2. Rinse the turkey inside and out. Lay it breast-side down into the cold brine. Refrigerate 12 hours, then turn the turkey so that the legs are immersed in the brine. Refrigerate 12 more hours.
3. Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove the turkey from the brine and drain well, then wipe clean; pat dry. Discard the brine.
4. Loosely fill with stuffing. Lay on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub with soft butter. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 30 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Roast, basting every 30 minutes with pan drippings, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of the breast registers 180 degrees, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
6. Remove the turkey from the oven and spoon the stuffing into a heatproof dish. Cover the turkey with a tent of foil and let it sit 30 minutes before carving.
Each serving: 529 calories; 78 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 22 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 304 mg. cholesterol; 983 mg. sodium.
Time: About 1 hour, 10 minutes, plus 20 minutes cooling time and 30 minutes to bake extra stuffing as pudding.
Note: The cornbread is best made a day in advance. This recipe makes more stuffing than the average turkey can take, but the extra can be made into a cornbread pudding as indicated below, or just drizzled with a cup of chicken stock and baked.
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for pan
4 large eggs, divided
1 large onion, finely diced