Over the Christmas period your fridge will be packed with veg, including herbs. Don’t waste any stalks: keep them for this recipe, they’re packed with flavour and natural oils. Once you've tried this dry-brined turkey crown recipe, check out our easy turkey crown, roast turkey, roast turkey breast and more Christmas turkey recipes.

Recipe tip: Put a few orange or lemon halves in the tray while the turkey roasts – they’ll get caramelised and charred, and will be great squeezed over the meat and veg


  • 2-3kg turkey crown
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • a large handful flat-leaf parsley stalks, coriander stalks, dill stalks, sage stalks (a mix of any)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped


  • 1½ tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp soft light brown sugar
  • a handful thyme and rosemary stalks, chopped or broken into pieces
  • 2 oranges, zested
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp juniper berries


  • STEP 1

    The night before cooking, remove the turkey crown from the fridge and weigh it – this will give you a good idea of how long to cook the turkey for the following day. The crown will need 20 minutes per kg, plus 1 hour (so a 2kg crown will take 1 hour 40 minutes; a 3kg crown will take 2 hours).

  • STEP 2

    Make the dry brine by putting all the ingredients into a small blender and whizzing until combined – don’t worry if the thyme and rosemary stalks don’t completely break up. Tip the brine into a bowl. Don’t bother cleaning the food processor bowl as you’ll use it shortly, and any salt left over will season the butter.

  • STEP 3

    Use your hand to carefully make a pocket under the turkey skin, starting from the neck end, being careful not to split the skin. Tip the butter, herb stalks and garlic into the food processor, and whizz until smooth and combined.

  • STEP 4

    Push about 90% of the softened herb butter under the skin of the breast, smoothing to an even layer covering the whole breast. Take any remaining butter and evenly spread it over the outside of the turkey crown. Evenly sprinkle the dry brine over the entire turkey crown, sides, top and bottom. Cover and chill overnight.

  • STEP 5

    Remove the crown from the fridge 1 hour before cooking and heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Put the onions and carrots into the bottom of a roasting tray and sit the crown on top. Roast for the calculated cooking time, basting the breast with the butter halfway through. To check if the turkey is cooked, use a meat thermometer to probe the thickest part of the breast – it should read 70C – or pierce the thickest part with a skewer, where the juices should run clear. Remove to a carving plate or platter along with the carrots and onions, and cover with foil. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

  • STEP 6

    Tip any juices from the roasting tray and the carving plate, once rested, into the gravy. Carve the crown and serve.


Adam Bush Chef Portrait
Adam BushDeputy food editor

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