Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen


Home - Chicken and Poultry - Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
Indulge your taste buds in an exotic culinary journey with Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen prepared to perfection in the air fryer.
Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen straight from the air fryer

Indulge your taste buds in an exciting culinary journey with Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen prepared to perfection in the air fryer.

What makes this Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen so tasty and moist? The hen was first brined, spatchcocked, and then cooked in the air fryer to give it exceptionally crisp skin. This process may seem long, hard, and complicated, but since the bird is so small, it’s actually quick and easy.

Cornish Hens

Although often confused with regular chicken, Cornish hens are smaller and younger birds with a more delicate texture. Their petite size makes them ideal for individual servings, and their tender meat ensures a rich and satisfying dining experience. The problem with Cornish hens is that because of their size, they dry out very easily, and to prevent that from happening, we brine and spatchcock.

Brining

Brining in cold saltwater causes a chemical process called osmosis. Initially, the moisture in the bird is drawn out into the salty mixture. Then, brining causes a change in the structure of the proteins in the muscle. First, the salt causes protein strands to become denatured. Then, as the strands unwind, they form a matrix that traps water, and the osmosis reaction reverses with water moving into the meat, with the spices added to the mixture flavor the bird.  In simple terms, it means you get a moist, flavorful chicken.

Brining is what makes the holiday turkey so moist. But, since this bird is a lot smaller, it doesn’t have to brine for such a long time.

Spatchcocking Chinese BBQ Cornish Hens

Spatchcocking, or butterflying, means removing the backbone of poultry. Often the sternum is removed or cracked to flatten the bird. A flatter bird is a bird that will cook more evenly. An evenly cooked bird is a bird that doesn’t dry out.

According to The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson, the word spatchcock could be found in cookbooks as far back as the 18th and 19th centuries. It was thought to be of Irish origin, possibly short for “dispatch cock,” which referred to “grilling a bird after splitting it open down the back and spreading the two halves out flat.” 

Wikipedia

Air Frying Chicken

Air fryers are magical where chicken is concerned. The forced hot air crisps skin, unlike anything your oven or even a deep fryer can do. The only appliance that comes close is a broaster, which fries under pressure.

If you have ever thrown away the skin of a piece of leftover chicken because it was limp and nasty, cry tears of joy. The air fryer crisps even leftover chicken skin to perfection!

Chinese BBQ Sauce

Hoisin is a thick, dark, fragrant, slightly sweet sauce that is made from fermented soybean paste, fennel, red chili peppers, and garlic. Vinegar, five-spice powder, and sugar are also commonly added. Hoisin is commonly used in Cantonese cuisine as a glaze for meats. It’s often called Chinese Barbecue Sauce. You can usually find Hoisin sauce in the Asian section of your market.

What makes this sauce special is the addition of Woody’s Cook-in Sauce, a smoke-flavored sauce that has no sugar, which lends a deep smoky taste to the chicken.


Let’s Make Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen

Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen

Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen

Indulge your taste buds in an exotic culinary journey with Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen prepared to perfection in the air fryer.
Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings (slide to adjust): 2
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Diet: Kosher
Difficulty: Easy
Newsletter: 2023-08-31
Allergen: Soy
Calories per serving: 496kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Cornish hen

~~ For the Brine ~~

  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon corriander
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cup ice

~~ For the rub ~~

  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon corriander
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon smoked salt

~~ For the Sauce ~~

~~ Garnish ~~

  • 1 tablespoon cilantro sprigs
Ingredients necessary for the recipe step are in italic.

Instructions

  • Mise en place
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon corriander, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup water
    Mix the ingredients for the brine except for the ice in a small saucepan. Heat the sauce and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • 4 cup ice, 1 Cornish hen
    Put ice in a large bowl and add the mixture. Stir and add the remaining water. Test for temperature. Add the chicken when the mixture is under 40 °F.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen

Rub

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon corriander, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
    Mix the ingredients for the rub. Remove the chicken from the brine.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • Remove the spine and break the breastbone. Dry the chicken with paper towels. Put a silicone mat on the air fryer rack and put the chicken, back side up, on the rack.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • Put a generous amount of rub on the inside of the chicken.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • Turn the chicken over and put the remaining rub on the front.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 3 tablespoons Woody's Cook-in Sauce
    Mix the ingredients for the sauce.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • Brush the front of the chicken with some of the sauce.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen

Cooking

  • Put the chicken in the air fryer at 380 °F for 20 minutes.
  • At 20 minutes, check the temperature
  • Brush with more sauce and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Brush with more sauce and cook until the chicken has reached 165 °F.
  • Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting up
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro sprigs
    Garnish the chicken with fresh cilantro leaves.
    Chinese BBQ Cornish Hen

Nutrition

Serving: 841gCalories: 496kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 33gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 5722mgPotassium: 576mgFiber: 3gSugar: 55g
Got Questions? Let me know!Mention @arbpen or tag #arbpen!

What to you think?

Optimized by Optimole
%d bloggers like this: