The standard turkey can be a tough bird to crack.
At face value, it's a dry, bland, huge thing to cook -- getting one to come out of the oven with all of its white and dark meat evenly roasted, juicy and flavorful is harder than it sounds.
Starting with a pasture-raised turkey is the first step. Next is to wet or dry brine your turkey ahead of time.
Here's why: When a turkey is heated, the moisture in its meat is "flexed" out, according to Serious Eats. "Just like squeezing a tube of toothpaste, this causes juices to be forced out of the bird. 
The salt in the brine, therefore, will dissolve some of the proteins responsible for this flexing, which not only allows the muscles to absorb the brine, but release less of it when cooked. (Salt works wonders on nearly every cut of meat.)
- Prepare ahead of time
- Bring turkey to room temp. prior to cooking
- Do NOT add stuffing into the cavity of the bird; the breading draws out moisture as it cooks
- Place carrots, celery, and onions on the bottom of your roasting pan to create a roasting “rack” that your turkey will sit on
- Roast turkey breast-side down with legs pointing to back of oven or smoker where it’s hotter so that it cooks more evenly
- Test temp from meatiest part to ensure done all the way through: poultry should be 165* F
To Thaw: 2-3 days before roasting, start thawing your turkey in the refrigerator. If time is of an essence, leave out in the sink overnight.
- 1 Apsey Farm Pasture-Raised Turkey
- Wet Brine
- 4 Quarts Stock, Bone Broth, or Water
- 2+ Quarts Water
- 1 Cup Salt
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- Herbs (Optional & Up to You):
- 3 Whole Bay Leaves
- 1-2 Tsp Peppercorns
- 2 Tsp Allspice Berries
- 1-2 Tsp Ginger (Ground or Dried)
- 2 Cups Ice
- Dry Brine
- 2 Cups Salt
- Herbs (Optional; Our Favorites are Parsley, Rosemary, & Sage)
- Thaw out bird in refrigerator or cool place (e.g. garage)
- Brine the Turkey:
- Wet Brine: Combine saltwater brine ingredients (minus ice) into a large pot & boil until salt and sugar dissolve, stirring occasionally; let cool completely. Place the turkey & brine into a large container (i.e. cooler, heavy-duty bag, or bucket). Add 2 cups ice and enough water to fully cover turkey. Store in a cool place - refrigerator or cold garage - for 12-24 hours. Ideally, brine at least 1 hour for every pound. Once ready to cook, drain from brine, rinse (Optional), & place in roasting pan
- Dry Brine: Coat outside of turkey with salt. Let sit 24-48 hours in ‘frig or cold garage.
- (Optional) Stuff herbs under bird & in cavity; butter outside & under skin.
- Place in hot oven at 435* for 30-60 mins; then cover entire bird with cover or heavy duty foil; turn temp. down to 350* F to cook another 2-4 hours (depending on size of bird)
- Cook until turkey reaches 165* F - use a meat thermometer to test; remove from oven & let rest for 30-60 mins.
FINAL TIP: Save the turkey bones, neck, and carcass for the next day to make delicious and nutritious turkey bone broth!
SOURCES:  https://www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/the-food-lab-the-truth-about-brining-turkey-thanksgiving.html