The Decadent, Butter-Drenched Feast
For this Thanksgiving spread, no stick of butter was spared. The pièce de résistance? An over-the-top turkey courtesy of chef Paul Liebrandt, the eccentric mastermind behind the Elm in Williamsburg. After a quick brine to semi-cure the skin, the bird spends a night resting in the refrigerator to dry out before it is slowly roasted with six (yes, six) sticks of butter and four ounces of black truffles, ultimately becoming what Liebrandt says is simply “a luxurious treat.” Marea chef Michael White’s opulent squash bisque, topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and drizzled with crème fraîche, pumpkin-seed oil, and sparkling pomegranate seeds, is actually the lightest dish on the menu—“The squash gives the soup a creamy texture, but it’s not too heavy before the turkey,” White says—but his bread pudding with bone marrow, mushrooms, and more black truffles makes up for it. “The bone marrow is unctuous,” he says. “It’s the secret ingredient to coax out more flavor.” Michel Richard, who recently opened the ornate Villard Michel Richard in the Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue, went all out with his Brussels sprouts, smothering them in a creamy bacon sauce. Richard, who started out as a pastry chef at Lenôtre in Paris, also created a pumpkin-mousse-pie showstopper. “Pumpkin on its own is boring,” says Richard. So he went to town with a chocolate crust, then a layer of candied pecans for a little crunch, followed by the spicy pumpkin mousse, topped off with cascades of shaved chocolate; an appropriately grand finale that will leave you in elastic-waisted pants for the foreseeable future.
Recipe: Slow-Roasted Turkey in Black-Truffle Butter by Paul Liebrandt