I had hoped to open this post with photos of today’s Maple Sugar Sunday trip. I have very fond memories of this tradition. Parents take their kids to maple sugar farms and get tours of the sugar shack, visit with farm animals, and, most importantly, devour FREE maple sugar samples. Often over ice cream. Sometimes simply on fresh snow.
But it was 16 degrees out today. The farm canceled all tours because of the 14 mph winds. The farm animals ran inside to stay warm. Syrup dosed ice cream isn’t quite the same when your teeth are chattering. And original photos? Forget it. Our phone batteries drained in 2 seconds flat.
We’re having a hard time believing it’s spring up here in Maine. It’s been a long, dark, cold winter, and everyone is aching for some vitamin D. This chicken…this chicken helps. It softens the blow that spring in Maine is non existent. It’s a hot, comforting meal for when the weather’s still brutal, but the flavors sing a promise of warmer times just around the corner.
I’ve made this recipe 3 times now, and every time it’s come out perfect. I recommend following Dinner A Love Story’s recipe to the T. My only suggestion is to go ahead and add potatoes to the pot along with the onions and carrots if you have them on hand. The leftovers make a perfectly balanced weekday lunch.
(aka DALS’ Soy and Mirin Glazed Roast Chicken)
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
about a tablespoon of olive oil
1 whole roasting chicken (about 3-4 pounds), giblets removed from inside and patted completely dry
3-4 cloves of garlic, halved
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (available in the Asian section of most supermarkets)
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Turn off heat. Add onions and carrots to a deep roasting dish and toss with olive oil. Place the chicken on top and stuff with lemon and garlic (no need to be artful about this). Tie the chicken’s legs together with kitchen string, then brush the chicken all over with about a tablespoon of the melted butter. (Do not discard the butter that remains in the saucepan; you should have about 3 tablespoons left.) Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the chicken.
Roast chicken for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, add soy sauce and mirin to the melted butter. Turn heat to medium-low and stir until everything combines. Remove from heat and let rest on stovetop.
After 45 minutes, generously brush chicken with mirin glaze. Roast another 20 minutes. Glaze again. Roast another 10 until chicken is cooked through and the legs wiggle easily. (The general rule for making sure a chicken is done is to roast about 18-20 minutes per pound.) The chicken’s ready when the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Slice and serve.
*Sugar shack photo via Turkey Street Maples