Savoury Sweet Reflections on Local Foods and the Last Weekend of Maple Town Maple-Thyme Roast Chicken

Written By: Colleen Delaney, Mountsberg & Crawford Lake Educator

When you think of maple syrup, some of the first things that come to mind are pancakes, maple candy, or tarts. But maple syrup doesn’t have to be limited to dessert or breakfast! There are many recipes that use maple syrup to enhance savory dishes such as salmon, or in this case, chicken. This recipe is a delicious maple and thyme roasted chicken that the whole family will love! The best part about this recipe is that many of the ingredients can be obtained from local food sources. 

Getting ingredients from local food sources creates good feelings associated with knowing where your food has come from, and that you are supporting local farmers. We are very fortunate in the Greater Toronto Area to have multiple locations where we have access to farm fresh foods, such as St. Jacob’s Market and local farmer’s markets. We also have a number of maple syrup producers currently churning out gallons of delicious, local maple syrup! 

Going to a sugar bush, like Mountsberg’s Maple Town, is a fun family outing any early spring weekend. However, time to enjoy this tasty Canadian tradition is almost over. One of the delights of maple season is its brevity. Enjoy the moment, for as soon as the buds appear on the trees, the sap turns sour and the opportunity to enjoy a trip to the sugar bush is over. In fact, this weekend April 3-6, 2015 is the final opportunity to enjoy fresh local maple syrup in Maple Town. Join us at the park for the final perfect combination of maple sap, steam, horse drawn rides and fiddle music. Visit the park April 3-5 and you can also enjoy Mountsberg’s  Easter Egg Extravaganza!

Come enjoy the sugar bush for one final weekend and bring home some local syrup to try out this delicious Maple-Thyme Roast Chicken recipe! (Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking)

Maple-Thyme Chicken

Maple-Thyme Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4-lb. locally sourced whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/3 cup pure, local maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

 

  1. Position a rack in the upper third of oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

 

  1. Set the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone to remove it. Flip the chicken over and press down on the breasts with the heels of your hands to flatten it a little. Rub 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper all over the chicken and set it breast side up in a 9×13-inch baking dish (the chicken should fit snugly).

 

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup, oil, vinegar, thyme, and cayenne with 1 tsp. salt. Pour the mixture evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 tsp. salt and several grinds of black pepper.

 

  1. Put the chicken in the oven, basting or brushing it occasionally with the pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh registers 170° to 175°F, 45 to 50 minutes. (Keep an eye on the pan juices; if they seem to be burning, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the bottom of the pan.)

 

  1. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, cut it into pieces, drizzle it generously with the pan juices, and serve immediately.
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