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How to cook a turkey breast crown

A delicious turkey dinner complete with stuffing balls, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, sprouts and carrots
This was a new thing for me as I’d never cooked a turkey crown before. We don’t normally have turkey for Christmas anyway, but we decided to get one for a change as both of us like turkey sandwiches. There’s only the two of us, so getting a whole bird seemed a bit excessive and we opted for a turkey crown. This is a turkey minus the legs and various other bits, and is a bit more manageable for only two people.

A Butterball turkey breast in its packagingIt was a Butterball and it came with cooking instructions. After wrestling for ages to get the instructions out of the packaging, I was less than impressed by what they contained. The temperatures were all in Fahrenheit (and when converted they seemed far too low to be believable anyway) and they gave various options for how to cook it – roast, microwave, grill, etc.
(click for bigger)
Butterball's turkey breast cooking instructions

I really didn’t like the look of this so I decided to look elsewhere for advice about how to cook this thing.

I found an excellent recipe on and followed their general method minus all the whole garlic bulbs.



Inserting herb butter between the flesh and skin of a turkey breastHaving already defrosted the turkey in the fridge, washed it, and patted it dry, I then mixed up some butter with freshly chopped parsley and a couple of cloves of garlic, which I inserted between the skin and flesh of the bird. It’s a yukky job but this bastes the joint for you and keeps the turkey meat moist and succulent.

I put it upsides down on top of a roughly chopped onion in a roasting tin and covered it in foil. That went into the oven at 190°C (375°F, Gas Mark 5) for a couple of hours. Then I took it out, removed the foil, put it the right way up and added a few strips of streaky bacon on top, and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes. The bacon was supposed to protect the breast from burning in the hot oven and to add more flavour to the meat. This tactic wasn’t a huge success as it mostly just prevented the breast from going that nice golden, delicious-looking colour. It looked a bit peely-wally so I took the bacon off and tried to get some colour onto the breast.

A roasted turkey breastAnyway, the finished result was pretty good. The meat was moist and it was nice to have turkey for a change. Meanwhile I had made roast potatoes and, as is traditional in Britain, had put the sprouts on to boil three days earlier. I couldn’t be bothered faffing about with julienned carrots – but here’s how to do that from my posting a couple of years ago – so I just sliced the carrots, boiled them, and topped them with a bit of freshly chopped parsley. We also had sage and onion stuffing balls and pigs in blankets.

We did consider having bread sauce, cranberry sauce and various other bits and bobs but it all seemed to be more bother than it was worth. I did, of course, make gravy. The product itself came with some (liquid) gravy in a packet but we didn’t like the look of it very much (and have still to get around to trying it), so I made my own.

7 Responses to “How to cook a turkey breast crown”

  1. barry pimm

    hello i have recently bought a microwave oven and i would like to know ehether you can cook a turkey crown in a microwave if so can you tell me how to go about it how long in the microwave etc

  2. Chris

    Love this. Really made me laugh and v useful. Ta.
    As I’m writing I realise it’s just gone midnight and it’s now the 18th of December. I think I’d better get the sprouts on.

  3. Not Delia

    Hi Barry,

    Have fun with your new microwave. I expect that you can cook just about anything in it, but I’m sorry I can’t help you. Whilst I admit to being a “bung it in” type of cook, and try all kinds of unorthodox methods (I’ve even cooked a haggis in a wok), my experience with microwaves is limited to heating up cups of tea.

    Good luck and have a Happy Christmas!


  4. Not Delia

    Hi Chris,

    Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for commenting. The sprouts joke is a long-standing one which many of us share. 🙂

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas Day and a delicious Christmas dinner.


  5. TS

    You are wrong about the sprout cooking time; I live in Britain and put them on a rolling boil in October to be ready for Christmas. Enjoy!

  6. Not Delia

    Hi TS,

    You’re correct, of course. The sprouts need to go on in October, but which date exactly? I’m never sure. I tried putting them on simmer at Halloween one year but they weren’t ready in time.

    Sprouts have gone all trendy now anyway. Apparently you can make all sorts of things with them from sprout cheesecake with cow guts to Thai-style sprouts with lemon grass and donkey droppings. There’s no end to modernity and “fusion” cooking.

    I’ll stick with the tried and tested. 😉

  7. Ted

    Dunno why youd need donkey droppings with the Thai style sprouts. Boil them for long enough and Im sure theyll taste that way anyway LOL

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