Are you cooking a turkey crown this Christmas? It’s perfect for serving a smaller group and less stressful than roasting a whole turkey. Check out my tips on how pick, defrost and roast the perfect juicy turkey crown (a.k.a turkey breast). Check the recipe notes to see what's the optimum cooking time depending on the weight of your turkey crown.
Course: Christmas /Thanksgiving
Cuisine: American, British
Keyword: How to cook a turkey crown, Roast Tukey Breast, Roast Turkey Crown
2kg| 4.4 pound turkey crown(turkey breast), fully defrosted if frozen
55g| ½ stick unsalted butter
2garlic cloves, minced
1tbspchopped fresh sage
1/2lemon, zest and juice
Salt and pepper to season
Preheat your oven to 220C (430F). This temperature is only for the initial phase of roasting - 20 minutes - and will brown and crisp up the skin. Place the shelf on the lower third of the oven and remove any shelves over it (because you will burn your hand on it when checking the turkey, as I can vouch).
Prepare your garlic and herb butter. Put the butter, oil, herbs, honey, lemon zest and juice in a bowl and mix to a paste using the back of a spoon. It helps if the butter is slightly softened!
Pat your fully defrosted turkey dry with kitchen paper. Season liberally with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, about 10-15 turns of the mill for both or ¼ of a teaspoon.
Now you will need to get up close and personal with your turkey… Use your hands to gently loosen the skin over the breast, without pulling it off the sides.
Rub some of the butter under the skin, pushing in as far as you can. Use your hands to rub the remaining over the skin and then season lightly once more.
Place the turkey on a rack over your roasting tin. Roast uncovered for 20 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180C (350F). Remove the turkey from the oven and cover with foil. Cook for another 60-70 minutes.
Start checking the temperature at the thickest part of the joint with a digital thermometer towards the end of the cooking time (about 20 minutes before). If your turkey needs a bit more colour you can roast it without the foil for the last 20 minutes. Your turkey is ready when it reaches 75C (165 F) and this is the best indicator for doneness.
Transfer the turkey on a platter (warm one, ideally) and loosely tent with foil. Allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows for the proteins to relax and will result in juicier tender turkey.
Carve your turkey into thin slices and serve with gravy and your choice of sides.
HOW LONG SHOULD I COOK A TURKEY CROWN?
The cooking time recommendations for a turkey crown up tp 4kg is 70 minutes plus 20mins per kilo. If measuring weight in pounds, this translates as 20-25 per pound (450g).Treat these times as a general guideline - I prefer to rely on a digital thermometer for gauging the perfect cooking time when roasting meat as oven temperatures can vary.
2kg crown: 70m + (2x20m) = 110 minutes / 1h 50m
3kg crown: 70m + (3x20m) = 130 minutes / 2h10m
4kg crown: 70m + (4x20m) = 150 minutes / 2h30m.
The recommendations for a turkey breast over 4kg is 90 minutes plus 20mins per kilo. 5kg turkey would need cooking for 90 + (20×5) = 190minutes = 3h10m.Storage: Keep any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months.