The turkey was moist and flavorful. Although the herb and garlic flavor didn't really come through so I think I'll just brine with salt and sugar next time. I sent some dark meat home with a friend for her cat who has food allergy issues and she ate it instead! She said that for the first time it wasn't slimy. Also, the drippings from the turkey that I used for gravy were salty so I need to note that I don't need to salt the gravy at all next time. I undersalted the mashed potatoes and stuffing so both worked well with the gravy.
This Thanksgiving, I purchased a fresh turkey from Brandywine Farm. While putting it in my car, Heather told me that I'd have to brine it since the frozen store bought turkeys are already brined (packed in salt solution). She told me that a basic brine was 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of sugar to a gallon of water. I did some research on brines and decided that dergeis would not like the ones with candied ginger (Alton Brown's version) and I wasn't keen on using allspice or anise. I decided to use fresh rosemary, sage, garlic and some peppercorn. Tonight I dissolved 2 cups salt (kosher salt), 1 cup brown sugar in 8 cups water and then added two sprigs fresh rosemary, many leaves of sage, two large bay leaves, 8 smashed cloves of garlic, and about two tablespoons crushed peppercorn. I diluted that with enough cold water to make two gallons. I purchased the XXL Ziploc bags and poured the brine solution in and then we placed the turkey breast side down in the bag. The bag was larger than the turkey and we used some glass bottles to add to the displacement so that the liquid mostly covered the turkey in the bag in the cooler. We then placed some freezer packs on top and put the cooler in the back porch. We will learn of the results tomorrow.