Maple Glazed Chicken & Mashed Sweet Potatoes are a match made in heaven. Butterflied and basted in a caramelized glaze of maple syrup, orange juice, and Dijon mustard with thyme and you have chicken perfection here.
Top Family Favorite for Over Ten Years
Fortunately, I found this delicious recipe over a decade ago in one of my favorite cookbooks The Healthy Hedonist by Myra Kornfeld. I have slightly adapted many of her recipes over the years such as Fish Tacos, Salmon Burgers, and Coconut Green Beans.
My daughter, Abby, has had Maple Glazed Chicken every year for her birthday dinner for the past ten years. Not only does it smell AMAZING in the oven, but it feels so special served on a plate and yet it really is a simple meal to make. My husband may laugh at what I just said, considering what is simple to me may take him three times as long. I get it. Put me in his workshop and I would probably stare at the Home Depot 1.2.3. book for hours and feel lost in all his tools. We do best staying in our own lanes.
There is no pretty way to show this
Can I just tell you how many pictures I have in my media library of Maple Glazed Chicken? A lot! And it is not because there are just so many beautiful pictures to choose from. Unfortunately, Maple Glazed Chicken and Sweet Potatoes is our FAVORITE special dinner, and yet, how can I say this, there is just no pretty way to capture an exposed, butterflied, glaze-splattered chicken. How unfortunate, because it tastes so AMAZING! I don’t want you to look at the chicken and judge it by my inability to capture all its glorious, make me want to lick my plate, goodness.
What I Love About Preparing Maple Glazed Chicken
Undoubtedly, what makes this recipe work is the fact that the chicken is butterflied to allow for a quicker, more thorough cooking time. Butterflying your chicken takes about 25 minutes off your cooking time. Bonus: you can save the neck and back in a freezer bag with any extra vegetable scraps from the week for future chicken stock.
Additionally, the glaze is prepared in a saucepan and poured over the top. Then, you baste it with a turkey squirter every 15 minutes. Furthermore, the drippings can be separated in a gravy separator and then used for the gravy over the sweet potatoes. Actually, I never separate my gravy from the fat in this recipe. My bestie does. I guess she is just more patient and high-maintenance than me;). Clearly, I am in too much of a hurry to inhale my dinner. I just get out the ladle, dig out a well in my sweet potatoes, and spoon away. Yep, that’s what you call living on the wild side.
Recipe for Maple Glazed Chicken
- One 5 pound organic chicken, rinsed, patted dry and butterflied
- salt & pepper
- For the Maple Glaze:
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup orange juice (I juice fresh oranges)
- 3 T Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 T chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme. (I also place a few sprigs of fresh thyme on top)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Butterflying the Chicken (see video below): Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Using kitchen shears, cut along each side of the backbone and remove it. Make sure and save the backbone along with any kitchen vegetable scraps in a freezer bag to be used for chicken stock later.
- Generously season bird with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and place in a 9x13 casserole dish or Dutch oven.
- In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup, orange juice, olive oil, mustard, thyme, cayenne, and salt and bring to a rolling simmer, uncovered, until thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Pour the glaze over the chicken and roast for about an hour, basting it every 15 minutes with pan juices. I use a turkey squirter but a spoon will work fine too.
- Roast until slightly blackened and carmelized (see pictures) or until thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 170-175°.
- Allow to rest and then cut up and serve alongside mashed sweet potatoes and coconut green beans.
- Using a spoon, create a well in the center of the mashed sweet potatoes and douse with the maple gravy.
You can watch this Food Network Youtube video for visual instructions:
Preparing the Sweet Potatoes
About 30 minutes before you put the chicken in the oven, place about eight whole, unpeeled, scrubbed, and fork-poked sweet potatoes in a casserole dish with 2 T of water. Cover with foil. Place in the oven at 400° F on the bottom rack. Position the top rack in the center of the oven in preparation for the chicken. The sweet potatoes take approximately 45 minutes to one hour to roast. When you can squeeze them gently and they feel soft to the touch, they are ready. Pull them out to cool.
When they have cooled enough to handle, peel and place the insides in a large bowl or Kitchenaid mixer. Add 1/4 cube of butter (about 4 T) and 1 tsp. of cinnamon and mix until mashed. Cover until chicken is ready.
We serve this trilogy with Coconut Green Beans which is our favorite way to prepare green beans. Not only are the colors beautiful on the plate, but the flavors complement each other perfectly. EnJOY!
PS— if you can get a blog-worthy picture of this recipe, please share:)
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Turkey Baster Syringe– aka turkey squirter
Le Cruset Oval 8 Qt. Dutch Oven– Just a tip, but Homegoods has Le Cruset seconds around the holiday for half the price. Le Cruset pots and pans are family heirlooms that can be passed down for generations. They are worth the investment.
The Healthy Hedonist by Myra Kornfeld