Photo by Michael Kartes

Celebrate the holidays with some of the best turkey ever. Cookbook author Danielle Kartes of Rustic Joyful Food has tricks to make your bird the star of the meal.

  1. Smaller is always better, even if you are serving an army. Two 13-pound birds are better than one 26-pound bird. The meat will be more tender and flavorful.
  2. Always brine your bird. This step is worth the effort.
  3. Roast your bird breast-side-down. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and rub your turkey with lots of butter and herbs, especially under the skin.
  4. Fill the bird with herbs and sliced lemons.
  5. Add lots of onions, carrots, and celery and at least 2 to 3 cups of water to your roasting pan so you get plenty of drippings for gravy.