An insulated picnic cooler large enough to submerge the turkey
1 fresh turkey, 12 to 25 lbs.
2 lb(s) sea salt
2 cup brown sugar or honey
Lots of cold water
A few freezer packs
A large roasting pan
4 large carrots
4 stalks celery
An accurate meat thermometer to gauge exactly when the turkey is done
3 cup water, chicken broth or cider for the gravy
1 cup of whatever wine you are drinking
3 Tbsp corn starch
1. Place the turkey in the cooler upside down. Dissolve the salt and sugar in one gallon of cold water. Pour over the turkey and add three more gallons of cold water. Turn the turkey a few times to thoroughly mix the salt and sugar. Place the cooler in a cold place for four hours for a smaller turkey and as much as six hours for a larger one, no more no less. To help keep the brine and turkey cold toss in a few freezer packs.
2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Thoroughly dry it with paper towels or clean kitchen towels. Remove any excess moisture and dry out the skin so that it will brown well.
3. Cut the onions in half and along with the carrots and celery fashion a bed in the roasting pan for the turkey to rest on.
4. Place the turkey in a preheated 400 degree oven. Roast one hour then, without opening the oven, turn the heat down to 300 degrees and continue roasting for two to three hours longer, depending on the size of the turkey. If you have a convection oven, only roast for 45 minutes first before turning down the oven heat, no other adjustments are needed.
5. After 2 1/2 hours, open the oven and check the temperature every 15 minutes or so. Continue roasting until the breast and thigh meat both reach 165 degrees. Let the turkey rest covered with foil for 20 to 30 minutes before carving then serve immediately.
6. Pour off most of any accumulated fat carefully reserving any juices. Add the liquid of your choice, the wine and the reserved juices then scrape the bottom of the pan to dissolve all of the browned bits. Dissolve the cornstarch in a splash of water and whisk it into the pan. Taste, season and enjoy!