This is my first post. I've been reading Chowhound posts for a long time now, and every question I've ever had has been answered. Until now :)
The past 3 Thanksgivings I have prepared my turkey using Leah Chase's recipe as found in Saveur:
I like it for it's simplicity; I've had pretty good results, but I've always had a problem with capturing the drippings. See, you use a foil envelope around the turkey to capture moisture, but invariable the bottom foil rips and I have a mess on my hands. Worse, the drippings hit the hot roasting pan and burn up. I like to add onions, celery and carrots to the foil packet, but these end up getting messy too.
Should I cover the entire roasting pan in foil, and put veggies and some liquid in bottom of pan? Would this defeat the purpose of the foil package since there would be so much extra air? I don't think this will affect cooking times, but if I'm wrong, someone let me know.
She also recommends 350 for 2.5 hour and then remove top foil and finish at 500 degrees for about 30 minutes longer. I've found that my birds (usually about 14 pounds) take longer to come to temp.
If it matters, I use the Cooks Illustrated recipe for the general base of my gravy, and add/subtract stuff as the mood hits me.
Sorry for the long post, and thanks for all the help over the years!