A turkey crown is one of the nicest - and easiest - ways to enjoy this festive bird. With the legs and wing tips removed, you are left with a manageable and delicious joint of white breast meat, which couldn't be easier to carve. It's the ideal joint if you are feeding just a few people and don't want to be saddled with leftovers for days to come.
Five tips for roasting the perfect turkey crown
1. Calculate the cooking time before you begin and resist the temptation to overcook the bird. Usually your turkey packaging will specify cooking details, but as a guide you should allow 30 minutes per kg, 1 hour and 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C (140C fan oven, Gas mark 4) and put the turkey in for the calculated time. The bird is cooked when you can pierce the thickest part of the breast meat and the juices run clear.
2. Be liberal with butter, as it makes for a moist bird. 50-75 grams of butter should be adequate. Using your fingers, loosen the turkey skin and push slices of butter into the gap. Rub any additional butter over the outside of the turkey. If you fancy flavouring the butter, you could always add a couple of cloves of finely chopped garlic and the zest of lemon, as well as two teaspoons of chopped thyme. It's also worth adding a good glug of olive oil, salt and pepper to the skin.
3. Create a latticework of streaky bacon on the top of the crown. Use ten or so rashes, overlapping and interweaving them to create a diamond pattern. If needed, hold the bacon in place by tying 2 or three pieces of butcher's string around the turkey crown. The bacon will become crispy and it will also keep the chicken moist as its fat cooks and seeps into the skin of the bird. If you want a brown and crispy turkey skin, remove the bacon in the last 20 or so minutes of cooking.
4. Baste the turkey throughout. Use a spoon and drizzle the juices in the roasting tray over the turkey once or twice during cooking. Use a generously sized roasting tray so it's easy to get at the juices.
5. Allow time for the turkey to rest after cooking. This way it will lose less juice and will be even tastier when you eat it. Remove the bird from the oven when it is thoroughly cooked and put it on a warm serving platter. Loosely cover it in tin foil and leave it to stand for twenty minutes to half an hour. If you're worried about it becoming cold, put it in a warm place in your kitchen, such as by the oven.
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