1 turkey, about 12 lb

1 c sugar
1 ½ c kosher salt
2 ½ gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces 
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh sage
1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled & smashed with the back of a knife
5 whole allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, crushed

2+ T butter for basting
1 ½ t freshly ground pepper
1 c chicken stock or more as needed


Clean the turkey & remove innards. Wash in cold water. Combine seasoning and 4 quarts water and stir to dissolve salt & sugar. Double bag 2 heavy-duty unscented garbage bags and place in an ice chest large enough to hold the turkey. Place turkey in doubled bags; pour in brine, then the remaining 1½ gallons water. It should be completely submerged. Press out all air in bags, then tightly close each bag separately.  Keep cold with bags of ice and brine for 12-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove turkey from brine and rinse and dry well. Spread butter over the skin and season the cavity. Tent the breast with foil and place in the oven. Rotate the pan in the oven 180°F every hour. Roast for about an hour, remove foil and baste with ½ cup stock.  Continue to roast, basting until it reaches 165°F, about 2-2 ¾ hours. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. Should be nice and juicy!  

Pairing Suggestions

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