Preheat Oven to 325F
*Reduce the cooking time by about 30 minutes if you are roasting the bird without stuffing. Preparation
Remove wrapping from turkey, then remove the bag with the neck and giblets and reserve for making stock for the gravy.
Rinse the turkey with cold water and pat dry with clean paper toweling.
Set the turkey directly on the bottom of a large roasting pan (appropriate for the size bird you are roasting). If You're Stuffing The Bird
Add the chopped bacon to a 10" saute pan. Cook until it releases the fat but not enough to brown. Add the onion and celery. Cook over medium high heat until the onion is translucent and the celery is lightly cooked.
Place the dried bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Pour the bacon and vegetable mixture over the bread cubes. Add the melted butter, the beaten egg, and 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning. Add about 1 cup warm water or just enough to moisten the stuffing. It should not be overly dry or too soggy.
Add the stuffing to the neck and body cavity. Secure with cooking twine or turkey "pins". Remove any stuffing that falls into the pan because it tends to burn and affect the flavor of the drippings.
Mix the paprika or herbs with the melted butter. Use a basting brush and baste the turkey with the melted butter mixture.
Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast or thigh. See our cooking videos page for the best way to do this.
Add the 2 cups of water or broth to the bottom of the pan.
Place the neck giblets in a medium saucepan, cover with 10 cups of water; simmer until cooked. Drain, and allow to cool. Once cooled, chop the giblets and remove the meat from the neck, then set aside to use in the gravy (optional).
Place the turkey in the preheated oven. You don't need to turn the turkey during the cooking process. Halfway through the cooking time pour 1 cup of heated (not boiling) white wine over the turkey. A chardonnay or sauvignon blanc would be good choices.
Roast for about 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 hours for a 12 - 14lb turkey or until the internal temperature reads 165F. Remove the turkey from the oven; cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving. Gravy
Skim the fat from the pan drippings and reserve. Add enough water or turkey stock back into the pan to make 8 cups. Stir the stock, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the drippings into a large measuring cup.
Add 1/2 cup of the fat from the drippings to a medium saucepan. If you don't have enough reserved fat then add melted butter to make up the difference. Place the pan over medium heat.
Add 1/2 cup flour to the fat and cook until it reaches a slightly browned color.
Add the stock and simmer the gravy gradually, whisking constantly until it thickens. Add the reserved giblets and shredded neck meat. (optional) Gravy Too Thin?
If the gravy is too thin you can mix 1 tablespoon soften butter with 1 tablespoon flour. Make sure the gravy is boiling, add the butter/flour mixture and cook until gravy thickens. Gravy Too Thick?
If the gravy is too thick, add more stock, chicken stock, or water.