Roasted garlic & herb turkey crown

Try a turkey crown instead of a whole bird for Christmas dinner – it’s quicker and easier to roast. Roasting the garlic for the butter first mellows out its flavour

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:2 hrs
    plus optional overnight chilling and at least 20 mins resting
  • Serves 6

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 595
  • fat 30g
  • saturates 13g
  • carbs 12g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 67g
  • salt 1.3g


  • 1 large garlic bulb
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • small pinch of paprika
  • small bunch of thyme, plus extra sprigs to serve
  • 75g butter, softened
  • handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced (reserve after juicing)
  • 2-2.5kg turkey crown


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the top off the garlic bulb, exposing the tops of the cloves. Put on a small square of foil and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and the paprika, and lay a thyme sprig on top. Scrunch up the foil to enclose the bulb and roast on a baking tray for 25-30 mins, or until soft when pressed. Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing the foil and papery skin from the bulb. Strip the leaves from the remaining thyme sprigs (reserving the stems) and tip into a bowl. Squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves and add the butter, parsley, lemon zest and juice. Season well, then mash everything together to combine. Will keep chilled for up to three days or frozen for a month.

  2. If you have time, season the turkey 24 hrs before roasting (this helps create crispy skin). Scatter the reserved thyme stems and the juiced lemon half into the base of a roasting tin. Place the crown on top, cavity-side down, then season generously all over. Cover and chill for up to 24 hrs.

  3. Remove the turkey and garlic butter from the fridge 1-2 hrs before roasting to come to room temperature. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Use your fingers or a spoon to gently push under the skin of the turkey, making a pocket. Spread most of the garlic butter all over the flesh, beneath the skin, so it completely covers the breast. Spread any remaining butter over the skin. Roast the crown for 1 hr 15 mins or up to 1 hr 30 mins, basting every 30 mins or so until golden and cooked through – a digital thermometer should read 65C when inserted into the thickest part of the breast and the juices should run clear when pierced with a knife. Rest for at least 20 mins before carving.

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