Remove giblets and neck from turkey; wash, and set aside. Wash turkey thoroughly inside and out.
Prepare your choice of dressing.
Spoon some of dressing into neck cavity of turkey.
Bring skin of neck over back; fasten with poultry pin.
Spoon remaining dressing into body cavity; do not pack.
Insert 4 or 5 poultry pins at regular intervals.
Lace cavity closed with twine, bootlace fashion and then tie.
Bend wing tips under body, or fasten to body with poultry pins.
Tie ends of legs together.
Insert meat thermometer in inside of thigh at thickest part.
Place turkey on rack in shallow roasting pan.
Brush with some butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast uncovered and brushing occasionally with remaining butter and pan drippings; about 4 hours, or until meat thermometer registers 185.
Leg joint should move freely.
When turkey begins to turn golden, cover with a square of butter-soaked cheesecloth or a loose tent of foil, to prevent burning.
While turkey roasts, cook giblets and neck.
Place turkey on heated serving platter.
Remove cheesecloth or foil, twine, and poultry pins.
Let stand 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
Notes: Approximate baking time is 18 minutes per pound.