Turkey: combine 2 gallons of water, 2 cups kosher salt, 1 cup sugar plus 2 bay leafs, 3 tsp minced garlic and sprig of rosemary, thyme and sage in a huge stockpot. Submerge thawed bird. Soak overnight. During brining the bird will absorb moisture and flavor from seasonings as salt breaks down muscle proteins.
For whole chicken cut the recipe in half; quarter for Cornish hens and gamebirds.