The best turkey isn’t stuffed at all. With stuffing. A smaller bird is best. So. If you have many guests, maybe make two. Buy a fresh free-range 10-12 pounder. Remove the neck, heart, liver, gizzards. Rinse them in warm water and place them on a paper towel in a baking pan large enough for the turkey. Rinse the turkey with warm water, inside and out. Pat it dry all around. In the cavity, sprinkle kosher salt and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight on the paper towels with the gizzards in the baking pan.
On Thanksgiving, remove the turkey and gizzards from the paper towels. Discard the towels. Place the turkey and gizzards on a dish. Let them come to room temperature. Wash out the baking pan, rinse thoroughly and dry. Drizzle the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Slice 2 large sweet onions and spread around the edges of the pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with one orange, cut in half; a sprig of fresh thyme; and a whole head of garlic, with just the top cut off.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the gizzards on the onions. In the middle of the baking pan, place the turkey on its side, wing and leg up. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn the turkey to the other side, the other wing and leg up. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Bake for another 45 minutes. Turn turkey to breast side up. Baste legs, wings, breast with juices from the pan. Bake for another 45 minutes. Turkey legs should be loose and skin crispy. Use a meat thermometer to assure doneness. If necessary, cover the turkey with aluminum foil and continue cooking until juices from leg joints run clear. Don’t over cook at this high heat, just until cooked through and skin golden brown.
Serve with stuffington sides. Happy Stuffington Post Day!