- 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).
Note: 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.