Perfect Roast Turkey
3 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
5 cups sugar
2 mediums onions, coarsely chopped
2 mediums leeks, white and pale-green parts only, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
Fold a very large piece of cheesecloth into quarters so that it is large enough to cover breast and halfway down sides of turkey.
Immerse cloth in butter mixture; let soak.
Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
Fold neck flap under; secure with toothpicks.
Remove cheesecloth from butter mixture, squeezing gently into bowl.
Reserve butter mixture for brushing.
Lay cheesecloth over turkey. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Roast 30 minutes.
Brush cheesecloth and exposed turkey with butter mixture.
Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
Discard cheesecloth; rotate pan.
Transfer to a platter.
Set pan with drippings aside for gravy.
Let turkey stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
Garnish, if desired.