* 1 turkey (14 pounds)
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* 18 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
* 4 medium onions, sliced
* 4 celery ribs, sliced
* 2 medium carrots, sliced
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 tablespoon peppercorns
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon minced chives
Rub the surface of the turkey and sprinkle cavity with salt and pepper. Place 12 sprigs of thyme in cavity. In a large heavy roasting pan, place onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns and remaining thyme sprigs. Place the turkey, breast side up, over vegetables. Drizzle butter over turkey and sprinkle with minced herbs.
Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 325° for 2-1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake 1-1/2 to 2 hours longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180°, basting every 20 minutes.
Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. Discard bay leaves and peppercorns; thicken pan drippings for gravy if desired. Yield: 12-14 servings.