Turkey for a Crowd
2 Fennel bulbs, Cored and Chopped Coarse
2 Medium Onions, Chopped Coarse
2 Medium Carrots, Chopped Coarse
2 Ribs Celery, Chopped Coarse
1 Mayan Pearl Lemon, Quartered
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (3 to 4 Inches Each)
1 Frozen Turkey (Butterball or Kosher Turkey, 18 to 22 pounds gross weight), Neck, Heart, and Gizzard Reserved for Gravy, Turkey Rinsed and Thoroughly Dried with Paper Towels
4 Tablespoons Pacifica Culinaria All Natural Avocado Oil
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt or 1 Teaspoon Table Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
You can use any roasting pan to roast the turkey, even a disposable one, but make sure to use a V-rack to keep the bird elevated. Be careful to dry the skin thoroughly before brushing the bird with butter; otherwise it will have spotty brown skin. Rotating the bird helps produce moist, evenly cooked meat, but for the sake of ease, you may opt not to rotate it. In that case, skip the step of lining the V-rack with foil and roast the bird breast-side up for the entire cooking time. Because we do not brine the bird, we had the best results with a frozen Butterball (injected with salt and water) and a kosher bird (soaked in saltwater during processing).
Adjust oven rack to lowest position; remove remaining racks. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss fennel, onions, carrots, celery, lemon, and thyme in medium bowl; set aside. Brush turkey breast with 2 tablespoons avocado oil, then sprinkle with half of salt and half of black pepper. Set turkey breast-side down on the cut up veggies. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons avocado oil and sprinkle with remaining salt and black pepper. Fill cavity with half of onion mixture; scatter rest in roasting pan and pour 1 cup water into pan.
Roast turkey 1 hour; remove roasting pan with turkey from oven. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Using clean dishtowel or 2 potholders, turn turkey breast-side up; return roasting pan with turkey to oven and continue to roast until legs move freely and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 180 degrees, about 2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes. Carve and serve.