Monday, April 19, 2010
We'd purchased a jar of real maple syrup for our we-three Christmas breakfast, as a treat. It's been used a few times since but I wanted to try it in a savory application as well, and this recipe prompted me to do just that.
We really enjoyed all of the contrasting flavors in this recipe. There is sweetness from the maple syrup, the woodsy scent and flavor of the fresh thyme, and coarsely ground sea salt and black pepper to round out the seasonings. The chicken itself is tender and, thanks to the maple syrup, covered in a roasted glaze. Not one of us - not even the Bear - left behind any onions or sweet potatoes; they had been roasted to an almost candy-like perfection.
Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped into 1 inch wedges
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons maple syrup
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 400F.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Arrange chicken, onion and sweet potatoes in a baking dish and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Drizzle with maple syrup and arrange thyme over top.
Roast, stirring the vegetables once, until chicken is cooked through - about and hour and 15 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Easter means paska for my extended family. Paska is a soft and eggy sweet bread similar to brioche. Traditionally it is baked in the round topped with icing and colorful nonpareils (my sister in law does it this way) but we like it spread with a bit of butter and sprinkled with sugar.
Makes 4 to 5 loaves depending on size
2 packages dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
sprinkling of sugar
Dissolve yeast and sugar in water, let sit at least 10 minutes for yeast to develop.
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6-8 eggs (depending on size), beaten well
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6-8 cups flour
Scald milk, add butter and cool to lukewarm. Add sugar to eggs, beat thoroughly and add to warm milk. Add yeast mixture as well as vanilla extract and salt. Add enough flour to make a smooth dough, knead well.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours). When dough is light, shape as desired (braid or place in coffee can or honey pot as traditionally done). Let rise again until light (about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours).
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. We spread slices with butter and a light sprinkling of sugar.