Already have a family favorite or looking for inspiration? Here is a trio of recipes for the basic bird.
> Traditional turkey
Prep: Rinse turkey (about 14 pounds) under cold water; pat dry. Rub inside of turkey with salt. Spoon 10 to 12 cups stuffing loosely into cavity and neck of bird. Close openings with kitchen string; tuck wings underneath; tie legs together. Put turkey onto oiled rack in a roasting pan. Rub outside of turkey with melted butter. Tuck fresh sage leaves inside and under skin.
Roast: Place in 425-degree oven. Roast uncovered, 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; roast until internal temperature is 165 degrees on meat thermometer, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Baste turkey occasionally with butter or any pan juices.
Rest: Transfer turkey to platter; tent loosely with foil. Let stand 20 minutes before carving. Make gravy from pan drippings.
> Bourbon roast turkey
Adapted from "The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook."
Prep: Mix 1/4 cup coarse salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder in a small bowl. Carefully run fingers under breast and thigh skin to loosen; season under skin with a third of salt mix. Rub remaining mixture in cavity and all over skin. Pierce 1 orange and 1 lime and halve 1 onion; stuff them into cavity with 2 bay leaves and 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled. Tuck wing tips and truss your 14-pound turkey as before.
Glaze: Heat 3/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons each molasses and brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire to a simmer in a small saucepan; cook 5 minutes.
Roast: Set turkey on rack in roasting pan; add neck and giblets to pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 2 cups bourbon into pan. Pour two-thirds of the glaze over turkey; set aside remaining third. Cover roasting pan; or oil a large sheet of foil, cover pan, oil side down. Roast about 3 1/4 hours. Uncover pan. Brush turkey with reserved glaze. Roast uncovered until breast meat registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, 30 minutes.
Rest: As before.
> Turkey with red chilies
From chef Aaron Sanchez's "Simple Food, Big Flavor."
Chili colorado sauce: Put 3 medium onions, quartered; 8 fresh tomatillos, husked, washed; 4 plum tomatoes, cored, quartered; and 8 cloves garlic, peeled, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook under broiler without turning until they begin to char, about 7 minutes. Remove; cool. Stem, seed and devein 1 ancho and 2 guajillo chilies. Toast chilies in dry skillet over medium-low heat, turning once, just until aromatic, 1 minute. Put chilies in a bowl. Cover with hot water; soak 30 minutes. Drain and discard water. Working in batches, puree vegetables and chilies in blender with 4 cups chicken stock until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Prep: The day before roasting, pat skin of a 14-pound turkey dry. Sprinkle with salt; rub 1 teaspoon salt in cavity. Rub 1/2 cup chili sauce over turkey; reach under skin to rub into breast meat. Rub some in cavity. Wrap neck skin over cavity; tuck under body; tuck wing tips under breast. Set turkey on rack in roasting pan; cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Roast: An hour before roasting, remove turkey from refrigerator; let stand uncovered. Set oven rack in lower third of oven; heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub 2 tablespoons unsalted butter over turkey skin. Add 1 cup water to roasting pan; roast 1 hour. Remove turkey from oven; brush surface with 1/2 cup sauce. Add another cup of water to pan. Tent turkey loosely with foil; return to oven. Roast until breast meat registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, 2 to 3 hours. Check occasionally after 2 hours; add a little more water to pan as needed.
Rest: As before. Make gravy, using 1/2 cup chili sauce.