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A turkey crown is the breast of the bird still attached to the bone, with the legs and wings removed. A crown is perfect if you have fewer people to feed or guests who all like white meat.

The other advantages to a crown are that it will cook quickly and should fit in any oven and roasting tin. They are widely available and becoming more fashionable by the year, but the price per weight does work out a bit more expensive than a whole bird.

How do I know my turkey crown is cooked?

Ideally, test it using an oven thermometer. Ovens vary and if you have put anything else in to cook at the same time, this can also affect the cooking time.

The internal temperature of your turkey should be 70C when it is ready. This is the recommended temperature for cooked turkey according to the Food Standards Agency. You must then leave it to rest for 20 minutes and it will continue cooking through. It’s best to use a proper thermometer and not the red pop-out button sold with the turkey.

Before serving your turkey, always check that the meat is steaming hot throughout, there is no pink meat visible and when you cut into the thickest part, the juices run clear.

How long does it take to defrost a turkey?

Make sure your turkey crown is properly defrosted before cooking. Use these timings as a guide and check the temperature of the defrosting environment.

  • In your fridge, set at 4C or below and allow 8-12 hrs per kg.
  • In a cool room that must stay below 17.5C, allow 3-4 hrs per kg.

Check the turkey is defrosted by looking inside the cavity for ice crystals and by pushing the point of a knife into the thickest part of the meat.