Did you know that according to recent studies, 87% of Brits will cook a Turkey in celebration of Christmas?
As history tells us, Brits have been celebrating the holiday season with turkey for dinner since the 1500s. It all started when a Brit discovered turkeys during a foreign trade with American Indian traders. But it didn’t become a symbol for a feast until King Henry VIII made this dish popular when he became the first King of England to chow down on a turkey.
What really added to the cooked turkey dish’s popularity was the fact that you did not actually have to be royalty to have it. With many Brits back in the day being farmers, a cooked turkey was actually an extremely cost-effective meal that enabled them to save their cows and chickens from becoming that night’s dinner.
Nowadays, cooking a turkey is known to often be a sign of your culinary skills, with so much at stake. But in fact, cooking a turkey is easier than most people realize. Especially if you simplify the task at hand and focus on just cooking the turkey crown, you will be able to perfect it and impress everyone at the dinner table.
The crown of the turkey is found after the legs and wings have been trimmed off, which results in a heart-shaped turkey breast. It is actually one of the nicest parts of the turkey to eat and one of the most manageable to cook.
To help you perfect this dish, we’ve created the ultimate guide for you to follow along with, including our top tips and tricks, the ingredients you need, and the easiest method to get it cooked just right.
We are here to help you learn the basics from Banquist and add a range of exclusive menus and step-by-step cooking courses to your repertoire so you can impress in the kitchen every single time.
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Turkey Crown
Pre-Plan the Cooking Time
Before you actually start cooking the turkey, you will need to calculate the cooking times in advance and make sure you give yourself enough time before dinner is scheduled. In general, your cooking time will be calculated based on how heavy the crown of your turkey is. If your turkey crown weighs under four kilograms, you will cook it for 20 minutes per kilogram plus an additional 70 minutes. If it is over four kilograms, you will cook it for 20 minutes per kilogram plus an additional 90 minutes. Regardless of weight, your oven will always be set to 190 degrees Celsius.
Make Butter Your Best Friend
The key to cooking a great turkey is making sure it has taste, which is powered by aromatic ingredients and lots of butter. You will want your turkey to be very moist, so ideally you should be using at least 50 to 75 grams of butter.
The best way to apply the butter is by using your fingers and rubbing it in every crease and corner that you can. To make the butter extra delicious, add garlic and lemon zest into the mix as well. In general, the more butter the better.
Weave in the Bacon With the Turkey
Another trick to making the turkey crown taste extra delicious is by using a generous amount of bacon weaved in on top of the crown.
By making a weaving pattern with the bacon, the turkey will be able to stay extra moist and get an extra layer of fat soaked into it. You will want to make sure the bacon does not become too crispy though, so you can remove the bacon before the turkey actually finishes.
Let the Turkey Rest
You will know that your turkey is ready to be removed from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 70 degrees Celsius. But when it does reach this internal temperature, the work is not actually done quite yet.
After you remove the turkey crown from the oven, you will need to let the turkey rest for at least 20 or so minutes to keep it cooking internally. Before you cut up the turkey, make sure that the turkey is steaming throughout and that none of the meat is pink. Another quick test is to make sure that the juices are a clear colour.
Don’t Forget To Defrost
One of the biggest problems that people face when they set out to cook a turkey crown is to allow the turkey to defrost all the way. If possible, you can defrost a turkey crown in either your fridge or a cool room.
If in your fridge, the turkey will need eight hours per kilogram. And if in the cool room, it will need three to four hours per kilogram. A great way to check that the turkey is thawed properly is to look in the cavity of the turkey and ensure there are no ice crystals and that the knife can pierce the thickest part of the meat.
The Best Recipe To Cook a Turkey Crown
This recipe for the perfect turkey crown is a simple one to follow along. You should allow for half an hour of prep time and at least two hours for cooking time. The result will be enough turkey crown to serve six people with plenty of leftovers as well.
Ingredients You Need
As with every recipe, the first step in the process is to prepare your kitchen. The first item on the list when preparing your kitchen is to ensure that you have all the ingredients you need. Here is your grocery list for the perfect turkey crown.
1. Two and a half kilograms of turkey crown
2. Olive oil
3. Rosemary sprigs
4. 10 slices of thin bacon
5. One large onion sliced into eight wedges
The Simple Method for the Perfect Turkey Crown
1. First things first, defrost that turkey crown of yours. As you will remember in our tips and tricks section, the turkey will need at least half a day to defrost fully if you have purchased the turkey crown frozen. This is crucial to ensure that the turkey can cook evenly in the oven.
2. Once you have checked to make sure that the turkey is fully defrosted, it is time to get going in the kitchen. Set your oven to 190 degrees celsius. As the oven temperature sets, rinse the turkey underwater and then pat it dry with a paper towel. You will then calculate your cooking time, where you add 20 minutes per kilogram plus 70 -90 minutes depending on whether the total weight is over or under four kilograms.
3. Now you will season and prep your turkey crown. First, you will want to rub olive oil, pepper, and butter over the turkey. Once you are finished rubbing it all in, you will weave the bacon over the top of the turkey, trying to ensure that each slice sits nicely next to the other. You will then finish off the design by sticking in the rosemary sprigs between the slices of bacon. To finish off the preparation stage, you will want to tie the crown with a few pieces of butcher string so that the shape holds up in the oven.
4. Before you place the turkey crown in the oven, put the onion wedges on the roasting tray first and then sit the turkey crown on top. You will then cover the turkey crown in foil and place it in the oven for the calculated time.
5. While the turkey is roasting in the oven, you can opt to make your choice of stuffing, which is a combination of onions, garlic, cheese, breadcrumbs, herbs, eggs, and lemon. It is also the perfect time to prep the gravy as well. You can make the gravy with four teaspoons of flour, 850 millilitres of turkey stock, and 175 millilitres of marsala and mix together in a boiling pot.
6. When there are 30 minutes left in the cooking time, you will change the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius and also remove the foil from the turkey. You will then place back in the oven for the final 30 minutes, testing the internal temperature and ensuring that the juices are clear and not pink. If the juices are still pink, increase the cooking time by 10-minute intervals.
7. Now just let your turkey sit for another 20 minutes, garnish and serve up for a delicious and memorable dinner.
Final Thoughts on Turkey Crown
There is a range of simple adjustments you can make when it comes to the turkey flavouring to get it just the way you like it. We encourage you to be creative, try new tweaks, and have fun making the perfect turkey crown for dinner.
How to Cook a Turkey | Good Housekeeping
Turkey Recipes: One Bird, Four Christmas Dishes | The Guardian
Why Do We Eat Turkey for Christmas? | The Sun