Did you start any Holiday preparations yet? I actually signed up with epicurious.com this year where they walk you through easy prep ahead steps so Thanksgiving dinner won’t be so stressful. This weekend I will make my turkey stock, bake my rolls to be stored in the freezer and prep the pie crust. You should look into it. It is very helpful! More info here.
I also wanted to paint my guest room before my girl friend arrives from Germany for Christmas. I am still in the middle of it while disaster happened and I need to share my frustration with you my reader friends. Perfectionist as I am, I always mask and caulk the ceiling before painting the walls, so the paint won’t bleed and to end up with a perfectly straight line between the wall and the ceiling. Unfortunately I bought the wrong caulk and the results are just terrible. The paint somehow got stuck to calk that went under the tape and it looks like a fringed carpet. I will spare you an actual picture. So, that means back to the start and redo everything. If you have been into painting, you probably know how tedious and time consuming taping and calking is. Yes, I will redo everything, but I need a little distance before I make another trip to the hardware store to purchase the correct calk. Let’s get cooking! (Have you had similar disasters happen to you? I would love to hear them.)
What better way to calm down, relax and take a step back from my painting project than sharing a very homey meal with you. It is an all in “one pot” meal out of the oven: roasted maple chicken with sweet potatoes and fennel. This is the perfect warming dinner to sit down to with your family and friends on a windy and cold fall night.
* 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
* 3 fennel bulbs, cored and halved
* olive oil
* fresh-ground black pepper
* 1 organic chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
* 1 tablespoon butter, soft, at room temperature
* 6 tablespoons (90 ml) pure organic maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 425° F.
Mix the sweet potatoes and fennel with some olive oil in a bigger roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Wash and dry the chicken and rub it with olive oil on the inside and outside. Season with salt and pepper. Twist the wings behind the back and tie the legs together. Put the chicken, breast-side up, in the center of the roasting pan while pushing the veggies to the side. Spread the butter over the bird and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and stir the potatoes. Brush the chicken with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Return the pan to the oven and cook, stirring the potatoes and brushing the chicken with the remaining maple syrup 2 more times, until the chicken and potatoes are just done, about 30 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer inserted on the inside leg of the bird registers 165 F. Transfer the bird and vegetables to a plate and leave to rest covered for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Add any accumulated juices from the chicken to the liquid in the pan. Serve the chicken with the pan juices, sweet potatoes and fennel.
Inspired by foodandwine.com.