1 14-16 lb fresh, organic turkey
Freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, cut into half
1 large onion, cut into quarters
2 stalks celery and celery tops, roughly chopped
1 head garlic, separated into cloves
Herb bunch: fresh thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary tied with cooking string
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
Butter basting mixture:
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Reduce heat to 350°F when you put the turkey in.
2. Remove giblets and wash turkey thoroughly inside and out by placing the bird in the sink and pouring boiling water from the tea kettle both inside and over the bird. Let the water drain from the bird and pat it dry with paper towels.
3. Place turkey on a V-rack in a large roasting pan. Salt and pepper inside the turkey cavity. Fill the cavity with the lemon halves, onion, celery, garlic, and herb bunch. Rub outside of turkey with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and seasoning salt. Secure legs with kitchen string.
4. To roast turkey, begin by loosely tenting the bird with foil during the first hour in the oven. Remove the foil to allow the bird to brown nicely. If it gets too dark, put the foil back on the turkey.
5. For the butter basting mixture, finely chop all ingredients and add to the melted butter. Every 30 to 45 minutes, brush the turkey with butter basting mixture.
6. A turkey of this size takes about 3 to 3 1/2 hours (rule of thumb: cook the bird 10 to 12 minutes per pound). It’s done when the juices run clear and the thermometer reaches 165°F.
7. After it is done, remove turkey from the pan to a cutting board placed on a large rimmed cookie tray, which catches the drips. Let it rest, covered with foil, for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
8. For turkey gravy, add remaining butter basting mixture to the drippings in the pan over heat. Add 2 to 3 cups of chicken stock and mix with a whisk. Combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water, mix well. Add this mixture to the drippings in the roasting pan. Whisk over low heat on top of the stove until mixture thickens and is heated through.