As the candy cloud of Halloween slowly starts to dissipate, it's time to focus on the next food-filled holiday -- Thanksgiving.
For most people, that means talk turns to turkey.
But how to prepare the beloved bird?
If you've never prepared one before, it can be a bit daunting, but it's also one of those great cooking milestones that you'll always remember ... hopefully fondly.
If you've been preparing the bird for years, perhaps you're ready to spice things up and try a new technique.
Either way, here are five great ways to cook a turkey you may want to consider:
Brining is basically like marinating, but in a salt-heavy water solution for several hours before cooking. It makes for very moist and well-seasoned meat and helps a bird withstand the high oven temperatures necessary to get the coveted crisp skin.
Here's a recipe from Alton Brown that uses the technique.
Depending on the temperature where you are and how brave you are to head out to the barbecue, grilling your turkey can add a whole new twist to your traditional meal.
This recipe from Epicurious adds a maple-mustard glaze that's a fabulous complement to the smoked meat.
You may scoff at deep-frying a turkey ... until you taste it. If you want to avoid dry meat at all costs, this is the way to go.
Who better than Paula Deen to turn to for a great fried bird?
If you like the simple, tried-and-true method, then a roasting pan and your oven are all you need to cook up a great turkey.
This recipe from the L.A. Times offers variations for both a stuffed and an unstuffed version.
If you're cooking for a small group and don't need a big bird, you can even use your Crock-Pot to cook your turkey. It's easy, and it will free up your oven space for other side dishes.
This simple recipe from AllRecipes.com requires just a few ingredients.
What's your favorite way to cook a turkey? Which of these sounds best to you?
Image via tuchodi/Flickr