Whole roasted chicken or turkey can dry out easily. By rubbing salt (a dry brine) into the cavity of the bird before cooking it helps to keep the meat moist. Rubbing salt on the skin helps the skin to crisp up.
How does the salt do this?
When applied to the surface of meats it draws water to the surface and then dissolves into that water creating a brine. That brine is then reabsorbed back into the meat which takes at least half an hour. Proteins are changed by the salt allowing them to retain more of their juices. The juicier or more marbled the meat is the better it responds to the salt.
If the meat is already dry placing the meat in a wet brine overnight may be necessary. A brine needs a minimum of 12 hours to be effective.
Basic brine recipe: 4 tablespoons (60ml) of salt to 4 cups (1000ml) of water.
Of course, other seasonings can be added to a brine.