Re: Ive never cooked a turkey before. Help!
I let it thaw in the fridge for 3+ days.
I wash it, season it inside, put it in the pan to cook. Then I take pepper, salt, sage, spices,and lemon extract and mix that in mayo. (real mayo not salad dressing/miracle whip) I generously coat the turkey with the jazzed up mayo. I tent it with tin foil. 30 minutes before it is done (based on time) I take the tent off to brown. I never baste it. It comes out a nice golden brown and tender and juicy.
(DH is a baster... He thinks it needs to be basted ever 30 minutes with butter. The first time I did this I has to fight him off with wooden spoon -hehe. After it was done, He said, "I'll never baste anything ever again")
If you like Alton Brown (Good Eats), he has a whole show about cooking a turkey that you can watch free on Hulu. He also has the after turkey show that is stupid but does have great ideas for leftovers. (Stupid because the premise of the show is the "crew" is trapped by an inch of snow and takes his family member hostage to force him to cook leftovers. DH thought it was funny but I didn't)