I always cook my turkey this way- breast side down to start, then flip it over to finish. Why? Because by giving the dark meat a head start in cooking, you keep the breast from drying out. It comes out juicy, tender, and perfect every time. Usually it’s very difficult to keep a large turkey from drying out, but I use a 15 to 20 pounder with this technique with no problems. And the leftovers stay moist as well. If you want to use some more aromatics see note at end, I just wanted to give you a nice basic version you can use as is or jazz up with your personal favorites.
15-20 lb Turkey, thawed (or smaller if desired)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 heads garlic, cut in half
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
kosher salt and black pepper
Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.
Stuff cavity with onion and garlic. Brush turkey with melted butter and sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. Put in a roasting pan BREAST SIDE DOWN. (Yes, you read that right.)
Roast at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours uncovered.
Flip turkey over, so that it is breast side up, the larger the turkey the more tricky, but be careful not to rip the skin if you can help it. Continue to cook about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Tent with foil if browning too quickly.
Make sure the temperature reaches 160 degrees. And NO the little pop up thing does NOT count.
Rest 15 minutes before carving.
Wrap leftovers in foil, then put in a ziplock bag and freeze.
NOTE: You can also use thyme, rosemary, or other fresh herbs to stuff cavity, along with a lemon pricked with a fork.