There are two secrets to preparing this recipe by Russ Parsons. First, steaming the Brussels sprouts whole and then quartering them, which gives a beautiful range of colors, flavors and textures, from the tender, sweet, dark green of the outside to the bright, slightly bitter, crisp center. And not overcooking them; that’s what creates that stinky sulfurous cabbage smell.
To make Thanksgiving Day go more smoothly, you can cook the Brussels sprouts the day before and then cook the bacon and chestnuts and finish the dish shortly before serving. Do not try to prepare them too far in advance and keep them warm, though; that continued cooking will ruin them.