Special equipment: large roasting pan pastry brush or bulb baster instant-read thermometer
Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and remove the other racks. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey. Discard the liver, set the others aside. Dry the turkey inside and out with paper towels. Season the breast cavity with salt and pepper. Slice the onions and halve the garlic head crosswise. Stuff all the garlic and half the onions inside the turkey along with some of the herbs and 1 bay leaf. Halve the carrots and celery lengthwise; put them in the center of roasting pan and set the turkey, breast side up, on top of the vegetables.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, and brush about half of it all over the bird, season the skin with salt and pepper. Tent turkey with aluminum foil and roast for 2 hours. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of the butter for basting the bird.
Cook the rest of the onion, neck and giblets in the remaining butter in the saucepan, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until browned, about 15 minutes. Add the broth, remaining herbs, and bay leaf; cover and simmer over medium-low heat while the turkey roasts, about 2 hours. Discard the giblets if desired, or reserve for giblets gravy. After 2 hours, remove the foil from the turkey and use a pastry brush or bulb baster to baste turkey with the reserved butter and some of the pan drippings. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer stuck in the thigh registers between 170 and 180 degrees F, about 1 hour more. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
For the Gravy: Pour all the turkey pan drippings into a liquid measuring cup and discard the vegetables. Ladle off 1/2 cup of the fat from the top of the drippings, and transfer to a saucepan. (Put measuring cup with remaining drippings and fat in the freezer for a few minutes to separate.) Heat fat over medium heat, scatter the flour evenly on top and cook, stirring constantly, with a wooden spoon until the flour browns slightly and smells toasty, about 4 minutes. Switch to a whisk; then gradually and carefully ladle the hot broth into the flour mixture while whisking constantly. Bring the gravy to a boil; adjust the heat so it simmers gently. Skim and discard any excess fat from the remaining drippings, and add the pan juices to the gravy. Continue to simmer, whisking occasionally, until the gravy is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with the Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Remove and discard onion, garlic, herbs, and bay leaf from the turkey cavity. Pour any juices that have accumulated into the gravy, Carve the turkey.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a shallow 3-quart casserole.
Cut or tear bread into bite-size pieces. Lay bread pieces in a single layer on 1 or 2 baking sheets. Bake until slightly dry and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.
Peel, core, and coarsely chop the apple. Coarsely chop the onion, celery, and apricots. Chop the parsley.
Melt the 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple, onion, celery, apricots, cranberries, thyme, salt, and fennel seeds; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and parsley and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the toasted bread and the onion and fruit mixture; toss until evenly moistened. Loosely pack the dressing into the prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, until the top is crusty, about 40 minutes. Drizzle the pan drippings or melted butter over the top. Cook until the top is crisp and golden, about 20 minutes more.
Tips: Put the dressing in the oven during the last hour of cooking the turkey Upgrades: Cook pork sausage until brown and crispy in the skillet. Remove to a plate and cook vegetables and fruit in the residual fat. Stir sausage into stuffing just before baking. Yield: 8 to 10 servings Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes Ease of preparation: easy
From Food Network Kitchens How to Boil Water, Meredith, 2006