News & Politics

Thanksgiving Menus: Michel Richard’s Modern Menu

The Citronelle chef’s slow-roasted Golden Turkey is a showstopper. Richard binds the turkey legs in gold leaf and wraps the breast meat around chestnut and foie gras to make a hearty and elegant roulade.

This article is from 2006's Thanksgiving Dining Guide. To see 2007's guide, click hereTurkey, Foie Gras, and Chestnut Roulade
Golden Turkey Leg

Serves four to six

1 15-pound turkey
1 pound button mushrooms
3 large onions, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup Syrah
1 cup chicken broth
4 ounces foie gras
1/2 pound chestnuts, shelled
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 pound bacon, diced
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Edible gold leaf (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

The following preparation should be done a day in advance:
With a sharp knife, remove the breasts and the legs from the turkey. Set aside. Refrigerate the legs and breast, keep the innards, and discard the carcass (or use it for stock).
Chop the mushrooms in a food processor until almost puréed. Transfer to a pot over medium heat and cover. Bring to a boil. Using a cheesecloth, strain the juice from the mushrooms into a bowl. Set the mushroom jus aside and reserve the mushrooms for the roulade stuffing.

Chop the turkey’s innards into small pieces. Place in a large pan set over medium heat with the bacon. Add one chopped onion, the carrot, the celery, four of the garlic cloves, and the thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes or until it starts to carmelize. Add the Syrah, mushroom jus, and chicken broth. Cover the pan and slowly simmer on medium heat. After about a half hour, remove from the heat, strain, and discard solids. Using a spoon, skim the fat from the strained liquid. Set aside or refrigerate if not using immediately.

Make the roulade stuffing:
Cut foie gras in a one-inch dice. Sauté for a few minutes on medium heat to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper. In another pan, combine the remaining diced onions, garlic cloves, and one tablespoon of butter. Sauté on medium heat until they are caramelized. Let cool and set aside.
Remove the two small fillets from the back of the breast and purée them in a food processor until they have a pastelike consistency. Turn processor off and stir in the chestnuts, caramelized-onion mixture, foie gras, and mushrooms. Stir with a spoon. Season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the roulade:
Lay a large piece of plastic wrap (at least one foot) onto a flat surface. Place one turkey breast on the bottom portion of the wrap. Lay the second breast above it, lining up the skinnier end with the larger end so that they fit together well. Season well with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing on top of the breasts and tightly roll them into the plastic (like a sausage). Twist the ends of plastic and tie off very tightly with kitchen twine.

Fill a large pot with water, heated to 140 degrees, over medium to high heat. Poach the plastic-wrapped turkey for 2 1/2 hours. Keep your eye on the water temperature—it should stay at 140 degrees. Remove the roll from water and let cool. When cool, place the wrapped, poached turkey in the refrigerator.

The day of serving:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Season the turkey legs with salt and pepper and rub them with butter. Roast the legs for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Thirty minutes before you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Unwrap the turkey breasts. Brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place the breasts and the legs in the oven and roast for a half hour until golden brown. Place the mushroom jus in a pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch, then add to the jus. Heat this sauce and bring to a boil. Remove both legs and breasts from the oven. If desired, coat the legs in gold leaf. Slice the stuffed turkey breasts and serve with sauce drizzled over it.

Port Beet Sauce

Serves four to six

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced shallots
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 sprig thyme
1 large red beet, peeled and diced (about 3 ounces)
2 yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4 ounces)
1 750-milliliter bottle port
1 cup reduced chicken stock
3 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a pot, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter on low heat. Add the shallots, onions, garlic, thyme, and beets and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the potato and cook for five minutes more. Add the port and chicken stock and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain the liquid through a colander into a small pot. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce over medium-high for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon of butter and season with salt and pepper.

Cranberry Soufflé
Serves four

4 egg whites
1/2 cup of sugar, plus another 1/2 cup for coating the souffle dishes
1/2 cup fresh cranberry purée mixed with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 soufflé dishes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Quickly beat the egg whites and add a 1/2 cup of sugar teaspoon by teaspoon, until soft peaks form.
In another bowl, use a spatula to fold the whites into the cranberry purée with a wooden spatula. Using a pastry brush, generously coat the soufflé dishes with butter, then coat them with sugar (turn the dishes upside down to remove excess sugar). Spoon the soufflé batter into the dishes.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Serve immediately with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.

Macadamia and Butternut Squash Tartlets
Makes four four-inch tartlets

For the tart shell (yields two pounds):
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
4 cups pastry flour

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, almond flour, and salt. When they’re well-combined, add the eggs one by one. Add 1/3 cup of pastry flour and continue mixing until combined. When it’s incorporated, add the remaining flour and other remaining ingredients all at once. Mix until just combined. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times with your hands. Roll the dough to a rectangle shape (less than one inch thick), wrap it in plastic, and cool in the refrigerator.

For the filling:
1 pound pate sucre dough
2 cups maple syrup, reduced by half (1 cup)
4 tablespoons salted butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts, roasted in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes
2 cups butternut squash, diced to 1/2-inch cubes
4 1/4 cups orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
4 four-inch tart rings 3/4-inch deep
Preheat the oven to 325.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the sucre dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut four circles to about six inches in diameter. Place the dough circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside in the refrigerator.
Line another baking sheet with a Silpat and place the four tart molds on top. Take the chilled rounds of dough and place one on top of each ring. With your fingers, press the dough down carefully. Trim any excess dough from the edges.

Make sure the maple syrup is cool but not cold and pour it into a bowl. Add two tablespoons of butter, eggs, and almond flour, and stir until smooth.

Sprinkle nuts evenly over each tart shell. Carefully fill the shells with the maple syrup mixture. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, taking care not to overcook them (they should seem almost uncooked).
Meanwhile, combine the butternut squash, orange juice, cinnamon stick, two tablespoons of butter, sugar, and lemon juice in a pot. Bring to a simmer and let cook about ten minutes until the squash is translucent. Remove from heat. Strain out the liquid.

When the tarts are finished cooking, divide the poached butternut squash cubes among them. Serve immediately.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.