Slow-Roasted Maple Chicken
One of spring’s most iconic tastes is maple syrup. Here it plays a starring role in this dish that’s garlicky, sticky, and sweet with mild heat and a touch of fennel, and pairs well with buttery herbed noodles. Serves 4.
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 tsp fennel seeds, whole
1 tsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
½ tsp oil
1 large red onion, thickly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. In a bowl, stir together garlic, vinegar, maple syrup, soy and Sriracha sauces, and fennel and coriander seeds (see Tip, below).
2. Place thighs in a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Toss to evenly coat.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When hot, add chicken, skin-side down. Cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Place chicken back in casserole dish. Drain excess oil from skillet, then return to heat and add onions. Stir to coat, then pour in maple mixture. Simmer, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or so, then pour overtop of chicken.
4. Roast until meat is extremely tender (meat will pull away from the bone), basting with sauce in the pan 2-3 times, for about 1½ hours. Broil for 2-3 minutes to crisp skin, if you wish.
Tip: Use a mortar and pestle to crush coriander seeds, or if you don’t have one you can press the bottom edge of a heavy-duty saucepan into the seeds, and then slowly move the pot back and forth.