Love Roast Turkey but don’t want the hassle of cooking a whole bird? A turkey crown is the perfect solution! My Easy Brined Roast Turkey Crown is very simple to make and cooks much faster than a whole turkey.
What is a turkey Crown?
A crown is quite simply a turkey with the legs and wings removed, leaving you with the whole joint of breast meat on the bone. They are quicker to cook, easy to carve and cheaper than a whole turkey. Some turkey crowns actually come with the wings still attached.
why brine a Turkey crown?
If you’ve never brined a turkey before and are wondering if it’s all worth it, I would say absolutely YES.
Using a wet brine (basically a salt and water solution with extra flavourings) helps to break down tough fibers and proteins in the meat and adds moisture and flavour.
Turkey is a lean bird with not much fat, so it’s very, very easy to dry out in the oven, no matter how much butter or streaky bacon you coat it with. Brining is a sure fire way to end up with a super juicy, succulent turkey.
If it wasn’t worth it, trust me – I wouldn’t bother doing it!
What to serve with a roast turkey crown
We all know that a festive meal really isn’t complete without the trimmings! Serve this juicy turkey with:
- Yorkshire Puddings if you believe that no roast dinner is complete without them!
Some people say Yorkshire puddings are a big no-no with Christmas dinner, but certain people in my family insist on them and I wouldn’t want to let them down!
how to brine a turkey crown
- The first thing I would recommend doing, ideally a few days before, is making sure you have a container or pan large enough to fit the turkey crown and approximately 3 1/2 litres of water.
- There is nothing much worse than frantically scrambling through your cupboards at 7pm on Christmas Eve, trying and failing to find a pan big enough to brine your turkey. And yes, I am speaking from experience, in case you were wondering!
- Fill the pan with 3 1/2 Litres of cold water. Add salt, sugar, mixed peppercorns, the juice of the oranges, bay leaves, bouquet garni, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries (if using – if you can’t find them, don’t stress) and stir well. (scroll to the bottom of this post to find a printable recipe card with ingredient amounts!)
- Place the turkey in the brine, topping up with more water to cover the whole turkey if necessary. Place a lid on the pan and place in the fridge or a cold place for about 6-8 hours.
how to roast a turkey crown
- You’ll need to remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels at least one hour before you intend to cook it.
- The turkey must be at room temperature when you put it in the oven or it will take much longer to cook though.
- To make the orange and sage butter, combine the soft butter with the chopped sage, orange Zest and some salt and pepper.
- Rub the flavoured butter all over the turkey crown. I’m usually a fan of placing some of the butter under the skin – see my perfect roast chicken recipe – but you don’t really need to when using the brining method.
- Cook the turkey at 190C/170Fan/374F for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, basting the bird halfway through cooking time. If the turkey skin is getting too dark, loosely cover it with a sheet of tin foil.
- All ovens are different, so please note that cooking times are a guide. The turkey might need 10-20 minutes extra in your oven.
how to tell if turkey crown is fully cooked
The most reliable way to test if your turkey crown is properly cooked all the way through is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat. It should read 70C (158F) for two solid minutes or 75C (167F) for 30 seconds.
The juices of the turkey should run clear, with no pink or blood visible.
allow the turkey to rest
- Alllow the turkey to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour and a half before slicing and carving. Don’t worry, the turkey will stay warm! Loosely cover with a piece of tin foil to keep the heat in.
- This will allow all the juices to flow back into the meat and will give you plenty of time and oven space to get on with your side dishes.
Do you need to rinse a turkey after brining?
No, there is no need to rinse the turkey crown after brining. All you need to do is pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
It’s important to allow the turkey crown to come to room temperature before roasting. If you’ve forgotten and are roasting the turkey straight from the fridge, make sure to allow an extra 20-30 minutes cooking time. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, please take the guesswork out of the situation and use a meat thermometer.
Can you stuff a brined turkey?
I don’t recommend stuffing a brined turkey crown. The brining process will make the stuffing too salty and also mess up the cooking times.
It’s far better to cook the stuffing separately. If you want to make life easier, you can make the stuffing a couple of days in advance and reheat it on Christmas Day while the turkey is resting.
Looking for another easy Turkey recipe?
Got leftover turkey meat?
Did you make this recipe?
I hope you loved it! Let me know how you got on – leave a comment below and rate the recipe out of 5 by clicking on the stars in the recipe card.
- 2.5KG fresh turkey crown
- FOR THE BRINE:
- 3.5 Litres cold water
- 120g fine salt
- 75g white sugar
- 1 onion, halved
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns
- Juice of 2 Clementines
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Bouquet Garni
- 1 Tablespoon allspice berries
- FOR ROASTING THE TURKEY CROWN:
- 100g soft butter
- finely grated zest of two clementines
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage leaves, or 1 Teaspoon dried
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- First of all you'll need to find a pan or container large enough to fit the turkey crown and 3 1/2 litres of water. You'll also need to have room in your fridge to store it (or a cold room/garage and certainly not near any heaters.)
- Pour 3 1/2 Litres of water into the pan or container. Add the salt, sugar, onion, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, clementine juice, bay leaves, Bouquet Garni and allspice berries. Throw in the squeezed out clementine halves. Give the brine a good stir, then add the turkey crown to the liquid.
- Cover the pan with a lid and transfer to the fridge and leave for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the turkey from the fridge at least one hour before you intend to cook it. The turkey will obviously be very cold, so it's very important to take the chill off it before roasting otherwise it will take much longer to cook. Just like all meat, It ideally needs to be at room temperature before roasting.
- Lift the turkey from the brine and place on a rack set over a roasting tin. Thoroughly pat it dry with paper towels.
- Mix the butter with the clementine zest, sage leaves and a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170Fan/374F/Gas Mark 5. Rub the flavoured butter all over the turkey. Cook the turkey for 1 1/2 -2 hours, basting the turkey with the juices halfway through the cooking time. If the turkey skin is becoming too brown, cover with foil.
- To check if the turkey is ready, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat. The juices should run clear with no pink or blood visible. The internal temperature should read 70C/158F for two minutes or 75C for 30 seconds.
- Remove the turkey from the oven, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to one hour before carving.
Remember to remove the turkey from the brine and let it come to room temperature before roasting.
Any leftover turkey should be cooled as quickly as possible (ideally no longer than 2 hours) and placed in the fridge. Any leftovers should be eaten within 3 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 791Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 383mgSodium: 6293mgCarbohydrates: 21gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 94g