Watch how to prepare and carve your bird with our streaming video demonstration.
Serves 8 with leftovers.
a 12- to 14-pound turkey, the neck and giblets (excluding the liver) reserved for making turkey giblet stock
for the gravy
fresh kale leaves for garnish
Make the stuffing:
In a large skillet cook the onions and the celery with salt and pepper to taste in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened. Add the kale in batches, stirring until each batch is wilted, and cook the mixture until the kale is bright green. In a bowl combine the mixture with the corn bread, stir in the sage and salt and pepper to taste, and toss the stuffing gently until it is combined well. Let the stuffing cool. The stuffing may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. (To prevent bacterial growth, do not stuff the turkey in advance.)
Rinse the turkey inside and out, pat it dry, and season it with salt and pepper. Pack the neck cavity loosely with some of the stuffing, fold the neck skin under the body, and fasten it with a skewer. Pack the body cavity loosely with some of the remaining stuffing and tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Transfer the remaining stuffing to a buttered baking dish and reserve it, covered and chilled. Spread the turkey with 1/2 stick of the butter, season it with salt and pepper, and roast it on a rack in a flameproof roasting pan in a preheated 425°F. oven for 30 minutes. In a saucepan melt the remaining 1 stick butter and let it cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F., baste the turkey with the pan juices, and drape it with a piece of cheesecloth, soaked in the melted butter. Roast the turkey, lifting the cheesecloth and basting the turkey every 20 minutes, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours more, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the fleshy part of a thigh registers 180°F. and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer. During the last hour of roasting bake the reserved stuffing, drizzled with the stock and 1/2 cup of the pan juices and covered loosely. Discard the cheesecloth and the trussing string, transfer the turkey to a heated platter, reserving the juices in the roasting pan, and let it stand, covered loosely with foil, for 25 minutes.
Make the gravy:
Skim all but 1/3 cup of the fat from the roasting pan, add the flour to the pan, and cook the roux over moderate heat, whisking, for 3 minutes. Add the paprika and cook the mixture for 30 seconds. Add the stock in a stream, whisking, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the gravy, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes and transfer it to a heated sauceboat.
Garnish the turkey with the kale leaves and the paprika leaves.