How to Cook a Turkey Crown

How to Cook a Turkey Crown

Turkey crown is a fantastic choice for a smaller Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, or for any occasion that calls for a delicious and easy-to-prepare meat dish. With the right preparation and cooking techniques, turkey crowns can be tender, juicy, and flavourful. But many people feel intimidated by the prospect of cooking a turkey crown for the first time, and worry about getting it wrong. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to cook a turkey crown to perfection. From preparing the turkey crown to carving it for serving, we've got you covered with tips and tricks that will make your turkey crown a hit with family and friends.


Introduction to turkey crowns and their benefits


What is a turkey crown?

A turkey crown is a cut of turkey that includes the breast and wing meat, but without the legs or the rest of the bird. This cut is perfect for smaller gatherings or for those who prefer breast meat.


Why choose a turkey crown over a whole turkey?

Turkey crowns are a great option for those who don't want to cook a whole turkey, or who are only feeding a small group. They are also easier to cook and carve than a whole turkey and take less time to prepare.


What size turkey crown should you buy?

When buying a turkey crown, a good rule of thumb is to buy 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound of turkey per person. Keep in mind that turkey crowns are typically available in smaller sizes than whole turkeys, so plan accordingly.


Preparing the turkey prior to cooking


How to thaw a frozen turkey crown

Thawing a turkey crown is similar to thawing a whole turkey. Place the crown on a tray in the fridge and allow 24 hours of thawing time for every 4-5 pounds. Alternatively, put the turkey crown in a plastic bag and submerge it in cold water for 1-2 hours per pound, changing the water every 30 minutes. Do not thaw a turkey crown at room temperature.


What equipment will you need?

To cook a turkey crown, you will need a roasting pan, meat thermometer, and a basting brush. Optional equipment includes a slow cooker or crockpot, and a barbecue.


Should you season your turkey crown in advance?

It's a good idea to season your turkey crown at least a few hours before cooking to allow the flavors to develop. You can rub the turkey with butter, herbs, spices, or a combination of these to make it more flavorful.


Cooking the turkey crown: methods and tips


Oven roasting your turkey crown

To roast a turkey crown, preheat your oven to 375°F. Rub the turkey crown with butter or oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the turkey crown in a roasting pan and roast for 20-25 minutes per pound, basting occasionally. Let the turkey rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.


Using a slow cooker or crockpot to cook your turkey crown

To cook a turkey crown in a slow cooker, place the crown in the cooker with 1-2 cups of broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.


Using a barbecue to cook your turkey crown

To barbecue a turkey crown, preheat your grill to medium heat. Rub the turkey crown with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the turkey crown on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes per pound, turning occasionally. Baste the turkey with butter or oil every 30 minutes until it's cooked through.


Factors to consider when determining cooking time

Factors that can affect cooking time include the size of the turkey crown, the cooking method, and the temperature of the oven or grill. Always refer to a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey crown reaches the correct internal temperature.


How to check if the turkey crown is cooked


What temperature should your turkey crown be?

The internal temperature of a turkey crown should reach 165°F to ensure it's fully cooked.


How to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature

Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey crown without touching the bone. Wait for the reading to stabilize and ensure it reaches 165°F.


Visual and tactile checks to determine if your turkey crown is cooked

You can also check if the turkey crown is cooked by using visual and tactile checks. The juices should run clear and the skin should be golden brown. The turkey should also feel firm to the touch and the legs should move easily when pulled.


Resting the Turkey Crown and Carving it for Serving


Why is it important to rest your turkey crown?

Resting your turkey crown is important because it allows the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat, ensuring that it stays moist and delicious. If you carve the turkey crown too soon, the juices will spill out and the meat will become dry and flavorless.


How long should you rest your turkey crown?

It's recommended that you rest your turkey crown for at least 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows enough time for the juices to settle and the meat to relax.


Carving techniques and presentation tips

Before carving, remove any trussing and twine from the turkey crown. Use a sharp carving knife and carve parallel to the breastbone, starting at the top and working your way down. Be sure to make clean, smooth cuts and remove any skin or excess fat. Arrange the slices on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs or citrus for a beautiful presentation.


Delicious Turkey Crown Recipe Ideas and Serving Suggestions


Classic Turkey Crown with Stuffing and Gravy

For a traditional take on turkey crown, stuff it with your favorite stuffing recipe and serve with homemade gravy, roasted vegetables, and cranberry sauce.


Herb-Crusted and Garlic-Infused Turkey Crown

For a flavorful twist, coat your turkey crown with a blend of fresh herbs and garlic before roasting. Serve it with roasted potatoes and green beans for a classic combination.


Asian-Inspired Turkey Crown with Sticky Glaze

For an unexpected twist, try marinating your turkey crown in a sticky sauce of soy sauce, honey, and ginger. Roast it in the oven until it's golden brown and serve with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables.


Accompaniments and Side Dishes that Complement Turkey Crowns

Some delicious side dish ideas to serve with your turkey crown include roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed Brussels sprouts, creamy mashed potatoes, and buttery dinner rolls.


Storing Leftovers and Safety Precautions


How to Store Leftovers and Reheating Tips

To store your turkey crown leftovers, remove the meat from the bones and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. To reheat, place the meat in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high until warm throughout. Alternatively, you can reheat the meat in the oven at 350°F until heated through.


Food Safety Precautions to Consider When Handling and Storing Turkey Crowns

When handling and storing your turkey crown, it's important to use proper food safety precautions to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw poultry and use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked meat. Also, be sure to cook your turkey crown to an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure that it's safe to eat. Cooking a turkey crown may seem daunting at first, but with the right techniques and a bit of practice, it can become a simple and enjoyable experience. We hope that our guide has provided you with the knowledge and confidence you need to cook a delicious turkey crown that your family and friends will love. Don't be afraid to experiment with different spices, stuffings, and cooking methods to create your own signature dish. With a little creativity and patience, you can turn your turkey crown into the star of your next festive meal.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Should I choose a fresh or frozen turkey crown?

Fresh and frozen turkey crowns are both good options, but it's important to keep in mind that frozen turkey crowns will take longer to prepare. If you choose a frozen turkey crown, make sure you allow enough time for it to thaw safely in the fridge before cooking.


Do I need to baste my turkey crown?

Basting your turkey crown is not necessary, but it can help keep the meat moist and add flavour. If you choose to baste your turkey crown, be mindful not to open the oven door too frequently, as this can cause the oven temperature to fluctuate and affect the cooking time.


Can I stuff my turkey crown?

Yes, you can stuff your turkey crown, but it's important to do so safely. Make sure the stuffing is cooked separately before adding it to the turkey crown, and stuff the turkey crown loosely to allow for even cooking. It's also important to check the internal temperature of the stuffing to ensure it reaches a safe temperature.


How long can I store leftover turkey crown?

Leftover turkey crown can be stored in the fridge for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to four months. When reheating leftover turkey crown, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it is safe to eat.