Remove the game hen to a plate and add the onion slices to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot to get the brown bits up. Much like a rotisserie chicken, this Instant Pot Mini – Cornish Game Hen cooked in the 3 quart electric pressure cooker, comes out juicy and tender.

To reheat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place shredded chicken on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. Bake for about 15 minutes until heated through, and serve immediately. Finally, remove the hens from slow cooker and place them under the broiler to brown and crisp up the skin before serving. This step is optional but recommended. Insert 2 lemon wedges, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and about 4 garlic cloves into the cavity of each hen.


The USDA recommends cooking poultry, including Cornish hen, to an internal temperature between 165F to 180F depending on the desired doneness. Cornish game hens are a tiny chicken breed hailing from Cornwall County. Grilling takes about 20 minutes, while slow cooking Cornish hens takes around 5 to 7 hours.

Cooking Cornish Game HensCook in a 350 degree oven for minutes, these cook very fast when halved. The Cornish hens are done cooking when an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F. While you do treat these like chicken, you cannot get the thigh area to 185°F like you do with chicken, the breasts will turn into dry sawdust. Pat Cornish Game Hens dry with a paper towel, drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on a large, heavy duty baking sheet.

Seasoning for your Air Fryer Cornish hens

Left it in the brine for almost a day before cooking. Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts.

Tools used to make this recipe

I grew up on a farm and butchered chickens every year; Cornish, fryers, and broilers. A Cornish game hen is typically a Rock Cornish, and they will get large if not butchered at the right time. The only change we made was to add a teaspoon each of rosemary and fennel to the brine.