To brine the turkey, place 2 liters/quarts of cold water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Slice the onion and add to the pot, along with the thyme and salt. Once all of the salt has dissolved, turn off the heat and set aside to steep and cool.
Next, clean the turkey by removing and reserving the neck. Discard the giblets unless you choose to add them to your stuffing. Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the top of the bird. Then rinse the turkey with cold water.
In a large container, add the steeped brine mixture and 5 quarts of very cold water. Top up with 2 quarts of ice. Add the turkey and make sure it is completely covered with the brine. Place into the refrigerator or a large cooler full of ice for up to 24 hours.
Next, you can make the compound butter.
- 2 L/qt cold water
- 1 large onion
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt (or 3/4 cup table salt)
- 1 turkey (15 pounds)
- 5 L/qt cold water
- 2 L/qt ice