1 16 to18 pound turkey, neck, giblets and liver removed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 sticks, cut into 1- inch cubes, set aside
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper
1 spanish onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, peeled, and pressed with back of a knife
1 lemon, zest, then quarter
3/4 cup celery chopped
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, torn
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
15 springs fresh rosemary, chopped
Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Making sure to remove neck, giblets and liver from cavity.
Place, breast side up, on wire rack set over paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Allow to drain completely. It’s very important to pat dry again. Making sure of no excess water.
Set rack at lowest position in oven preheated to 450°F. Place turkey on rack in large roasting pan. Using brush, coat turkey, inside and out, with melted butter, then sprinkle with salt, cracked pepper and lemon zest.
Fill turkey cavity with cubed butter, onions, garlic, celery, lemon and herbs. Tie legs together loosely with kitchen twine, making sure to secure wings under body.
Place turkey in oven, uncovered and roast until light golden brown, about 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and roast, basting turkey with drippings every 30 minutes, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 165 F, careful not to hit bone. I’ve found that it takes about 13-14 minutes per pound to cook. If skin starts to brown too much, you may tent breast with foil for remainder of cooking time.
Transfer turkey to platter and carefully remove twine. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.