- Place 2 cups of the water and salt in a pot and bring to boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature, and then pour into a large, tall, stainless stock pot or sterilized, food grade pail just wide enough to hold the turkey. Stir in remaining water and all other ingredients, except turkey.
- Now set in the turkey, ensuring it is completely submerged in the brine. Refrigerate turkey in brine 12-18 hours, turning occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Drain turkey well; discard brine. Pat the turkey dry inside and out. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Tie the legs of the turkey together; fold and tuck wings under the body.
- Roast turkey, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours. Baste turkey with pan juices, and then give the pan a 180-degree turn. Roast turkey another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Later in the cooking, cover legs or other parts of the bird with foil if they are over darkening.
- Insert an instant-read meat thermometer deep into an inner thigh of the turkey, not touching the bone. If it reads 170°F (77°C), the turkey is ready. If not, baste the bird with the pan juices again and roast 15 to 30 minutes more, or until the 170°F (77°C) temperature is achieved.
- Transfer turkey to a large platter, tent with foil and let it rest until you’re ready to carve, at least 15 minutes (see Recipe options).
If your turkey contains them, remove the neck and innards from the main cavity of the turkey before brining. Place the neck in the roasting pan when you cook the bird; discard innards unless you wish to prepare them separately.
Recipe options: To make the gravy, skim fat from pan drippings. Place the roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 cups of turkey or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Place the flour and 1⁄2 cup turkey or chicken stock in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the pan and simmer until the gravy thickens, about 5 minutes. Carve the turkey and serve the gravy in a sauceboat alongside.