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How Long to Cook Cornish Hen at 400 Degrees

White meat is not my favorite type of meat. I eat it, but I like to avoid it when I can. Many of you love chicken; otherwise, fast-food joints would be out of business.

It amazes me how many people eat Mcdonald’s chicken with fries. I have nothing against it, for I have also passed through there and ordered myself some crispy chicken and fries.

Although ordering fast food saves cooking time, I sometimes crave a home-cooked chicken. Something I have prepared to my specifications and I can enjoy to the maximum.


We live in a world where most people prefer not to cook but order takeout.

Supposing you are like me and want to cook some chicken at home, a cornish hen is the best chicken to start with.

It is young and soft, meaning it cooks relatively fast than the typical chicken. When cooking cornish hen at 400 degrees, cook it for  65 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on how crispy you want it. 

Also, Check Out: How to Reheat Sweet and Sour Chicken.

What is Cornish Hen?

A Cornish hen is a young chicken under five weeks old. It has lower fats than the usual

chicken, thus lower calories. It is a crossbreed of two types of hens, and people also call it the cornish game hen.

This type of hen is soft and cooks faster than the average chicken. This is because it has not matured fully.

Like any other type of chicken, a cornish hen is rich in proteins. They also have vitamins that help boost your immunity. They are healthier than matured chicken since they have lesser fats.

Cooks prefer cooking cornish hens for commercial purposes because they cook faster than matured chicken.

They are also softer and less chewy. Anything that saves on energy is good for business.


You might have seen cornish hen on the menu if you have eaten out recently. These small chickens are becoming more popular as time goes by.

Grocery stores and butcheries also sell cornish hen as demand increases daily.

Supposing you want to try out a cornish hen, you can eat one in a restaurant.

Better still, you can buy one in the grocery store and try cooking it in one of the ways I will share below.

How to tell if Chicken is done Cooking. Click to Read

Cornish Hen vs. Chicken


The main difference between a cornish hen and ordinary chicken is age. A Cornish hen is a chicken that is below five weeks old. Mostly, cornish hens are between four and five weeks. Matured chickens are twice that age.

Another difference between the two is size. Because the cornish hen is young, it is primarily small, and one person can eat it. a whole matured chicken, on the other hand, can feed an entire family.

Chickens are sometimes huge, and therefore butchers do not sell them whole. You can buy the whole chicken, though, if you want to. Usually, butchers cut the chicken into different potions; wings, breasts, drumsticks, and thighs. You can also buy a skinless or boneless chicken.


Cornish hens, on the other hand, do not have such options. They are small, and butchers sell them as a whole package. They are so tiny that it becomes hard to debone them.

These hens have large breasts. They are a high breed type of chicken and therefore mature quite fast. But since people eat them when they are young, they are mostly tiny, and you can only roast them as a whole bird.

People rarely chop cornish hen into smaller pieces, unlike chicken. You often find butchers and cooks cutting the chicken into different parts to cook other meals. This happens because the chicken is big enough.

So, you can cook a chicken in different ways. However, for a cornish hen, the best way to cook it is to roast it whole.

Can You Eat Chicken Left Out Overnight? Click to Read.

Where to Find Cornish Hen


It is effortless to buy chicken. Whether you want the whole chicken or just a part of the chicken, you can buy them in the grocery stores or butchery. What if you’re going to buy a cornish hen?

Cornish hens are not as popular as chickens. Even though they are becoming more famous by the day, it can prove challenging to find them, especially while fresh.

Due to their lower demands, butchers freeze cornish hens to last longer. So, when you are looking for them in the stores, you will find them frozen.


If you want a fresh cornish hen, you will have to talk to your butcher, who will order one. Supposing you have no problem with the cured and frozen cornish hen, you can go ahead and buy one at your nearest grocery store.

Cornish hens tend to be more expensive than chicken. They are hard to find, whereas chicken is available country-wide.

Sometimes you have to make an order and wait for the cornish hen to be delivered.

On the other hand, you can buy chicken in any store if you do not have it in your kitchen already.

The Best Method of Cooking Cornish Chicken


As I have mentioned, it is hard to divide a cornish chicken into tinier pieces. This bird is small, and cutting it will not work. You can, however, cut it into two halves to reduce cooking time.

The best method of cooking a cornish is by roasting it. This is whereby you season it and put it in the oven.

The oven should be preheated to 400 degrees. This heating will ensure that the hen will cook for the required amount of time. It will also cook evenly and without burning.

When you roast a cornish hen at 400 degrees, the results will be a soft and even cooked bird on the inside while it is crispy outside. Isn’t that the result we are all looking for?

Other than roasting this small hen in the oven, there are different cooking methods. Keep in mind that, in all these methods, the hen should be cooked whole.

The roasting method is the best method of cooking the cornish hen. It is the method that most people are accustomed to. However, there are other methods. Stay with me as I take you through them.

Other Methods of Cooking the Cornish Hen

1. Grilling


We all have grilled meat, even if it is once, so we know how it works.

When grilling a cornish chicken, bear in mind that the hen does not have a lot of fats so it can burn quickly.

I advise you to marinade the cornish hen before grilling to prevent burning. Grill each side for about five minutes, and it will be ready to eat.

2. Braising


For this method to work best, I would advise you to cut the cornish chicken into two. Cutting the hen will ensure that you can season it well.

After seasoning the chicken, brown all the sides of the hen and put them in a braising pot. Supposing you do not have a braising pot, you can use a slow cooker.

Add chicken broth if you have any, and put the hen in the oven for an hour and a half. The oven should be set to minimum heat.

You can also slow cook the hen, but it will take approximately four hours before it is ready.

3. Sauteing


You need to split the cornish hen horizontally for sauteing to work. This process is called butterflying.

Season the hen after you have butterflied it. In a large pan, add some oil and preheat it. Put the corn hen skin down and cook for ten minutes.

After ten minutes, turn the hen on the upper side and cook for another ten minutes. Remove your corn hen from the pan. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving it.

Final Point


Other than baking cornish hen in the oven at 400 degrees, there are other methods of cooking the hen.

I have covered the methods above. Some might take longer than expected, but the results will be worth the wait.

Cornish hen is flavorful and very soft. It also takes a lesser time to cook than the normal chicken. Even though they are not as popular as the chicken, they are slowly flooding the market.

If you have never cooked a cornish hen, I hope this article has inspired you to try and cook it. All the best.

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