1 Pound Kosher Salt (Note: Do not use Iodized table salt for this recipe)
½ Cup Grand Diamond All Purpose Seasoning
1½ Tablespoons Ground Sage
1 Cup Molasses
2 Cups Honey
1½ Cups White Wine (Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling) OR the Juice of 2 Lemons
1 to 2 Sprigs Rosemary
½ Bunch Thyme
3 Garlic Bulbs, cut in halves
2 Dried Bay Leaves
6 Quarts Water
6 Pounds Ice Cubes
1 Whole Turkey, 15 to 18 Pounds, thawed, rinsed, all innards and neck removed
2 Fresh Apples, cut into quarters
1 Large Onion, cut into quarters
2 Fresh Oranges, cut into quarters
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh Italian Parsley, finely chopped
2 Teaspoons Granulated Garlic
1 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
1½ Teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Quart Low Sodium Chicken Stock
Place the cut garlic bulbs and bay leaves into a piece of cheese cloth and tie with a piece of butcher’s twine. In a large pot, combine the salt, grand diamond seasoning, sage, molasses, honey, wine, rosemary, thyme, garlic and bay leaf bundle, and 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir to ensure all of the honey and molasses is dissolved. Allow it to completely cool before adding it to the ice chest or bucket.
Once the cooled brine is added to the bucket, add the remaining 3 quarts of water and all of the ice cubes. Place the turkey in the brine. (Note: If you’re using an ice chest place the turkey breast-side down. If you’re using a bucket, hold the turkey by the legs and lower it into the brine.) Brine the turkey for 10 to 12 hours.
Meanwhile, cut up all of the apples, oranges and onion into quarters. Chop up the fresh herbs and mix them into the butter along with the kosher salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, cayenne pepper. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
After brining, briefly rinse the outer skin of the turkey with cold water, place the turkey on a clean dry surface, and pat it down with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. (Note: If you use a clean kitchen towel don’t use it on anything else. Put it in the laundry.)
Rub the entire turkey with all of the herb butter, including under the skin of the breasts. Tuck the wings under the turkey. Place it in a roasting pan, preferably on a roasting rack, and stuff it with all of the cut fruit and onions. (Tip: If you don’t have a roasting rack, you can cut up vegetables and/or fruit (onions, celery, onions, apples, and/or oranges) into quarters and place them in the bottom of the pan and place the turkey on top. This will serve the same purpose as a roasting rack.) Pour all of the chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover with aluminum foil and cook covered for the first 1½ hours of the cooking time. Then continue to cook uncovered for the remaining cooking time and that is until the thigh meat reads 165 degrees using an instant read thermometer. Once cooked, let the turkey rest for 30 to 45 minutes before slicing.