Roast herb turkey crown

IF you want to keep your Christmas dinner traditional, you won't go wrong with this succulent roast turkey crown

Turkey Crown.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Turkey Crown.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Sat, Dec 14, 2013, 01:00

  • Serves: 6
  • Cooking Time: 35 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Irish


  • 1 turkey crown
  • 200g butter, at room temperature
  • Small bunch parsley and tarragon
  • Few sprigs thyme
  • Few cloves crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of honey
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • Drizzle of olive oil


Preheat oven to 170 degrees/gas 3. Allow 35 minutes per kilo cooking time for the meat. Make the butter first by mixing it with the herbs and garlic, and seasoning it well. Set aside.

Next, you need to separate the skin from the crown, while leaving it in place. You’re trying to create a kind of pocket for the butter. So, wash your hands thoroughly, and going at it from the cavity side, just put your hand in to separate the skin from the crown. It will come away easily enough. Push on through so that you have loosened the entire skin, which will make it easy to push the butter in. Push the butter into the pocket you’ve created between the breast and the skin, until you have a decent layer of herb butter between the two.

Wash your hands really well one final time, before placing all the veg at the bottom of a roasting tin (a kind of veg trivet) and sitting the crown on top. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap well in tin foil, before putting it in the oven. For the final 20 minutes of cooking, you can remove the tin foil, drizzle the crown with the honey and give it a blast of heat before it’s ready. Buying a meat thermometer will help take the guess work out of when it’s done. You want to reach an interior temperature of 75 degrees Celcius.

mJohn Wilson’s wine recommendation

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir 2012 Chile, 13.5%, €8.99-€11.49. Scented light and smooth with plump sweet cherries and plums. Stockists: Widely available including SuperValu, Tesco and independents.

This is a lighter dish that would go nicely with a herby Sauvignon Blanc or medium-bodied Chardonnay. In fact, I find a good Chardonnay one of the best all-round partners for turkey and the trimmings. Red wine lovers could opt for a spicy, light Chianti, but here again I would go for Pinot Noir. Hispanophiles might consider a Rioja – a Reserva will provide the right amount of fruit. However, if you are catering for a crowd, one great budget option would be the light, fruit-filled Cono Sur Bicicleta from Chile.