2 gallons (32 cups) water
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons peppercorns, coarsely cracked
1 (12- to 14-pound) fresh turkey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
The day or
night prior to cooking the turkey, prepare the brine in a saucepan,
combining 4 cups of water, salt and sugar in the saucepan.
the saucepot over medium heat, stirring the mixture until the salt and
sugar are dissolved.
Take the saucepan from the heat and stir in
the cracked peppercorns.
Allow the mixture to cool.
Rinse the turkey inside and out then put it into a big pot that the
turkey will fit into with some space remaining.
Put the remaining
water and the brine mixture into the big pot and mix it
Put the turkey in the pot.
The brine should cover the
If the brine does not cover the turkey then wait 6 or so
hours then turn the turkey where the other parts are submerged in the
Refrigerate the turkey and brine for at least 12 hours.
More is better.
Remove the turkey from the brine then discard the brine.
turkey thoroughly under cold running water.
Pat dry and
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
Rub the butter all over the turkey, and season with salt and pepper.
Tuck the turkey wings under the back, and, if necessary, tie the legs
together with kitchen string.
Place the turkey, breast side up, on
a rack in a roasting pan, and roast.
Baste every 30 minutes with the
pan juices, for 1 hour.
Cover the turkey breast loosely with a
Roast for 2½ to 3 hours longer, or until an
instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh,
away from the bone, registers 180° F.
About 45 minutes before the
turkey is done, remove the foil tent.