a frozen bird.
Cook for additional 20 minutes on 380 degrees.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Season every part of the hen to ensure that there will be no bland pieces. Spices I used are simple and very common when you cook chicken or any type of poultry. Salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and garlic powder.
- Add your favorite seasoning if you want. Thyme or basil will be great in this recipe, or lemon pepper seasoning.
- Giblets were removed on my bird. If yours comes with giblets, thaw it first and than remove.
- The internal temperature of all the way cooked cornish hen is the same as chicken It should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to eat.
- One cornish hen serves two people so plan your dinner accordingly.
To make a full meal out of this ninja foodi cornish hen, you will need to add some side dishes. It could be a vegetable salad or grilled vegetables like zucchinis or eggplants.
A classic steamy bowl of white rice goes so well with any type of poultry. Substitute it with brown rice for a healthier option. Potatoes pair well with birds too. Make mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes.
Serve cornish hens even with just chopped vegetables on the side. Keep it simple and healthy.
Fridge. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days, covered. It can be an air tight container or just a foil covered bowl. Reheat in your Ninja foodi on 400 degrees for 2-3 minutes. Can’t guarantee that the skin will get crispy again because after refrigeration it will be very wet and soggy. It will take some time in the air fryer to get skin to crisp but we can’t cook the bird again. It will become dry.
Freezer. You can freeze cooked ninja foodi cornish hens in a freezer safe bag or container for couple months. Reheat in the oven or air fryer.
More Ninja Foodi recipes
I have a large collection of Ninja Foodi recipes on my site. Here are some of my favorite:
- Ninja Foodi steamed broccoli
- Ninja Foodi pot roast
- Ninja foodi bacon wrapped pork tenderloin
- Ninja foodi frozen crab legs
- Ninja Foodi corned beef
- Ninja foodi split pea soup
- 1 cornish hen
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Rub cornish hen with spices.
- Place in a Ninja Foodi air fryer basket. Close the lid and cook for 25 minutes at 390 degrees.
- Carefully take it out and serve.
- The internal temperature on fully cooked cornish hen is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use instant meat thermometer to check it.
- Pat dry cornish hen before cooking. I used paper towels. Dry skin will crisp faster.
- Optionally put a slice of lemon and a quarter of onion in the cavity. It will add flavor and aroma.
- No need to use an oil spray bcouse the ninja foodi air fryer basket is non stick
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 611mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 29g