Sunday, November 4, 2012

Maple-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

My original plan had been to allow the sweet potatoes to cure for 2 weeks outside since the weather had been so warm.  But, the sudden onset of cold sent me scrambling to gather them all up off the picnic table.  With company on their way, I stashed them away in my closet in a laundry basket for the weekend.  Once our visitors were gone, though, I laid them out on the guest room bed and turned a space heater on to maintain about 85 degrees in that room for about another week.  Then, they'll go into colder storage in the garage.
In the meantime, I was finally ready to prepare a dish that I'd been anticipating all summer as those sweet potatoes developed underground.  In fact, I was walking on air as the smell of this dish took over the house.  This is one of my absolute favorite meals!  And, for the first time, we were able to prepare it with our own backyard chicken and homegrown sweet potatoes.  Yes, I was in heaven!

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into 1" pieces
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbs. maple syrup
6 sprigs fresh thyme

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Arrange the chicken, onion, and sweet potatoes in a 9x13" baking dish.  Drizzle the oil over the chicken and vegetables and season with the salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.

Drizzle with the maple syrup and top with the sprigs of thyme.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to using fresh herbs in recipes, I am tempted to scrimp.  After all, they're like $2.38 for the tiny package in the produce section, whereas I could just reach into my spice cabinet and produce a similar effect.  But, don't scrimp here!  The thyme will fill your house with the most amazing aroma as the chicken roasts.  Seriously, it may make you so joyous in anticipation that you can't help but sing.  Or, maybe that was just me.  ;)

Roast, stirring vegetables once, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. 
Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


I'd like to thank Real Simple for providing the original recipe several years back.   I've probably prepared it 20 times.  It makes a great dish for company because you can have it made up ahead of time, then just pop it in the oven when you're ready.

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