Christmas is nearly upon us now and we bet you haven’t even thought about cooking that all important dinner yet! If the thought of cooking a whole bird is a little daunting, fear not - there are a number of different turkey joint options available, including the versatile turkey crown.
What is a turkey crown?
- A turkey crown is a joint of white breast meat on the bone, with legs (and sometimes wings) removed.
- Generally turkey crown joints range between 3kg - 7kg so are suitable for a small intimate Christmas or a huge family gathering.
- They require much less oven space and cooking time than a whole bird and are very easy to carve too, so if you want to look like the king of carving, go for a turkey crown.
Things to look out for when buying a turkey crown
- You’ll certainly want to look for a free range turkey crown, not just for the superior flavour but also because the animal’s healthier lifestyle means you’ll be getting a more nutritious meal.
- Buy a British turkey crown if you can, the levels of animal welfare here are much higher than many other countries.
- Generally you’ll find two different types of turkey crown - bronze or white. Bronze turkeys are more similar to the traditional wild birds of North America and have a more intense taste than their subtly flavoured cousins. If you want your turkey crown to be the star of the show, opt for bronze, but a well reared white turkey crown can be delicious.
Cooking a turkey crown
You cook a turkey crown in much the same way as a whole bird, just not for quite so long.
- Lay your turkey crown on a bed of thick cut lemon slices and stuff your joint with onion, butter and herbs, flavours which will seep through the joint and really compliment the subtle gaminess of the meat.
- You can lay streaky bacon over the top of the buttered, seasoned skin of your turkey crown for the first 20-30 minutes of cooking to baste the breast and stop the skin from browning too quickly.
- Be sure to rest the turkey crown well whilst you make the most delicious gravy from the reserved juices.
What to do with turkey crown leftovers
- Pick all the meat you can get off the turkey crown and put it to one side.
- The carcass can be boiled up with a few veg and herbs to make a delicious stock which you can freeze to use in soups, stews and risottos some other time.
- Use the turkey crown meat in sandwiches, curries, soups or a coronation turkey salad on boxing day.
Have you cooked a turkey crown before? What would your top turkey crown tips be?