The Cornish hen meat is really tender and perfect to serve to guests as a special meal. We got a lot of question on how long to cook Cornish hen at 400 degrees so the meat doesn’t dry out.
As there are many ways to cook this kind of chicken, it can easily go wrong if not cooked during the right amount or at the wrong temperature.
We’re going to answer all your questions about this dish and a special recipe that works every time, even the most picky eaters will love it.
What temperature should Cornish hens be cooked at?
The main question when cooking the Cornish hen is at what temperature it should be cooked at, so to have a tender Cornish hen the oven must be at 350 degrees.
Most people will heat the oven to 400 degrees but that’s a mistake and you will probably end up whit a dry meat, with the outside burned and the inside still uncooked.
You should only increase the temperature to 400ºF for the last minutes, so the Cornish hens can brown the outside.
How long does Cornish hens take to cook?
The cooking time will vary according to the weigh of the Cornish hens and the temperature of the oven. But with the oven heated at 350ºF it takes between 1 hour and 1 hour and 30 minutes.
For example, if the hen weighs under 1lb 2oz it should roast for about 1 hour.
But if it weighs over 1lb 2oz it should roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
You can also check if the hen is cooked using an instant read thermometer, as it should reach about 165ºF when inserted into the inner thigh.
How long to cook Cornish hen at 400 degrees?
If you don’t have much time and need to cook the Cornish hen faster, increase the oven to 400ºF.
The hen should take between 45 minutes and 1 hour and 15 minutes to be completely roasted. You can use the instant read thermometer to check the internal and it should also reach 165ºF to be fully cooked.
Cornish Hen Recipe at 400 Degrees
- 1 Whole Cornish hen about 1 1/2lb
- 1 Sprig rosemary
- 2 Sprigs thyme
- 1 Medium onion cut off in quarters
- 3 Cloves garlic
- 1/2 Lemon cut of in slices
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp Salt
- 1/2 tbsp Pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning or other to taste
- 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp Garlic powder
- 1/4 tbsp Red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Mix very well all the dry rub ingredientes in a small bowl.
- With paper towels pat the Cornish hen to remove any grease and season it with the dry rub inside and out.
- Put int a roasting pan the thyme, rosemary, garlic, onion and half the lemon slices.
- Place the hen in the roasting pan and drizzle the olive over the Cornish hen.
- Put the roasting pan onto the preheat oven and let it bake for abou 45 to 60 minutes. In doubt, insert the instant read thermometer into the hen thighs and breast until it registers 165ºF.
- To brow, increase the oven to 425ºF for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove the Cornish hen from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes before slicing.
- Cut the hen in half with a nice and sharp long knife. Slice between the breast with a steady force and use slicing motions until you have cut all the way trough.
- Use those delicious pan dripping from cutting the hen and the additional thyme, lemon slices and rosemary to garnish and drizzle the hen and serve over mashed potatoes.
How long does it take to cook a Cornish hen?
As we said earlier in this article, the cooking time will vary according to the Cornish hen weigh and temperature of the oven.
But usually between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes your Cornish hen will be ready to serve.
More around 1 hour if the hen is smaller, but can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes if the hen is bigger.
How long to cook Cornish hen in air fryer?
There are many ways to cook hen and using an air fryer is one of them, it’s also a really easy and simple way to cook it.
But, using an air fryer is much quicker than using an oven so you need to be more careful with the time. Always make sure to keep an eye on the hen so it doesn’t burn.
If the air fryer is heated at 380ºF it should take about 30 minutes for the hen to be cooked. The hen must be cook for about 20 minutes with breast side down and 10 more minutes with the breast side up.
But in doubt, it should also reach 165ºF internal temperature with the instant read thermometer. Don’t forget to let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
How long to cook split Cornish hen in oven?
Another way and the most common one to cook Cornish is using the oven but does it take the same amount of time to cook a whole Cornish hen and a split one?
Yes, it should take about the same amount of time to cook. So, as said before, between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes depending on the weigh and temperature of your oven.
How long to cook Cornish hen in crock pot?
Using a crock pot to cook the Cornish is a really good idea as it leaves the Cornish hen even more delicious and tender.
The time will vary according to your crock pot potency and the program you put it on. But, usually, if cooked low it should take about 5 hours and on high for about 3 hours.
Always remember to check the internal temperature to make sure it’s cooked just right.
Can you cook cornish hen frozen?
You should never cook frozen meat if you want the best results, as a fully defrost hen is similar to a fresh on.
After defrost, just make sure to always pat dry the thens with paper towel so the skin can crisp and brown. Otherwise you will end up with a mushy and soggy skin.
Hope you enjoyed this article on how long to cook Cornish hen at 400 degrees, as it should be between 45 minutes and 1 hour and 15 minutes if the hen is bigger or heavier, even though the recommended temperature is at 350ºF.
After all, one of the most important steps of cooking a Cornish hen is its internal temperature, as it should always reach 165ºF to make sure its cooked thoroughly but still tender and juicy.