I find that I don't roast turkeys too often, so when I do, I put in the extra effort to make them come out as good as I can because they'll be feeding a lot of people, and I might not be making another one until next year.
With that in mind, gather the following ingredients, and don't skimp on quality if you can.
- A 15 - 25 lb turkey depending on how many people you'd like to feed. Figure on 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of the whole turkey per person.
I prefer fresh, unfrozen turkeys if possible, but often you'll have to get a frozen bird. If it's frozen, give yourself at least three or four days lead time in the refrigerator for the turkey to thaw before you plan to roast it. DO NOT roast a frozen bird, you'll be sorry.
- 1 stick of butter
- 2-3 stalks of celery
- 2-3 carrots
- 1 onion
- fresh thyme
- fresh sage
- fresh parsley
- chicken stock
- meat thermometer (this is the key to telling when your turkey is done cooking. I don't trust the red pop-up dot)
- turkey baster
- butchers string (cotton string safe for cooking with)
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- suitably sized roasting pan with a rack