for the brine:
2 qts unsweetened apple cider
2-1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 c kosher salt
4 oz fresh gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced
15 whole cloves
6 garlic cloves, crushed
3 bay leaves
3 oranges, quartered
3 qts cold water
for the turkey:
1 whole turkey
fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme
In a large kettle, combine the first seven brine ingredients. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in oranges. Remove from heat. Add cold water to cool the brine to room temperature.
Place the brine in a clean 5 gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (innards removed), breast side down. Weigh the turkey down if necessary to keep the turkey submerged in brine. Cover and keep cold overnight, turning the turkey once in the brine. Rinse well and discard brine, and pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
Prepare the turkey for roasting: stuff the cavity with lemon and onion slices, and fresh rosemary, thyme and sage. Put butter under the skin with some of the fresh herbs. Oil the turkey skin well.
Roast the turkey (on a rack inside a half sheet baking pan), uncovered, at 325 for 15 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer reads 160, basting occasionally with the pan drippings. Cover turkey loosely with foil if the turkey browns too quickly. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes after removing from the oven before carving.