I have been delinquent in posting this year's progress. Now it's the day and the turkey is in the refrigerator contemplating its fate.
I know some people just want the turkey done but I love re-engineering it every year. (See my turkey page.) This year: Dry brined and dried in the refrigerator for a day. Dusted with a bit of salt plus baking powder to lower its pH. That should ensure a crisp skin. (On a Food Network special, they asked Bobby, Giada, Alton, and Ina what their favorite turkey parts were. My answer: the skin.)
Finished off with an herb paste: Under and over the skin, and deposited deep into slits in the white meat.
I usually use a 400°F oven and start the bird breast down, as recommended by Cook's Illustrated. But this year, I am following the advice of Meathead at AmazingRibs.com. I am planning to use 325°, place it on a rack above the pan, not in it, and skip the flipping. With less heat coming from all directions, and the legs getting it from top and bottom, the theory is I don't have to protect the white meat as much.
I have a plan B. If the breast is done and the legs are not, I'll follow Bobby Flay's method and remove the legs and put them back in the oven in a covered pan, to braise, while the turkey rests.
My poor guests! They are always eating a science experiment!
So far, no one has complained.