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Michael Smith and Debbie Gold ,
Co Executive Chefs, The American Restaurant,
25 Grand (Triple Crown Complex), Kansas City, Missouri, (816) 426 1178

  1) For a moist turkey, prepare a flavored butter. Butter can be flavored with different herbs, citrus, chopped nuts, and/or spices in as many combinations as you can think of. Separate the skin from the breast and leg areas with your hand. Moisten the raw meat with olive oil by rubbing a light amount between the skin and meat. This will help facilitate stuffing the flavored butter under the turkey skin, filling as many areas as possible. Finish roasting the bird as usual.

2) Try a roasted winter squash such as hubbard or carnival instead of sweet potatoes. Cut the squash in half, scoop out seeds. Lay squash in a roasting pan with garlic cloves, fresh thyme sprigs, lots of freshly cracked black pepper, and drizzle with some honey. Roast in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 40 minutes. The caramelized squash can then be scooped from the skin and pureed in a food processor with a little bit of butter or hand chopped for a more rustic look.

3) If cranberry relish is not a big favorite at your house, but you still want to have the flavor somewhere in your dinner, use dried cranberries. Marinate the dried cranberries in some ruby port and add them to your gravy or mix them into your stuffing.

4) For a gravy with a little pizazz, make a small amount of turkey stock using the neck. Strain the stock into a stainless steel pot, add meat drippings from the pan in which you roasted the turkey. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. At this point, you can whisk in a wide variety of flavors such as a roasted garlic puree, a hubbard squash puree, a roasted onion puree - the list can go on and on.

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