To Prepare the Turkey
Remove bag of giblets and neck from inside turkey. Take them out of the paper bag and place them in a saucepan with directions below.
Wash the inside and outside of the turkey with cold water, drain well. Rub the inside with about a tablespoon of salt. Stuff the turkey cavities (front and back) loosely with stuffing, secure with skewers or tie the legs together with kitchen string, securing the stuffing. Lift the skin from the breast of the turkey and stuff with a total of 4 oz. butter, between the skin and the meat. Sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme add a nice touch too. Rub the top and sides of bird with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place in a large roasting pan and on the lowest rack of the oven. Roast at 325 degrees for 12=15 minutes per pound. A 20 lb. turkey, unstuffed, should roast for 12 minutes per pound, or about 4 hours. A 20 lb. turkey, stuffed, should roast for 15 minutes per pound, or about 5 hours. Turkey is done when you cut between leg and breast and the juices run clear, with no hint of pink.
For the basting liquid and gravy
giblets and neck of turkey
3 quarts water
1 carrot, 2 ribs celery, 1 onion (with skin on) all cut in half
1 T. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 sprigs of thyme and 3 sprigs of sage or 1 tsp. dried thyme and 1 tsp. dried sage
Place all ingredients in medium saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour, covered. Using a ladle, pour 1-cup liquid from pot (not the vegetables) over turkey. Do this every half hour while the turkey is roasting at 325 degrees. Use the pan drippings and strain the remaining liquid from stock to makie gravy afther turkey is done.
Strain liquid from the stock pot. Discard the vegetables and place broth back in saucepan and add the pan drippings from the turkey. Deglaze the turkey pan with 1-cup water if drippings are stuck to roasting pan. Skim off any excess fat. Bring stock to a simmer. Mix 1/2 cup flour and 1 cup water. Whisk gently into the simmering broth. Cook on low heat, whisking often, until thickened. Taste for seasoning. If gravy is too thick, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time until the right consistency. Should make at least 4 cups gravy.