Maple Brined Turkey

Place all the ingredients, except the turkey, in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool.  Line a large stockpot (or a new 5 gallon bucket) with an unscented garbage bag and put the turkey into the pot. Pour the cooled brine over the bird, close and seal the bag, and refrigerate overnight (I leave mine in the garage).Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the brine, dry well, and discard the brine.   I like to slather the bird with a butter that complements the brine, so for this recipe I would make a maple butter (whip butter and add maple syrup until the butter “glistens” and is easily spreadable).  Using your fingers, rub the turkey UNDER the skin with the maple butter.  You can separate the skin from the meat at the breast and over the back and push your hand as far in as possible to place butter on the bird.  Once you’ve coated the bird as well as you can under the skin, rub the skin with a little bit of the maple butter, too.

Roast the turkey as you normally would, approximately 15 minutes a pound. Let stand for 30 minutes before carving.