Ninja Foodi Spatchcock Cornish Hen
After reading and seeing the results of Air Fry Ovens I decided to see what the fuss is all about and learn for myself if one of these is worth the money. There are so many Air Fry Ovens on the market that selecting one was almost too daunting. After extensive research, I chose the Ninja SP101 Foodi 8-in-1 Digital Air Fry Oven which flips away for storage. This Ninja model is so versatile and easy to use that I often prefer using the Air Fry Oven over my wood pellet smoker grills, conventional oven, microwave oven, and my instant pot. To date, I have enjoyed cooking all the common items one associates with Air Fry Ovens and then some. I will be sharing many of my cooks in the days and weeks to come.
I started by spatchcocking a Cornish hen ... Spatchcock: Removal of the backbone with poultry sheers in order to open out flat the bird. This allows for shorter cooking times and more even cooking.
Patted the Cornish hen dry with paper towels before rubbing roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil under and on the skin. Seasoned under and on the skin with Jan's Dry Rub - See page 168 of my cookbook - The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook. Wrapped the seasoned spatchcocked Cornish hen with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.
Lined the Ninja Foodi sheet pan with heavy duty foil. Placed the seasoned spatchcocked Cornish hen breast side down on the sheet pan and set the Ninja Foodi Air Fry Oven Air Roast option to 400°F for 12 minutes. Flipped the Cornish hen breast side up and set the Air Roast option to 400°F for an additional 12 minutes to complete the cook. Rest the roasted Cornish hen for 10 minutes before serving. The Cornish hen was perfect - the dark meat and the white breast meat were extremely moist and flavorful.
Always cook to internal temperatures using an instant read thermometer. Unlike some recipes that call for the thigh internal temperature to be at 165°F I propose that you make sure to take the thigh to 180°F which is what the directions on the Cornish hen package calls for.
Served half a roasted Cornish hen with half an avocado and an ample side of Brussels sprouts in a creamy sauce with bacon. Believe it or not, half of a Cornish hen has more meat on it than you think. I used to smoke/cook 2 Cornish hens but usually wound up vacuum sealing and freezing the second Cornish hen for a later meal. If you have an Air Fry Oven you should try roasting a Cornish hen for a quick and delicious entree. If you don't own an Air Fry Oven, I propose you at buying one - you'll be surprised how much use you'll get out of one!