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To brine the turkey: Combine all the ingredients for the brine in a large container. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water. Add the turkey and let it brine in the refrigerator for 2 days.
To prepare the turkey for cooking: Remove the turkey from the brine the night before roasting and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Combine 2 sticks of butter, garlic, rosemary and sage for the herb crust in a small bowl. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Work the butter under the skin of the turkey and massage it into the breasts and legs. Massage the butter on the outside of the skin as well. Insert the apples, onions, and whole rosemary and sage into the cavity of the turkey. Tuck the wings back and under the turkey and tie the legs together over the breast so they will protect it during cooking and help keep it moist and juicy.
Put the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme in a roasting pan and season with salt. Arrange the turkey on top of the veggies and refrigerate overnight UNCOVERED! Yes, that's right, uncovered. This will help the skin dry out and become really brown and crispy. Make sure that there is no raw food near the turkey in the refrigerator. After refrigerating overnight, the turkey is ready to go in the oven. Be sure to let it stand for 1-2 hours at room temperature before roasting.
While the turkey is resting before roasting, warm 2 sticks of butter and white wine together and soak a large piece of cheesecloth in it.
Place rack on the lowest level and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Put 3 cups chicken or turkey stock in the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Baste the turkey with pan juices and lower the oven heat to 350 dregrees F for the remainder of the cooking time. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes or so and add more stock to the roasting pan, if needed. Cook about 15 minutes per pound. After 2 hours of cooking, carefully remove and discard the cheesecloth. Baste the turkey and return it to the oven. After another half hour take its temperature with an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone; the turkey is ready when the temperature reaches 170 degrees F. This will take 1 to 2 hours more (depending on the size of your turkey).
When the turkey has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Cover with aluminum foil and top that with a large bath towel. This will keep your turkey nice and warm for hours.
Gravy Preparation: Strain all the veggies over a bowl to separate them from the drippings. Discard the veggies. Skim off the fat and add it to the roasting pan. This is the fat for the roux. Put the roasting pan over 2 burners over a low heat and whisk in equal parts flour to fat. Cook until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the remaining stock and drippings. Cook until the mixture has thickened and reached a gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a serving bowl.
Carve the turkey, transfer for a serving platter and serve with the gravy.
Give thanks for such a great turkey!!!
Special equipment: butcher's twine
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