To make a simple and basic turkey brine, combine and boil 1 cup kosher salt, aromatics, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 gallon of water. Allow the brine to cool, and add in 1 gallon of cold water. Transfer the brine into a 4- to 5-gallon bucket.
To make a Thanksgiving turkey brine, boil 3 quarts of water over medium heat. Add 1 pound of kosher salt to a large bowl, and carefully pour the boiled water over the salt. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved. Add in 1 cup of molasses, 2 cups of honey, 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dried chili flakes as well as 1 tablespoon of dried sage, 1 large bunch of fresh thyme and 2 heads of garlic, cloves separated.
Stir the ingredients until well blended. Add 5 pounds of ice into a bucket or cooler that is large enough to contain the brine and turkey. Pour the contents of the brine over the ice, and stir until blended well.
Place a 14 to 18-pound turkey into the brine with the breast side facing down. Ensure the brine fills the cavity of the turkey, and place a cover over the vessel. Let rest, and brine overnight for at least 12 hours.