How many calories are in 4 oz of Cornish game hen?

Cornish game hen is a small breed of chicken that originated in Cornwall, England. It is sometimes called Cornish hen or Rock Cornish hen. A 4 ounce serving of Cornish game hen without skin contains approximately 120 calories.

Calorie Content of Cornish Game Hen

The calorie content of Cornish game hen can vary depending on the cut or part of the chicken being consumed. Here is an overview of the calorie content of different cuts of Cornish game hen:

Cut Calories per 4 oz Serving
Breast Meat, Skinless 120
Breast Meat, with Skin 140
Leg Meat, Skinless 130
Leg Meat, with Skin 150
Thigh Meat, Skinless 140
Thigh Meat, with Skin 160
Wing Meat, Skinless 110
Wing Meat, with Skin 130

As you can see, skinless white breast meat has the lowest calorie content at 120 calories per 4 oz serving. The calorie content increases when consuming chicken with the skin on. Dark meat sections like the thighs and legs tend to be slightly higher in calories than white breast meat.

Comparing Cornish Game Hen to Other Types of Poultry

How does the calorie content of Cornish game hen compare to other types of poultry? Here is an overview:

Poultry Calories per 4 oz Serving of Skinless Breast Meat
Cornish Game Hen 120
Chicken 140
Turkey 120
Duck 160

Cornish game hen and turkey have the lowest calorie content per serving at 120 calories in a 4 oz skinless breast. Chicken is slightly higher at 140 calories, while duck is the highest at 160 calories per 4 oz serving.

Factors Affecting Calorie Content

There are several factors that can affect the calorie content of Cornish game hen and poultry in general:

  • Cut of meat – Breast meat is lower in calories than leg or thigh meat
  • Skin – Chicken with the skin on has more calories than skinless
  • Cooking method – Frying chicken adds more calories from fat and oil compared to baking, grilling or roasting
  • Portion size – Larger portions contain more total calories
  • Additions and seasoning – Marinades, breading, sauce or seasonings can increase calorie content

To keep the calorie content low, opt for skinless breast meat, use healthier cooking methods like baking or grilling, and keep portion sizes reasonable. Avoid frying or breading the chicken to minimize extra calories.

Nutrition Benefits of Cornish Game Hen

Cornish game hen provides many nutritional benefits besides being relatively low in calories:

  • High in protein – Great source of lean protein for building muscle. A 4 oz serving provides about 25g protein.
  • Low in fat – Much lower fat content compared to red meats.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals – Provides thiamine, selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, and niacin.
  • Source of choline – Important nutrient for brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular health.

Cornish game hen can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and prepared in a low-calorie way. The lean protein makes it more filling than higher calorie meats.

How to Serve Cornish Game Hen

Here are some tips for preparing and serving Cornish game hen:

  • Roast whole – Roast a whole Cornish hen in the oven with some seasoning for a simple main dish.
  • Grill it – Grill skinless hen halves or quarters seasoned with herbs and lime juice.
  • Bake it – Baked Cornish hen with roasted veggies makes a delicious one-pan meal.
  • Make kebabs – Alternate pieces of Cornish hen with veggies and pineapple on skewers.
  • Add to salads or wraps – Dice or shred cooked Cornish hen to add to main dish salads and wraps.
  • Use in soups or stews – Shredded hen meat can bulk up hearty soups and stews.

Pair Cornish hen with vegetables and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa. Enjoy it on its own, in salads, sandwiches, soups or as part of a variety of healthy recipes.

Cornish Game Hen Nutrition Facts

The nutrition facts for a 4 oz serving of roasted Cornish game hen without skin is:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 120
Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol 85mg
Sodium 65mg
Potassium 210mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Fiber 0g
Sugar 0g
Protein 25g

Key highlights are the high protein content, low fat and saturated fat, and zero carbs and sugar. The cholesterol level is moderately high at 85mg per serving.


Cornish game hen contains a variety of minerals including:

  • Phosphorus – 16% DV
  • Selenium – 15% DV
  • Zinc – 6% DV
  • Copper – 6% DV
  • Iron – 4% DV
  • Magnesium – 3% DV


Some of the key vitamins provided in a serving of Cornish hen include:

  • Thiamin – 12% DV
  • Vitamin B6 – 12% DV
  • Niacin – 10% DV
  • Pantothenic Acid – 8% DV
  • Riboflavin – 7% DV

It provides moderate amounts of B vitamins which are important for energy metabolism and brain health. But Cornish game hen is low in vitamin C, E and most other vitamins.

Buying and Cooking Cornish Game Hen

Buying Tips

  • Look for hens that are 1-2 pounds in size.
  • Choose hens with plump, meaty breasts.
  • Avoid hens with tears, rips or dry spots on skin.
  • For freshest flavor, cook hen within 2 days of purchasing.
  • Can be purchased fresh or frozen.

Cooking Tips

  • Completely thaw frozen hens before cooking.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F to roast Cornish hens.
  • Brush hens with olive oil or melted butter before cooking.
  • Roast for 50-60 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Let rest 5 minutes before carving to allow juices to redistribute.
  • Can also pan sear, braise, grill, or broil Cornish hens.

Common Questions

Is Cornish game hen chicken or turkey?

Cornish game hen is a breed of chicken native to Cornwall, England. It is not a miniature turkey or game bird, but a small chicken.

Is Cornish hen good for you?

Yes, Cornish hen can be a healthy meat choice as part of a balanced diet. It is leaner than many cuts of beef or pork with less saturated fat. Cornish hen provides high-quality protein, B vitamins, minerals, and lower calories compared to chicken or turkey.

Is Cornish game hen higher in cholesterol?

Cornish hen contains more cholesterol than chicken or turkey. A 4 oz serving of roasted Cornish hen has 85 mg cholesterol compared to 72 mg in chicken breast. But it can still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

How long does Cornish hen take to cook?

A whole 1-2 pound Cornish hen takes approximately 50-60 minutes to roast in the oven at 375°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Grilling halves or quarters takes 25-35 minutes. Check temperature to confirm doneness.

What’s the difference between Cornish hen and chicken?

Cornish hen is simply a small breed of chicken native to England. The main differences are size and flavor. Cornish hens weigh 1-2 pounds compared to 3-5 pounds for a whole chicken. The meat also has a slightly gamier, richer flavor.


A 4 ounce serving of skinless Cornish game hen breast contains about 120 calories, making it a lean protein option. Skinless breast meat is lowest in calories, while skin-on thighs or legs are higher. Cornish hen provides high quality protein, B vitamins, phosphorus, selenium and other nutrients. Enjoy roasted, grilled or baked for a delicious and healthy meat choice.

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