The best and easiest way to take your turkey and amp it up from tasty to epically wonderful is a good brine. If you're new to the world or brining, follow Alton Brown's technique below. If you're not big on the flavors of ginger and allspice, try something like a Simon and Garfunkel
flavor combination. Alton's Good Eats Brine for a 14-16 pound turkey:
* 1 cup kosher salt
* 1/2 cup light brown sugar
* 1 gallon vegetable stock
* 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
* 1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
* 1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
* 1 gallon iced water
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
Continue on for roasting instructions.