The Day Before: Brine.
Bring one gallon chicken or vegetable stock to a boil. (One gallon water plus 12 chicken bouillon cubes may be substituted for stock.)
Add: 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon allspice (optional).
Stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Late that evening, ideally 12-16 hours before cooking, obtain a punch cooler or other cooler large enough to contain a completely submerged turkey. Add brine, turkey, and enough heavily iced cold water to completely cover turkey and bring water temperature down to or below the prescribed food safety standard of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerate or otherwise maintain a liquid temperature of 40 degrees or below until perparation time.
Easy alternative: Have an extra stick of butter on hand.
Day and time of Preparation:
Note: A meat thermometer, preferably the electronic kind, is strongly recommended.
Obtain one husband, if available, to empty brining container and remove turkey from the liquid. Failure to do so may result in a mildly strained rotator cuff. (E.g. my right shoulder.) Discard liquid. (If you opted for the easy alternative, slice stick of butter into plates about 1/4 inch thick. Insert sliced plates beneath skin in the breast area. Distribute butter slices as evenly as possible, except for a few extra slices near the top centerline.)
Brush skin with melted butter. Canola oil is OK, but nothing does poultry skin justice quite like butter.
Sear turkey uncovered in a 475 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Insert meat thermometer into thickest portion of breast, taking care not to contact any bone. Reduce heat to 340 degrees; cover entire breast area with double-folded aluminum foil, taking care to leave thighs and legs uncovered.
Roast until indicated temperature is 161 degrees. Since dark meat (the uncovered thighs) is best heated to 180 degrees, the thighs ought to have reached approximately 180 degrees when the breast meat reaches 161. The result: perfectly done breast and dark meat.
Rest bird, then slice as desired. Deliciously moist, it slices as smoothly and easily as angel food cake.