I have people asking me all the time if they should brine or deep-fry their turkey. I love anything fried myself but the answer is, do what you are most comfortable with. I like to roast mine because there is less equipment and preparation time needed. Roasted turkey can be juicy inside and crispy on the outside if done right (Go to my previous post on how to get that perfect turkey).
1 12-15lb whole turkey
1/2 cup butter, softened and divided
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh sage leaf
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 lemon, halved
2 celery ribs, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
Thaw the turkey before if frozen.
In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup of softened butter, paprika, salt, pepper, minced sage leaf and thyme sprigs, and 2 cloves of minced garlic.
Rinse the inside and outside of with cold water. Remove the giblets and neck (save for later). Then pat dry with paper towel both inside and outside of the turkey. Loosen the turkey skin from the breast by inserting your hand and using the fingers (This creates a pocket for you to insert herbs and butter. Be careful not to tear the skin as that will ruin the presentation).
Rub butter and herb mixture on the outside and in the cavity wall of the turkey. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper. Remember to add some of the mixture in the pockets between the skin and breast. Reserve ¼ of the butter mixture for later use. Insert lemon halves, celery, onion, and garlic inside the cavity. Place turkey breast on a lightly greased wire rack, breast side up, in an aluminum foil lined shallow roasting pan.
Bake at 325F for roughly 3 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in thigh reads 180°F. After the first 30 minutes of baking, spread remaining ¼ cup of butter evenly on the turkey. Then proceed to baste the turkey every 30 minutes with pan drippings. At the 2hr of baking, use the remainder of the butter and herb mixture and spread evenly. (Prevent overcooking by checking for doneness after 2 hours). Remove turkey from roasting pan, and let sit for 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh herbs and vegetables around the turkey.