Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Maple and Black Pepper Chicken

Whisk Wednesdays is taking a "Spring Break" this week.
We'll be back next week with Cailles à la Normande (Quail with Cream and Apples).
Maple and Black Pepper ChickenThis week I'm focusing on maple syrup. Now that I've made an appetizer, it's time for a main dish.

Last week, I asked the foodies on Twitter for some of their favorite recipes that use maple syrup. I received several links to recipes and have made some of them. This recipe for maple and black pepper chicken was sent to me by @AndreasRecipes. And just for fun, here are some pretty maple syrup dispensers I found online:

Maple Syrup Dispensers
Clockwise from top:
honeycomb shaped glass dispenser
microwaveable and colorful dispenser
diner-style dispenser (which is like mine)
microwaveable dispenser

I'm giving away a 65 gram jar of Maple Sugar from Brien Fine Maple Products.

Maple SugarTo enter to win, all you need to do is comment on the blog posts this week that are about maple syrup. You can enter more than once. At the end of the week, I’ll randomly select a winner from all the comments that have been submitted on posts about maple syrup. I will email the winner (so make sure you leave your email in the comment).


from Andrea of Andrea's Recipes who found the recipe in Cooking With Shelburne Farms

Serves 4-6

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, skin and bones intact
(or 3 or 4 chicken breasts, with skin and bones)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Sauce:
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup cider vinegar
½ cup maple syrup
1½ teaspoons whole black peppercorns, slightly crushed

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Pat the chicken dry and season with kosher salt. In a skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Place the chicken pieces in the pan, skin side down, and cook until crispy and lightly golden, about 7-9 minutes. Brown each side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place them in a casserole dish. Roast the chicken in the oven uncovered for about 30-35 minutes, until the juices run clear. Temperature should be about 165˚F for the breasts and 175˚F for the thighs and legs.

While the chicken roasts, make the sauce. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings. On medium-high heat, sauté the shallots, thyme and kosher salt for about 1-2 minutes, until the shallots just start to show some color.

Add the cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the maple syrup and the crushed peppercorns and reduce the sauce by half, about 8-10 minutes. Season to taste.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Tasting Notes
Boiling vinegar is not a pleasant smell, so while I was making the sauce I wasn't sure I would like the end result. But I was surprised. After it reduced, the sauce mellowed. The sweetness from the maple syrup cut the acidity of the vinegar and the pepper gave it a nice bite. Altogether it was delicious, and I spooned some extra sauce on my piece of chicken.

Other Maple Syrup Chicken Ideas
• Closet Cooking: Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken
• CookThink: Maple Syrup Recipes
• Noble Pig: Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken

More About Maple Syrup
• The process from sap to syrup from The District Domestic
• The Maple Syrup Industry in Ontario Answers to Commonly Asked Questions and References

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    Anonymous said...

    ok, i love this idea. sticky and sweet but savory. i think i'd add just a touch of pepperoncino to kick the spice factor up a bit. but this is a really beautiful and different dish!

    Joie de vivre said...

    Oh yeah...that would be good. That top maple syrup dispenser, the honeycomb one, how would you set it down I wonder?

    Jules Someone said...

    This sounds so good. Love maple!

    Megan said...

    Just the name make my mouth water! i'll have to try this one.

    Monica H said...

    Ooh, I bet it was nice and sticky. Will we see bacon and maple syrup in our near future? :-)

    Sara said...

    This looks delicious! And I've always wanted to try maple sugar.

    Andrea Meyers said...

    Yay, your chicken and sauce turned out great! I'm so glad you liked it. This chicken is one of our favorites.

    Randi Lynne said...

    Again, looks delicious!

    Anonymous said...

    I have to say, I was skeptical, yes, I was...not sure if I would like mixing up sweet with the savory...but as I read through the post, imagined the ingredients and how they would/could work together, I became more and more convinced that I should maybe try this recipe...I think I will do just that to prove to myself that you can mix savory and sweet...I will learn something new either way. Great photo...I wish we could eat teh photos! LOL!

    Maria said...

    I love the syrup bottles, so many fun ones!! Another great maple recipe!

    Elyse said...

    This maple chicken looks delicious! Maple adds such a rich and wonderful flavor to everything. I love it in sweet and savory!! Plus, those syrup dispensers are quite precious!!

    La Bella Cooks said...

    Not only does the sauce sound delicious, but it gives the dish a gorgeous color as well. Love that!

    Joie de vivre said...

    Thanks for the link! That is so cool!

    CookiePie said...

    Love this idea! I've had maple-glazed turkey before, and it's always fabulous, so why not chicken? Yum!

    Anonymous said...

    This sounds wonderful and I can't wait to try it. My favourite recipe with Maple ayrup is the Polenta covered with MapleSyrup/Balsamic vinigar, shallots and mushrooms. This is a bit similar..... Thanks for the wonderful blog Shari

    Jennifer said...

    Wow, that looks really, really good! I wish I had the ingredients in hand for dinner tonight.

    The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

    I have that Shelburne cookbook and I have a sticky note on that recipe! Looks great!

    TeaLady said...

    Oh, that looks soooo good. I've never seen 'solid' maple before. That would be fun to bake with.

    Irene said...

    What a wonderful combination of flavors!

    Steve2 in LA said...

    Well maple, black pepper and chicken seem like a fine combo. And wouldn't it be nice to do the recipe with a little maple sugar?

    pam said...

    This sounds like a wonderful combination! I tried chicken and sweet potatoes roasted with maple syrup, which was wonderful.

    Creative Classroom Core said...

    This recipe sounds incredible! I bet the flavor combo is amazing! Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

    grace said...

    i've had maple and pork, but maple and chicken? what the heck have i been waiting for? great post, shari!

    Unknown said...

    double treat. another delicious recipe, and another chance to win.

    ImperfectlyThirsty said...

    Just tried this recipe today, with four bone-in split breasts. Nom! I didn't have the best quality maple syrup, and I had to use dried thyme, but it was still delicious. I also added about a table spoon of chipotle pepper jelly to the sauce as it was reducing. Gave it a good kick, along with the lovely warmth from the peppercorns. Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow!

    Admin said...

    good idea...I have never seen good maple before.