- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 (12 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1/2 bunch chopped fresh sage
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- Place onion, celery, and carrot in a large, shallow roasting pan.
- Place turkey, breast side up, on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Pat the outside and inside of the turkey dry with paper towels.
- Combine salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Season the inside of the turkey with about 1/3 of the salt mixture. Fold wing tips under the bird.
- Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat until the edges begin to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Cook and stir rosemary and sage for 1 minute.
- Place rosemary and sage inside the cavity of the turkey; reserve melted butter. Tie the legs together with twine.
- Brush outside of the turkey completely with the melted butter. Season with remaining 2/3 of the salt mixture.
- Bake turkey, uncovered, in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 3 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Be sure you buy a meat thermometer before Thanksgiving; it will be the most important tool in the kitchen that day.