This year we roasted a pomegranate-brined turkey with chef Amanda Freitag at our fall test kichen. Once you’ve tasted pomegranate molasses — a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine — it’s hard not to pour it liberally into your turkey brine.

Here’s the deal with turkey: the bird itself is a cinch to prepare — the brine is cumbersome and time-consuming. However, the bird must be brined (all the chefs we interviewed say so), therefore roasting a turkey has developed a reputation for being harder to pull off than it is. In short: learn to brine, finagle your fridge to accomodate a brine bucket and rest easy not only because you’re in a turkey coma and your football team won, but because you know tomorrow’s leftovers are guaranteed to be as succulent and juicy as they could possibly be.

Steer clear of previously frozen turkeys — fresh makes all the difference and it’s as easy as pre-ordering it from your butcher or specialty market. 

As far as the pan drippings from the final product…well, you know where they go.