Early summer is probably the busiest time of year for us. This year is no exception.
We both have to work every day of course, but in addition to that, there is a ton of stuff to do to get the gardens in shape. Larry moved the entire vegetable garden last fall, to rest the old space for a couple years with cover crops. So he is even busier than normal making sure it is ready to plant.
In addition, he had to throw together a brood house because one of our hens decided she wanted to hatch some eggs, and the tiny babies can’t stay in the big coop until they get bigger, so the Mom and her babies need a safe place to live. It will be nice not to have to buy any pullets this year, but it definitely wasn’t planned.
And then there is our new granddaughter – I will be going down to stay with our younger daughter and her family when her husband goes back to work next week, so I had to try to get some blog posts done ahead of time, get my herb garden all planted and get all of the decorative pots for the porch and garden done. I did hire some young guys to do a lot of the major work in the biggest flower garden, but I even needed to get the last touches on that done myself.
With all of that going on, I don’t want to spend any more time in the kitchen than I have to. We aren’t above an occasional take out pizza from town, but for the most part, I am throwing something together at the last minute. Preferably something that isn’t going to take much thought or tending. This chicken is the perfect answer for days like that.
We always make sure to get a gallon of dark maple syrup from our neighbor Jeffrey. It does not get any more local than that when it comes to food – we can see his sap house from our front porch! Darker grades of syrup have more flavor, so look for grade B if you can find it. I am also addicted to chipotle hot sauces. There are quite a few different brands out there, with the most common ones probably being Tabasco and Cholula. You want that smokey jalapeno bite to balance the sweet maple in here.I used thighs for this batch, but you can use any chicken pieces you like – bone in, skin on is best, because then the chicken won’t get dried out. It just gets a 30 minute soak in the sauce, then straight to the oven.
- 4 to 6 bone in, skin on chicken pieces, trimmed of excess fat and patted dry
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce
- 1 & ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- In a bowl large enough t hold the chicken pieces, whisk together the maple syrup, hot sauce, salt and garlic powder.
- Put the chicken pieces in the sauce, turning to coat. Cover the bowl, and allow to sit for 30 minutes, on the counter.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven to 400º, and line a heavy baking sheet with foil.
- Arrange the chicken pieces on the sheet pan so that they aren't touching, and baste with some of the sauce.
- Roast for 20 minutes, and baste again, using all of the remaining sauce.
- Continue to cook, basting with pan juices every 10 to 15 minutes, for a total time of around an hour. The internal temperature should be about 160º when you take it out - it will cook a little more as it rests.
- If the skin did not crisp up enough for you, you can place the pan under the broiler for a few minutes, but watch it carefully, because the sugar content of the maple syrup can cause it to burn rather quickly.
- Remove to serving plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes, and then serve. Refrigerate leftovers
Add a side of rice [try boiling the rice with an extra half recipe of the sauce added to the cooking water!] and a salad or green veggie and dinner is ready. Juicy, spicy-sweet and so good!