This is the bird everyone has been talking about. Inspired by the famous roast chicken by Judy Rodgers, chef at San Francisco’s beloved Zuni Cafe, it’s as simple as can be. No more pale, under-seasoned birds. No more finding room in the refrigerator for huge pails of brine. Salt it, bag it and forget it (well, give it a rub once a day just to be sure the salt is evenly distributed). The resulting turkey is moist, gloriously browned and perfectly seasoned all the way to the bone.
Begin the brining the Sunday evening before Thanksgiving and give it several hours in the refrigerator uncovered at the end to thoroughly dry the skin. Because roasting times can vary with big birds, allow an extra hour or so -- if it’s done early, tent it with foil and keep it warm; the rest will only improve the texture of the meat.