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Combine salt, sugar, aromatics and 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of water in a large pot and place over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in an additional 1/2 gallon cold water (or water and ice) and cool completely.
Pour brine into a container just large enough to hold turkey comfortably. (A 4- or 5-gallon vessel should be good for a 10- to 12-pound turkey.)
Add turkey; add a little more water or ice to submerge it if necessary.
Turn bird a few times and then leave breast-side down in the water; place a heavy plate over the poultry if it floats.
Chill 5 to 6 hours. Remove bird from brine, discard brine and roast as directed.