Following cicero's advice, I went looking for "countdown to..." links. And found a recipe for "Deconstructed Turkey"--basically, buying turkey parts and roasting them in their own pans. (typed this while AvidReader was typing, apparently!)
That's sort of interesting--it would mean you could have more turkey legs, and you could cook the breast differently from the thighs, etc.
My problem last year was I didn't get the oven hot enough. I was following some weird recipe. (the "too many sources of advice" problem)
Alice, I forget sometimes about lists--or about starting them this early. Thanks for that reminder.
Not sure I can used canned gravy, since it needs to be gluten free--that exists, but I'm not sure I can find it easily. (I'm willing to have some things be stuff I can't eat, but not gravy.)
I like AvidReader's tip about gravy; I've found a few make-ahead gravy recipes and thought about doing that.
And the crockpot sounds good for moist stuffing!
Because we love love love the stuffing cooked inside the bird ["that's why they call it stuffing!" is our battle cry], I don't deconstruct the bird, but I do cut the thighs and legs away from the body, leaving them attached at the hip joint but kind of splayed out. It allows more heat to get into the thigh area, so the thigh cooks faster, and helps eliminate the problem of drying out the breast if you cook the bird long enough to make sure that the thigh is done.
I use an instant-read thermometer, and check the temp at various locations--thigh, breast, etc. I won't cook over 165, because of the retained heat.
One year we needed to make a quick trip to a relative's before the turkey was done--we were having just a very informal dinner at home--and I pulled the bird out of the over at about 145, wrapped it tightly in aluminum foil, and left it out thinking it would need more cooking when we returned. Well, I managed to wrap it tightly enough that the retained heat cooked the entire turkey sufficiently without drying it out, and it was absolutely the best turkey I have ever made. I have not really been able to replicate that, however.
Oh, and I don't brine--I rub under the skin with a salt, pepper, and herb mixture, and loads lots of butter under the skin, too, before roasting. Makes a lovely moist bird.