It’s sweet, it’s savory and it’s pretty much always in season. Grab that bottle of pure maple syrup — whether it’s light or dark, it’s all good — and crack open chef, blogger and photographer Katie Webster’s all-maple, all-the-time cookbook. It’s pretty much always chicken season, too.
You know how some cookbooks automatically fall open to a particular page because you’ve used that recipe so many times? Mark my words, this will be that page. Here is a sweet, savory, and easy-as-heck recipe that is perfect for a chilly evening spent with friends.
- 1 shallot, finely sliced
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup dark pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus four sprigs, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs
- 3 medium pears or apples, peeled, cored and quartered
For the chicken thighs
In a medium bowl, whisk shallot, cider, syrup, ginger, vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place chicken in a large resealable bag. Pour marinade into bag, seal it, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning once or twice to agitate marinade and coat all pieces.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove chicken from marinade and arrange pieces, skin side up, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Tuck pears and thyme sprigs among chicken pieces. Pour marinade over top. Bake, basting occasionally, about 1 hour, until chicken is cooked through and starting to pull from the bone. Serve chicken and pears with sauce spooned over top.