How Long to Cook Cornish Hens at 350: A Complete Guide

Are you looking for a delicious and easy dish to serve for dinner tonight? Cornish hens are a popular choice for their tender, juicy meat and versatility in cooking. However, knowing how long to cook cornish hens at 350 can be a challenge for many home cooks. In this article, we will provide a complete guide on how to prepare and cook Cornish hens to perfection.

1. Preparing the Cornish Hens

Before cooking Cornish hens, it’s essential to prepare them properly. Start by cleaning the hens thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a paper towel and place them on a cutting board.

Next, season the hens with your choice of herbs and spices. A popular seasoning blend for Cornish hens includes garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the hens, including inside the cavity.

To add flavor and moisture to the hens, you can also stuff them with aromatics such as lemon, onion, and fresh herbs. If you choose to stuff the hens, make sure to secure the cavity with toothpicks or kitchen twine to prevent the stuffing from falling out during cooking.

Properly preparing the Cornish hens ensures that they are flavorful and tender after cooking.

2. Cooking Cornish Hens at 350

Once the Cornish hens are prepared, it’s time to cook them. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking dish by greasing it with cooking spray or butter.

Place the Cornish hens in the baking dish, breast side up. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven. For 1-1.5 pound Cornish hens, cook for 45-60 minutes. For 2-pound hens, cook for 60-75 minutes.

After the initial cooking time, remove the foil and baste the hens with the pan juices. Return them to the oven and continue cooking, uncovered, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the hen’s thigh to check for doneness.

Cooking Cornish hens at 350 is a simple and effective way to achieve juicy, flavorful meat. Make sure to check for doneness with a meat thermometer to ensure that the hens are fully cooked.

Stay tuned for the next two sections on serving the Cornish hens and variations in cooking methods.

3. Cooking Cornish Hens at 350 (Contd.)

Oven Preparation

To ensure even cooking, it’s essential to prepare the oven correctly. Cornish hens cook best in a preheated oven. Make sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before placing the hens inside.

When cooking Cornish hens, it’s necessary to use a baking dish that’s the right size for the hens. If the dish is too large, the juices will spread out, and the hens may dry out. If the dish is too small, the hens won’t cook evenly. A 9×13 inch baking dish is usually the perfect size for two Cornish hens.

Checking for Doneness

To make sure that the Cornish hens are fully cooked, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the hen’s thigh without touching the bone. The temperature should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is lower than that, return the hens to the oven and continue cooking until they reach the correct temperature.

4. Serving the Cornish Hens

Letting the Hens Rest

After cooking, it’s essential to let the Cornish hens rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful. Cover the hens with foil to keep them warm while resting.

Carving the Hens

To carve Cornish hens, start by removing the toothpicks or kitchen twine from the cavity. Using a sharp knife, cut along the breastbone and down the sides of the hens, separating the meat from the bone. Cut the legs and wings off the hens and serve alongside the breast meat.

Serving Suggestions

Cornish hens are an excellent main dish for any occasion. They pair well with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or wild rice pilaf. For a more festive presentation, place the carved hens on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs or citrus slices.

In conclusion, cooking Cornish hens at 350 degrees Fahrenheit is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this versatile poultry dish. Make sure to prepare the hens correctly, check for doneness with a meat thermometer, and let them rest before carving. With these tips, you’ll be able to serve perfectly cooked Cornish hens every time.

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