Preheat oven to hot (425°F.). Season turkey with salt and place it on its side in a roasting pan. Spread the bird generously with butter and place slices of salt pork over the breast; or instead of the salt pork and butter arrange a piece of cheesecloth soaked in melted chicken fat over the breastbone and top of the turkey. Cook for fifteen minutes, then turn on the other side and cook for fifteen minutes longer.
Lower the oven temperature to moderate (375°F.) and continue to roast, turning the bird from side to side and basting often with drippings from the pan. If the fat tends to burn, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan.
Roast the turkey for fifteen to twenty minutes a pound if unstuffed; for twenty to twenty-five minutes a pound if stuffed. If the turkey weighs eighteen to twenty-five pounds, roast at 325°F. for thirteen to fifteen minutes a pound.
Place the turkey on its back for the last fifteen minutes of cooking time. Pierce thigh to test for doneness. If the juice that runs out is clear with no tinge of pink, the bird is done.
© 1966 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.