Those of us living in New England home to great rivers of maple syrup know that this richly sweet treat deserves star treatment far beyond the breakfast table.
It belongs in chili, in barbecue and certainly in baked beans. It works with ham, with roasted squash and carrots, and especially slathered over broiled salmon.
For this simple weeknight dinner recipe, I decided to fully embrace the savory side of maple by using two varieties of it on both the side dish and the main course.
AP Photo - - Double Maple Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes adds a sweet touch of maple to the flavor profile.
I start by tossing chunks of sweet potato with a blend of granulated maple syrup sugar (usually sold in the baking goods aisle), salt and pepper. I then rub that same mixture onto chicken thighs. Traditional maple syrup then is drizzled over the chicken and everything is roasted together in a Dutch oven.
The result is sweetly savory and delicious.
If you have trouble finding granulated maple sugar, you can substitute an equal amount of dark brown sugar.
Double Maple Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes
Start to finish: 45 minutes. Serves 4.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup granulated maple sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (skin removed)
1/3 cup maple syrup
Zest of 1 lemon
Heat the oven to 350 F.
In a large Dutch oven, combine the sweet potatoes and the olive oil. Toss well to coat.
In a small bowl, mix together the maple sugar, salt and black pepper. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the sweet potatoes, then toss to coat. Arrange the sweet potatoes in an even layer over the bottom of the Dutch oven.
Use your hand to rub some of the remaining maple sugar mixture over the chicken thighs. Arrange the chicken over the sweet potatoes. Drizzle the maple syrup over the chicken.
Cover the pot and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and roast for another 10 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 F at the thickest part.
Serve the chicken with the sweet potatoes. Just before serving, sprinkle the lemon zest over the chicken. The sweet potatoes can be served as roasted chunks, or can be mashed. If mashing, add some of the liquid in the pot until the sweet potatoes reach the desired consistency.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 506 calories; 143 calories from fat (28 percent of total calories); 16 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 188 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrate; 46 g protein; 2 g fiber; 1,193 mg sodium.