How to roast a turkey crown

How to roast a turkey crown

A turkey crown is the body of the bird with the legs and wings removed, leaving the white breast meat attached to the bones. As such, it's an ideal joint for smaller gatherings, for those who prefer white meat over brown meat and for those who don’t want lots of leftovers — particularly at Christmas.

A crown takes less time to cook than a whole bird and it's a little easier to carve, but essentially it can be treated in much the same way. Breast meat is not as forgiving as leg and wing meat, so it pays to keep the turkey crown as moist as possible whilst you're cooking it. Having some liquid in the bottom of your roasting tray, smearing with butter and draping over smoked bacon will all help to keep the crown moist during cooking and stop it from drying out.

You can keep an eye on the internal temperature of your bird as you're cooking if you have a temperature probe. Once your turkey hits 70ºC in the deepest part of the breast (or just before), pull it out of the oven and let it rest for at least ten minutes (although 30 minutes is better, if you have time) under some foil, to allow the meat to relax and the meat juices to redistribute themselves. Carve and serve with cranberry sauce, roast potatoes and all the usual Christmas trimmings.

Here's a simple recipe for cooking a turkey crown to perfection, resulting in the best flavour and most moist texture from the bird. The combination of orange juice, maple syrup, mustard and thyme creates a delicious glaze that infuses the meat with flavour, but feel free to swap it out for something else (or omit completely) if so desired.

Method

1
Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Combine the mustard, maple syrup, orange juice and thyme in a bowl and whisk until incorporated. Season the mixture generously with salt and pepper
2
Place the turkey crown in a deep roasting tray and generously brush the skin with the glaze, if using
3
Pour the chicken stock into the roasting tray to the depth of 2–3 cm (approximately 500ml)
4
Calculate the cooking time (allow 20 minutes per kilogram plus 70 minutes) then place in the preheated oven. Use a spoon or a turkey baster to pour the juices and glaze back over the turkey every 20 minutes for a particularly moist finish
5
Once cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes under foil before carving

Tips

There are so many tips and tricks for injecting flavour into your turkey and locking in that all-important moisture. Brining is a popular choice for super-tender flesh, while others like to add richness and moisture by stuffing flavoured butter under the skin. This requires carefully teasing the skin away from the meat and packing plenty of butter underneath. Check out our collection of flavoured butters and our collection of brines for loads of inspiration on creating a crowd-pleasing Christmas bird! Or read more in our ultimate turkey cooking tips guide.

Stuffing a crown is a perennial favourite, so make sure you're armed with one of our stuffing recipes for some cheffy tips on the perfect pairing.