You don’t need a professional kitchen, and you don’t even need a turkey fryer to make the best Thanksgiving turkey of them all.
What you need, simply, is to brine your turkey.
This is why kosher turkeys are more flavorful – they are brined – soaked for an extended period of time in water with herbs and spices. This process adds flavor and moisture to the meat, which as we all know, can easily become dried out after a long roasting.
A turkey can be brined in something as simple as a large beverage cooler – the one that you use as a drink dispenser. Use a thick plastic bag – clear is preferable – as a liner, and then fills it with ice to keep the bird cool. The thanksgiving turkey then goes into another thick plastic bag, which you are going to fill with brining solution.
A few points: make sure the turkey is completely thawed before you plunge it into a cold brine bath. Make sure to keep the turkey at refrigerator level temperatures if you are not brining it in the fridge. If you are using the cooler method, do not leave the cooler out in the hot sun!
By the way, I never use turkeys that weigh more than 18 pounds. They don’t taste as good and the meat is often bland. You are better off roasting two turkeys than one overly large one.
And if you are already using a kosher turkey or a self-basting bird, do not brine it - it will be too salty.
For the brine:
Make the brine using 3 quarts of tap water. Bring it to a boil over medium heat then pour over 1 pound of kosher salt in a large bowl. Allow brine to cool.
Brine the turkey 30 – 40 minutes per pound. An 18 pound turkey should brine for 9 - 12 hours.
Some people prepare the brine in advance. You can, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
What you use for additional seasonings depends on what you like. I’ve heard of people using everything from bourbon to chili peppers to molasses. If you are serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, sage is a predominant flavoring. If the meal is going to have a lot of creative and unconventional dishes, maybe garlic and ginger will do the trick.
Just be sure to discard the brining liquid when you take the turkey out of the brine.
Give it a cold water bath and then roast as you usually do.