Russ Parsons’ dry-brined turkey with a butternut squash purée

If turkey is your jam at Thanksgiving, try dry-brining your bird and serving it with Amanda Hesser's no-fuss butternut squash purée.

When Food52 launched in 2009, the idea was to create an online community for cooks to exchange ideas and recipes. The website’s founders, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, just published a new cookbook, “Food52 — A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead,” so we asked them for tips on how to turn the Thanksgiving feast into a resounding success.

If turkey is your jam, Hesser and Stubbs recommend giving Russ Parsons’ recipe a try. Parsons, formerly a writer and columnist for the LA Times, bases his recipe on a dry-brining technique that Zuni Café in San Francisco uses to season its roasted chicken. The result is a “perfectly juicy and crisp [bird], with none of the sponginess that you sometimes get with wet birds.” Then serve Amanda Hesser’s no-fuss butternut squash purée with your bird. The beauty of this orange vegetable side is it only requires one pan. Cook the squash, cover to soften, then mash!


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(Photo by James Ransom/Food52)

Dry-brined turkey photo (top) by Bobbi Lin/Food52.