Determine how much water you are going to need to make the brine deep enough to cover the turkey completely.
Instead of guessing, place your turkey, still in the packaging in a large stock pot. Please be sure to wash off the outside of the packaging of the turkey.
Fill with clean tap water until the turkey is submerged.
Remove the turkey from the water. This way, when you are ready to place the turkey in the brine you don't have a large over flow of brine, loosing all the flavors.
Remove the turkey from the packaging and remove the turkey neck and the bag of innards from the cavity of the turkey.
Pour your brine salt, sugar and spices into the pot of measured water. Be sure to stir until all the salt and sugars have dissolved completely.
Place your turkey back in the brine and cover with a lid.
Place your turkey and its brine in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours but preferably 12-18 hours.
What aromatics to put inside the turkey for roasting
3 springs of fresh rosemary
1 large bundle of fresh sage
Stuff all the aromatics in the turkey cavity of the bird. They are going to heat up as the bird cooks, releasing flavor and additional moisture to the bird.
How to prepare a turkey for roasting
Place the turkey in the roasting pan, with the back side down and tuck the wings under the body. This gives the turkey more stability, a wider stance to sit on when it comes to carving the bird.
Next, pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
Drizzle a bit of vegetable oil over the entire bird and give it a good rub down. The oil helps give it a gorgeous golden color and crispy skin. If you would like to use butter you are welcome to do that.
I leave this little 'leg clamp' in place. The legs are tied together and I don't have to fuss with finding my kitchen twine and tying them together.
How to roast turkey
Set your oven to 500 degrees and place your oven rack in the lowest position. Be aware that if you oven is anything like mine, it will burn off any of the drippings that might be on the bottom of the oven.
Roast the turkey at 500 for 30 minutes. This will give the skin a beautiful golden brown color and almost sear the turkey, keeping the delicious juices in the bird.
Lower the temperature to 350 and continue to cook the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast is 165˚ F and dark meat is 175˚ F.
Carefully remove your beautifully roasted turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes, preferably 30 minutes.
By allowing your turkey to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving it will allow all the juices to redistribute throughout the bird. If you cut it right away you will see all the juices run out of the bird and all over your serving plate. You want the juices and flavor IN the meat, not on your serving plate.