9:00 a.m.

A 17 pound turkey was brined overnight in a mixture of apple juice, kosher salt, and various herbs. Rinsed thoroughly to get the excess salt off, the wing tips are broken back and tucked under the bird, the turkey is rubbed extensively with butter and peppered heavily (no salt!):

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(Brining method via John Kass.)

The bird is then given a proper salute.....

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.....and popped into a 500 degree oven for thirty minutes.

(Cooking method via Alton Brown.)

After thirty minutes, the oven is turned down to 350 degrees, and the turkey is removed:

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The breast section is covered closely with a double-layer of tin foil, and the bird is placed back into the 350 degree oven....

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....until the internal temperature of the breast meat reads 161 degrees:

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So, we wait. In the meantime, the cranberry-apple-pear dish was prepared last night. So the cook will enjoy a little coffee and Baileys as he prepares the stuffing, giblet gravy and mashed potatoes.....

1:00 p.m.

When the turkey reaches 161 degrees (ours took less than two hours today, from the time we turned the oven down to 350 degrees), it will look like this:

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Let it rest for 45 minutes before you carve it. That will give you time to bake the dressing. (we had two types: John's version of the world-renowned Aunt Monica's dressing, and Carolyn's biscuit and bacon dressing.) You'll also have time to boil and mash the potatoes.

That's pretty much it - brine the turkey for 12 hours, roast it at a super high temperature for 30 minutes to crisp up the skin, then lower the temperature, cover the breast with tin foil, and roast it until the breast meat is done. By covering the breast meat, you'll ensure that the dark meat gets done at the same time as the white meat. And brining the bird in apple juice and kosher salt ensures a juicy, succulent bird every time.

Happy Thanksgiving!