Salt-Brined Turkey with Thyme Roasted Acorn Squash

Few things compliment a moist, tender salt-brined turkey like perfectly roasted acorn squash. Sponsored by Morton Salt.


  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 cup Morton Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1, 10 to 12-pound turkey
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Morton Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1/4 cup turkey stock
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Morton Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme


  1. For the brine: In a large pot, heat 4 quarts water, Morton Kosher Salt and sugar and mix until dissolved. Allow to cool then pour into a large brining bag.
  2. Mix in remaining 2 quarts of water, bay leaves, juniper berries, fennel seeds, peppercorns, wine, thyme, rosemary, lemon, orange, onion, garlic and the uncooked turkey.
  3. Refrigerate the turkey in the brine for 24 hours. Remove from brine one hour before cooking, rinse and dry the turkey and set it aside to come to room temperature.
  4. For the roasting: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a rack in a large roasting pan and place 4 cups of water in the bottom. Season turkey with Morton Coarse Sea Salt and pepper.
  5. Rub 3 tablespoons of butter over turkey, and place onion, celery and rosemary inside of the turkey.
  6. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Roast the turkey, stopping to baste and check its temperature every 30 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Total cooking time should take around 3 hours depending on the size of the turkey. Allow turkey to rest for 1 hour before carving.
  7. For the squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Level the bottoms of the squash halves so they sit like bowls on a sheet tray.
  8. In a medium bowl, mix the cream, 1/3 cup Parmesan, stock, honey, Morton Fine Sea Salt and pepper.
  9. Pour the cream mixture into each squash half and top with a few sprigs of thyme.
  10. Roast squash until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Top with the remaining Parmesan and bake until cheese is melted, another 10 minutes or so. Serve immediately.