How To Cook A Turkey Crown: A Delicious and Simple Guide
Cooking a turkey crown can be a delightful and stress-free experience, making it perfect for a smaller gathering or those who prefer white meat. A turkey crown is the turkey's breast with the bone removed, allowing for a quicker and easier cooking process. In this article, we will take you through the step-by-step process of preparing and cooking a succulent turkey crown that will impress your guests every time.
Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Turkey Crown
Before you begin, it's essential to select the right turkey crown. Look for a crown that is approximately 2-3 kilograms (4-6 pounds) in weight, which should be sufficient to serve around 6-8 people. Ensure that the turkey crown is fresh, with no signs of discoloration or strong odor. If possible, opt for a free-range or organic crown for the best flavor.
Step 2: Preparing the Turkey Crown
Once you have purchased your turkey crown, it's time to prepare it for cooking. Start by removing the crown from its packaging and allowing it to come to room temperature, uncovered, for about 1 hour. This step helps the turkey cook more evenly.
Next, pat the turkey crown dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Season the crown generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out. You can also add additional herbs and spices to the mix, such as rosemary, thyme, or garlic powder, to enhance the flavor.
Step 3: Preheating and Preparing the Oven
Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). While the oven is heating up, prepare a roasting tin with a wire rack. The rack allows heat to circulate around the turkey crown, promoting even cooking and a crispy skin.
Step 4: Cooking Your Turkey Crown
Place the seasoned turkey crown onto the wire rack in the roasting tin, with the thickest part facing up. Cover the turkey crown loosely with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out during cooking. The foil will be removed later to allow the skin to crisp up.
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the crown, ensuring it does not touch the bone. This will help you monitor the turkey's internal temperature accurately. Once inserted, transfer the roasting tin to the preheated oven.
The general rule of thumb is to cook the turkey crown for 20 minutes per kilogram (9 minutes per pound). However, it's crucial to use the meat thermometer to confirm when the turkey is cooked to perfection. The internal temperature should reach 75°C (165°F) for a fully cooked and safe to eat turkey crown.
Step 5: Basting The Turkey Crown
Basting is an essential step in ensuring a moist and flavorful turkey crown. After the turkey has been cooking for about 1 hour, carefully remove it from the oven. Using a basting brush or spoon, collect the juices from the bottom of the roasting tin and drizzle them over the crown. For an extra burst of flavor, you can also add melted butter, an herbed oil mixture, or your favorite turkey basting sauce.
Repeat this basting process every 30 minutes until the turkey crown is fully cooked. Basting not only keeps the meat moist but also adds depth to the flavors.
Step 6: Finishing Touches - Crisping the Skin
Approximately 30 minutes before the turkey crown is due to be done, carefully remove the foil covering. This step allows the skin to crisp up and develop a beautiful golden color. Keep a close eye on the turkey crown during this time to prevent the skin from burning.
Step 7: Resting and Carving the Turkey Crown
Once the desired internal temperature is reached, remove the turkey crown from the oven. Carefully transfer it to a carving board and tent it with foil to keep it warm. Allow the crown to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a tender and succulent turkey.
To carve the turkey crown, use a sharp carving knife and cut thin, even slices perpendicular to the breastbone. Serve the slices on a platter, and don't forget to pour some of the delicious pan juices over them.
Step 8: Accompaniments and Leftovers
Serve your turkey crown accompanied by traditional sides such as roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Don't forget to offer a vegetarian option for those who might prefer it.
If you happen to have leftovers, turkey crown is incredibly versatile. It can be used in sandwiches, salads, soups, or even repurposed into a delicious turkey curry.
In conclusion, cooking a turkey crown doesn't have to be a daunting task. With a few simple steps and some patience, you can achieve a beautifully cooked, moist, and flavorful centerpiece for your festive meal. So, grab your apron, follow these instructions, and get ready to amaze your loved ones with your culinary skills!