How to Make It
Place 2 wire racks inside 2 rimmed baking sheets. Divide turkey pieces evenly between racks. Stir together salt, sugar, and paprika in a small bowl, using your fingers to ensure sugar is fully incorporated. Sprinkle mixture evenly over turkey pieces. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least overnight and up to 24 hours.
Remove turkey from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lift racks with turkey pieces off baking sheets; pat turkey dry with paper towels (do not rinse) and arrange, skin side up, on racks again. Pour off and discard any liquid from baking sheets and wipe dry. Divide celery, carrots, onions, and thyme between baking sheets. Set racks with turkey inside baking sheets again and brush turkey evenly with butter.
Roast turkey until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of breasts and thighs (without touching bone) registers 165°F, 60 to 70 minutes, rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through. Remove baking sheets from oven and let turkey rest on wire racks, tented with foil, at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours. Reserve baking sheets with vegetables and drippings for making gravy (see recipe, page 108). Slice turkey as desired and serve.
For a juicy turkey, use a dry brine to add flavor, and roast the bird in pieces for faster, more even cooking.