- 2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 12- pound turkey, thawed if frozen, plus giblets if included
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 recipe Butter Baste
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Place the carrots, onion, giblets (if included), and 1 cup water in a large roasting pan and top with a roasting rack. Rub the turkey with the oil and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. (Be sure to season inside the cavity, too.) Tie the legs together with twine and tuck the wings underneath the body.
- Roast until the turkey is golden brown and the skin is beginning to crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Continue to roast the turkey and begin to baste with the butter baste (Molasses and Bourbon, Smoked Paprika, or Chili, Garlic, and Rosemary) every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh registers 165° F, 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 40 minutes more. (Add 1 cup more water to the pan if the vegetables begin to scorch.)
- Carefully tilt the turkey to empty the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving. Reserve the pan and its contents for Ultimate Gravy.