You will need (optional, if smoking)

  • a handful of wood chips (applewood are delicious)


  • STEP 1

    Up to two days ahead, mix the paprika, dried herbs and lots of ground pepper with 1 tbsp flaky sea salt. Season the turkey crown with half of the herby salt mixture, then cover. Mix the remaining herby salt mixture with the butter and chill.

  • STEP 2

    To cook, heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Smear the herby butter all over the crown, working it under the skin. Sit the crown on a rack in a large roasting tin, skin-side up, and roast for 1 hr 30 mins, basting with the buttery juices every 30 mins until the skin is crisp and the turkey is cooked all the way through.

  • STEP 3

    Remove the turkey from the oven and set aside. Use a small sheet of foil to make an open package of the wood chips. Place the package in a dry frying pan and heat until smoking, then transfer to the roasting tin. Cover everything in a large tent of foil to trap the smoke and leave the turkey to rest for 20 mins before unwrapping and carving. Save the juices from the tin to make a smoky gravy.


If you can, try using a smoking gun for an intensely smoky flavour. You can use it – or wood chips – to smoke other things, too, such as a whole roast chicken or a side of cooked trout.


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