Adjust a rack to lowest position and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Dry bird well with paper towels, inside and out. Salt and pepper inside the breast cavity and stuff the onion, garlic, herbs, and bay leaves inside. Set the bird on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; breast side up and brush generously with 1/2 the butter and season again with salt and pepper. Tent the bird with foil.
Roast the turkey for 2 hours. Remove the foil and baste with the remaining butter and some of the pan drippings. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and continue to roast until an instant read thermometer registers 165 in the thigh of the bird, about 45 minutes more. Remove turkey form the oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Carve and serve.
Serving Suggestions: Savory Mushroom Dressing
Put the dressing in the oven during the last hour of cooking the turkey To toast nuts, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree F oven until golden, about 7 minutes
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