Even if your dinner's a little smaller this year, there's always room for turkey.
- 1 18 pound whole turkey
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ quarts turkey stock
- 8 cups prepared stuffing
Turn the oven up to 325 F. Make sure the rack is in the lowest possible position.
Cut the neck and giblets off the turkey, rinse it off, and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan with the breast facing up, and place the pan on the oven rack. Loosely fill the body cavity with stuffing, give the skin a rubdown with the softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Carefully create a foil tent over the turkey.
Place the turkey in the oven, and pour 2 cups of stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Every 30 minutes, baste the turkey completely with the juices on the bottom of the pan. If the drippings evaporate, add more stock to moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. After 2 1/2 hours, take the foil off and continue roasting for another 2 hours. When a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F, you're good to go.
Place the turkey on a serving platter, and let it sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving and serving.