Serves 12


For the brine:
  • 1½ cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup whole coriander seed
  • ¾ cup coarse sea salt
  • ¾ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup garlic cloves (15 to 20 cloves, from 1 or 2 heads), peeled and smashed
  • ½ cup yellow or brown mustard seeds
  • ½ cup whole black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp. allspice berries
  • 2 Tbsp. juniper berries
  • 2 Tbsp. whole cloves
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 5 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 medium white onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • ½ bunch rosemary sprigs
  • ½ bunch thyme sprigs

    For the turkey:
  • 1 (12- to 14-pound) whole turkey, giblets and neck removed, rinsed well
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. dried sage
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel seed
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground white pepper


    Total time: 5 hours, plus cooling and brining time

    For the brine: Pour 6 quarts water into a large stockpot. Add vinegar, coriander, both salts, garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns, allspice, juniper, cloves, bay leaves, celery, onions, and carrot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring once or twice, for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, rosemary, and thyme and then set aside to let cool completely.

    For the turkey: Arrange turkey in a large brining bag inside a deep pot or a very big bowl. Carefully pour cooled brine over turkey, seal bag, and arrange on a stable shelf in refrigerator. Chill for 24 to 36 hours, rotating the turkey once or twice for even brining if not completely submerged.

    Preheat oven to 450°. Remove turkey; discard brine and bag. Rinse turkey thoroughly, then pat dry, and arrange on a clean work surface. In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sage, thyme, garlic powder, fennel seed, salt, and black and white peppers. Spread evenly over turkey, inside and out. Tuck wing tips behind turkey and use butcher’s twine to tie the legs together snugly. Arrange on a wire rack in a large roasting pan.

    Roast turkey 30 minutes; then reduce oven temperature to 350°. Continue roasting 2 to 2½ hours more, basting every 30 minutes and tenting the turkey with foil if skin begins to darken too quickly, until deep golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 155°. Set turkey aside to let rest 30 minutes, then carve, and serve.

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