Mmmm... It's recipe time again. Now I always base whether a recipe is good or not, if Kevin likes it because, well, he is a picky, Midwestern man eater. He likes his meaty meat and potatoes, plain. No spices or sauces - just plain old food (aside from maybe some ketchup depending on the meat and type of potatoes) BLAH.
EVEN Kevin liked recipe which I tried last week!
It also wins because it is SUPER easy to prepare which in my book makes it a winner no matter what! I tore this recipe out of Real Simple back when I used to get the magazine so I've probably had the recipe for several years now... It is SO good I would like to kick myself for not trying it sooner!
Maple-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
1 3-1/2 to 4 lb Chicken, cut into 8 pieces (OR we just used boneless skinless chicken breasts which I just cut into larger pieces that I figured would cook faster but NOT too fast)
2 small to medium sweet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 yellow onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp maple syrup
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
Heat oven to 400f. Arrange the cut chicken, onion, and sweet potatoes in a place 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the items in the pan. Then season with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Drizzle with the maple syrup and finally tuck the fresh thyme in around the dish. I was a little leery of thyme myself (esp. fresh) because Kevin is so picky but it leaves only a light taste, makes it look and smell pretty AND you just push them aside when you take it out of the oven.
Now here's the tricky part. Put this dish in the oven. The recipe calls for 1 hr and 15 minutes but because we used different chicken it took about 40-45 minutes. You should stir this dish about 20 minutes in or else stuff will start to stick. I checked the chicken & sweet potatoes about 40 minutes in and it was all cooked so I just let it go a little longer to ensure the rest was completely done. The recipe also said to let the dish "rest" for 10 minutes but once again I think this is overkill if you do not use the whole chicken.
I made organic carrots in the steamer to round out the whole root vegetable theme I had going on and it was so yummy. Perfect for the fall and winter! It is very lightly sweet and salty tasting all at once and the maple sauce makes the chicken melt in your mouth! Matthew LOVES sweet potatoes and downed this dish as did Kevin.
PS: If you are wondering (I did not know this before...) a Sugar shack is a Canadian term, most often used in Quebec (freaky french Canadians!?!?), for a small establishment in a sugar bush that makes and serves maple-flavoured dishes. It also refers to the building in which maple sap is sugared off.