Yesterday felt like spring. Master Boiler Christian discarded his hat and hoodie and worked in a T-shirt. Flies swirled around the syrup jugs on the picnic table. The entire sugarhouse took on a new smell, and for the first time the grade dropped from Fancy/Golden to Amber the color of the glaze on Maple Trout Lilli’s chicken.

She writes:

A combination of my favorite roast chicken recipes:

3.5 lb whole chicken
1 apple
2 Tablespoons chopped rosemary
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
3 Tablespoons butter
Swiss Chard or Kale

If time allows take your chicken out of the packaging, salt and pepper liberally (including inside cavity) and place on a plate in the fridge, uncovered, the day before you’re going to cook. It’s kind of dry brine and allows the S&P to permeate the chicken. Remove from fridge an hour or so before cooking.

Preheat oven to 500 and place a 10” cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up. I stuffed my chicken with some apples and a sprinkling of rosemary.

While the oven is preheating make the baste by melting the butter in a saucepan, add chopped rosemary and maple syrup and cook for 2-3 minutes.

When the oven comes to temp the skillet is ready. Carefully place chicken in hot skillet, and baste with the rosemary/maple/butter mixture. A decent amount will end up at the bottom of pan and that’s okay.

Decrease oven temp to 375 and roast the chicken, basting with juices every 15-20 minutes until the chicken is glossy and golden brown and registers 165 degrees with an instant thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. About 55-60 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooling on a plate, add some quick-cooking veggies to the hot pan. I used chopped scallions, kale and asparagus – sauté for 10 minutes until everything gets all caramelized and delicious. Any sauce remaining in the bottom of the pan gets drizzled over everything.


MTL delivered this platter of Spring Chicken to the sugarhouse in the mid-afternoon Thursday. The kale grew in a greenhouse tunnel at Long Winter Farm just down the valley.

[Note to subscribers: I am re-sending this post since not everyone received it the first time. AC]

One thought on “A Spring Chicken

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