Allow 1 lb. per person.
Rinse bird and pat dray with paper toweling. Remove bag of organs and discard. Rub inside of cavities with salt if desired.
Do not stuff the bird until just before cooking. Spoon some of the stuffing loosely into the neck cavity; pull the neck skin to the back of the bird and fasten securely with a small skewer. Lightly spoon remaining stuffing into the body cavity.
If the opening has a band of skin across the tail, tuck the drumsticks under the bank; if the band of skin is not present, tie legs securely to the tail. Twist wing tips under back.
For an unstuffed bird, place quartered onions and celery in the body cavity, if desired. Prepare and roast. Discard vegetables after roasting bird, if desired. The onions taste good though.
Place bird, breast-side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush skin of bird, except duckling and goose, with cooking oil or spray with Pam.
If a meat thermometer is used, insert it in the center of the inside thigh muscle, making sure the bulb does not touch bone.
Cover the bird loosely with foil. Press lightly over the drumsticks and neck; leave an air space between bird and foil. When the bird is about two-thirds done, cut the band or string between the legs so thighs will cook evenly. Baste bird occasionally; if desired.
Uncover the last 45 minutes of cooking. Continue roasting until bird is done. Remove bird from oven and recover loosely with foil to keep warm. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.
The meat thermometer inserted in the thigh should register 185 degrees. Also the thickest part of the drumstick should feel very soft when pressed between the fingers. The drumstick also should move up and down and twist easily in the socket. As each bird differs in size, shape or variety, roasting times can be only approximate.