12 lb turkey, giblets and neck removed (do not use a self-basted turkey)
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 medium onion, halved with skin on
sprigs of thyme and rosemary (optional)
The night before roasting, thoroughly rinse and dry the turkey. Place it on a rack in its roasting pan. Sprinkle the entire turkey, inside and out, with the kosher salt. Refrigerate overnight.
4 hours before serving, remove the turkey from the refrigerator, rinse and pat dry. Return it to the roaster, breast-side down on the rack. Place onion, thyme and rosemary into the neck cavity. Let the turkey rest on the counter for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
3 hours before serving, begin roasting the turkey breast-side down. After 1 hour, remove it from the oven and turn the turkey breast-side up. Roast another 1 1/2 hours, or until the thigh registers 175 degrees.
Rest the turkey for 30 minutes before carving.
Adapted from “Fine Cooking Magazine,” November, 2005.