Start by brining the bird, which basically means marinating it in a solution of water and salt. This boosts the natural flavour of the bird and keeps it moist and tender during roasting even if it’s overcooked. Refrigerate your turkey in the brine overnight and rinse it well before you roast it.
Instead of roasting the turkey breast side up, arrange it breast side down in a foil-covered pan for the first 2 hours, then turn over and continue roasting according to the recipe.
Heat 1 gallon of water with 2 cups (500 mL) kosher salt, 1 chopped onion, 1/2 cup (125 mL) maple syrup, 3 tbsp (45 mL) hot chili flakes, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and a few bay leaves. Stir often until the salt is dissolved. Then stir in 1 gallon cold water.
Makes enough brine for a 12- to 15-lb (6- to 7.5-kg) turkey.