This turkey will bring your Thanksgiving feast to the next level!
* IMPORTANT * If you're brining your turkey, which I recommend, it must be brined before you begin this recipe. Brining the turkey is not included in the prep time and will take about 20 hours. (Don't worry, 99% of that time is inactive.) Here's the recipe and how to do it.
Preheat the oven to 500°F and adjust a rack that will fit your roasting pan and turkey. The rack will likely need to be below the middle. Then prepare a large roasting pan with a raised rack. Add two cups of water to the bottom of the pan and set aside.
Place the turkey, breast side up, on the roasting rack and into the oven. After about 15 minutes, use a basting brush or your hands to spread the rest of the butter on the turkey's surface. Continue to roast until the skin is brown, about 10 more minutes. Then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F.
Gently turn the turkey over so the breast side is down on the rack. (Yes, this is tricky with a big turkey -- you might want to use heat resistant silicone kitchen gloves, or hold each end with paper towels for a better grip.) Cover the back and sides of the turkey with the bacon slices, using rosemary sprigs to hold them in place.
Return the turkey to the oven (as it is, breast side down) and roast until the internal temperature is 155°F. The final internal temperature will be about 165°F, as the turkey will continue to cook for several minutes outside the oven. The juices should run clear and the legs should move easily when it's done. Cooking times might vary, but it should take about 2 hours. If your turkey is getting too brown before it has finished cooking, cover it with foil.