1. Adjust a rack to lowest position and remove other racks.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
3. Pat turkey dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Season inside of breast cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with onion, garlic, herbs, and bay leaves. Set bird on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan, breast side up, and brush with half of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Tent aluminum foil over bird.
4. Roast turkey on lowest oven rack for 2 hours. Remove foil and baste with remaining butter and pan drippings. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer, inserted into thigh of bird, registers 170 degrees F, about 45 minutes more. Remove turkey from oven and let rest 20 minutes. Remove and discard onion, garlic, herbs, and bay leaves before carving.
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