This oven roasted bone in turkey breast is so much easier to cook than a whole turkey. It's a quick and easy option for the holidays!
Plus, being smaller, this turkey breast is easier to brine - which is the secret to the juiciest turkey breast meat ever!!! But being smaller doesn't mean it is any less impressive! This fabulous turkey crown makes a glorious centerpiece to your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.
If you are serving a smaller group this year, then a roast turkey breast is a beautiful alternative to my slow-roasted turkey. A simple holiday recipe that you are just going to love!
What is a turkey crown?
A turkey crown is also known as a bone in turkey breast. It is the double breast of the turkey still attached to the bone but with the legs and wings removed.
This makes a turkey crown easier to prepare and much quicker and easier to cook, as you don't have to worry about the breast drying out before the legs are cooked!
The other advantage to a bone in turkey breast is it is much smaller, so you shouldn't have any problems fitting it in the oven or a standard roasting tin!
Brining a bone in turkey breast/turkey crown
Brining is a simple process that will transform your turkey!
It involves soaking the turkey breast in a saltwater solution. During this process, the turkey will absorb moisture and salt, meaning it ends up juicy and well seasoned. Plus, the salt helps to break down the protein strands, which makes the breast even more tender.
Since we are using a turkey breast, you'll find you can do this in a large saucepan and store it in the refrigerator.
Make sure your turkey doesn't say "kosher," "enhanced," or "self-basting," these turkeys have already been brined!
For the simple brine you will need:
- 3 quarts water
- ¼ cup table salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
I like to add one quart of boiling water in a pan and heat it with the salt and sugar, this helps to ensure they dissolve, then once dissolved I mix it with cold water to cool the brine ready for the turkey.
You can add other aromatics and herbs to your brine.
Herbs - rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley.
Spices - whole coriander seeds, cumin, ginger, star anise.
Fruit/Veg - carrots, celery, apple
Citrus peel - orange, lemon, lime
Just add a tablespoon or so of any of the above to flavor your turkey while it brines.
I'm a garlic lover (you probably noticed that from my pasta recipes) but I never add garlic as I find the taste of garlic to be out of place amongst the rest of the Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner. But please feel free to add a few peeled garlic cloves to your brine.
The turkey wants around 12 hours in the brine, then before you cook it, remove it from the brine and pat it dry to ensure the skin will crisp up.
Once it has been brined and dried, it is just a case of brushing it with oil and roasting it in a hot oven.
How long to cook bone in turkey breast for?
The general rule is around 23 minutes per pound or 50 minutes per kilo.
To work out your cooking time, find the full weight of your bone in breast/turkey crown and then times that by the number of minutes.
A 5.5lb turkey would need between 5.5 x 23
Working out at 126 minutes (2 hours 6 minutes)
A 6lb turkey would need 6 x 23, working out at 138 minutes (2 hours 18 minutes)
A 2.5kg turkey would need 2.5 x 50
Working out at 125 minutes (2 hours 5 minutes)
A 2.7kg turkey would need 2.7 x 50, working out at 135 minutes (2 hours 15 minutes)
Time to make that high school maths work for you! Food is the best kind of maths! 😉 (Don't worry I have done some conversions for you in the recipe notes)
The most important part of cooking a turkey is to ensure that the internal temperature of the breast is 160ºF (70ºC)
I like to do this with a meat thermometer, and it is easy to check. But if you don't have a thermometer, you can pierce the breast and check that the juices run clear.
I hope you have a beautiful and enjoyable Holiday x
For more Thanksgiving/Christmas Recipes why not try:
- Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
- Prepare Ahead Roast Potatoes
- Slow Roast Turkey
- Christmas Spiced Braised Red Cabbage
- Roasted Parsnips with Salted Caramel
- Roasted Rutabaga with Maple Syrup
- Easy Homemade Brown Gravy
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Oven Roasted Bone in Turkey Breast Recipe
For the Brine
- 3 quarts water
- ¼ cup table salt - see note 1
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 onions - peeled and quartered
For the Turkey
- 6 lb bone in turkey breast - see note 2
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Start with the brine
- Heat 1 quart of the water to boiling then add ¼ cup of table salt, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns, and a peeled and quartered onion.
- Once the salt and sugar have dissolved, remove the brine from the heat and add the remaining 2 quarts of cold water.
- Once the brine is cool, add the turkey breast and refrigerate for 12 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC (FAN- 320ºF/160ºC).
- Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with kitchen paper towel.
- Drizzle the turkey breast with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place the turkey in a roasting tin.
- Cover the turkey with foil and roast for 70 minutes (see note 3).
- Remove the foil and roast the turkey for a further 68 minutes (see note 3)
- Remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to rest in a warm place for 15 mins. You can tent it with foil, but the skin will stop being crisp.
- Table salt is easy to dissolve. It has small crystals, so ¼ cup is more than enough. If you are using grain salt (like Molden Salt), then you will need ½ cup of salt.
- If your turkey crown is more or less than 6lb (2.7kg), then the cooking time will vary. Use the maths formula in the main bulk of the post to calculate your cook time. Or check out the values below. You want to do roughly half of the time covered and half of the time uncovered.
- FOR POUNDS - Cook time (in minutes) = lb x 23 4lb - 45 minutes covered in foil, 47 minutes uncovered 4.5lb - 50 minutes covered in foil, 53 minutes uncovered 5lb - 60 minutes covered in foil, 55 minutes uncovered 5.5lb - 60 minutes covered in foil, 66 minutes uncovered 6lb - 70 minutes covered in foil, 68 minutes uncovered 6.5lb - 75 minutes covered in foil, 74 minutes uncovered FOR KILOGRAMS - cook time (in minutes) = kg x 50 1.5kg - 40 minutes covered in foil, 35 minutes uncovered 1.8kg - 45 minutes covered in foil, 45 minutes uncovered 2kg - 50 minutes covered in foil, 50 minutes uncovered 2.5kg - 65 minutes covered in foil, 60 minutes uncovered 2.8kg - 70 minutes covered in foil, 70 minutes uncovered 3kg - 75 minutes covered in foil, 75 minutes uncovered