Preheat oven to 325º.
(1) Remove giblets (including neck). Wash giblets and place in large saucepan with celery and onion. Add salt/pepper and a little poultry seasoning. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover pot and simmer on LOW while the turkey is cooking – it should take apx. 3-4 hours to tenderize giblets. Add water as needed to maintain liquid level.
(2) Remove wire fastener. Wash the bird under cold water and rinse out the cavities several times. THOROUGHLY dry the entire bird (inside and out) with paper towels.
(3) Spoon some of the stuffing into the neck cavity. NOTE: When the skin is pulled into place, the stuffing should give the neck cavity a rounded, full appearance.
(4) Pull the neck skin OVER the stuffing, then tuck loose skin UNDER the stuffing and poke it through to the inside cavity – it should be long enough to push it through to the inside to anchor it. You should be able to reach through the inside of the bird to pull the skin through.
(5) After securing the neck cavity, spoon the stuffing into the body cavity.Don't pack the stuffing - spoon it in loosely. This leaves room for the stuffing to expand during roasting. But don’t be selfish, either!! If the bird has a band of skin across the tail, tuck the ENDS of the drumsticks UNDER the band to secure them. If the band of skin is not present, cross the legs and tie them securely to the tail with string. Twist the wing tips UNDER the back of the turkey to keep them in place.
(6) Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Thoroughly dry the entire bird AGAIN, making sure there is no moisture on the skin anywhere (including legs and wings).
(7) Spoon some shortening onto a plate. Using plastic wrap, make a “glove” for your hand by wrapping it around your hand until well covered. Spread shortening over the bird’s skin, making sure to thoroughly cover breast, legs, and wings. BE GENEROUS – especially on the breast. It will keep the skin from drying out during cooking. Cover the turkey loosely with a foil tent.
(8) For a 22-24 pound stuffed bird, cook apx. 6-7 hours @ 325º. Keep the breast basted with juices from the pan or some chicken broth. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove foil tent to brown the bird – this will make a beautiful table centerpiece. The test for doneness is when you can FREELY MOVE the thigh joint where it attaches to the body.
(9) Remove bird and place on a large platter. Let it stand for about 15-20 minutes to firm. If you are going to use it for the table centerpiece, leave it intact and don’t remove the stuffing. If you are going to carve it in the kitchen, remove stuffing and pull away the legs, thighs and wings. Then carve the breast.
TO MAKE GIBLET GRAVY:
Chop the giblets into small pieces and put back into broth. Add juices from roasting pan to broth/giblets. Make a flour/water mixture, using an old mayonnaise jar with lid to shake until well mixed. Add water/flour mixture to giblets and broth and bring to a boil stirring constantly, then reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened. If the gravy is a little pale, add some Kitchen Bouquet.