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Comfort food doesn't always come easy, but smart cooks know that a good game plan will get them through the big meal.

If you haven't begun planning your feast for the holiday, fear not. We're here to help. After all, Thanksgiving is about giving and sharing.

As the holiday approaches every year, we get bombarded with turkey recipes, tips and cooking suggestions from all sorts of sources, but we believe in sticking to tried-and-true techniques to help achieve our ultimate goal: a deep honey-brown turkey with crisp skin and meat that's tender and juicy.

There are so many ways to cook a turkey. You can roast, grill or fry it and cook it in a bag, in a pan or on a rack. You can even take it apart and roast it or cut the back out and flatten it (a process called spatchcock) so that it cooks in half the time.

But many of us are creatures of habit. We wet or dry brine the turkey or apply a seasoned butter under and on the skin. Brining helps ensure that the turkey stays moist. Using seasoned butter means there's no need to baste the bird. When it's time to cook, we roast or sometimes grill, which frees up oven space.