Ah, the turkey — the great onus of Thanksgiving. Should you be honored (or burdened, depending on your point of view) with our national holiday’s most well-known centerpiece, we’re here to help. For the juiciest bird, please see below:
(For a 10-14 lb. turkey)
3 gallons water
3 cups kosher salt
1.5 cups sugar
3 bunches fresh parsley
20 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bunches fresh tarragon
3 bay leaves
2 heads of garlic, halved horizontally
2 onions, roughly chopped
6 Tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
3 lemons, halved
3 large oranges, halved
Combine all the brine ingredients in a pot large enough to hold the turkey and bring to a simmer to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the brine until its chilled.
Add the turkey to the brine. Weigh it down with a plate heavy enough to keep it completely submerged.
For best taste, follow these recommendations:
A 10-15 lb. turkey: 24 hours
A turkey over 15 lbs.: 24-36 hours
Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well and pat dry. Let rest uncovered in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours prior to cooking.