The Perfectionist Painter Shares: Oven Roasted Maple Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Fennel

by Kirsten on November 12, 2011 · 10 comments

in Chicken, Main Dishes

Did you start any Holiday preparations yet? I actually signed up with 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
*  salt
*  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.

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highplainsdrifters November 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

thanks for the epicurious tip. we use it from time to time, but only via google, looking up something. haven't checked out their homepage in ages. cheers!

Nuts about food November 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm

This is one of my favorite meals of all times. Nothing better than a roast chicken and lovely winter veggies. I am not a good painet, but I have had other arts and crafts and home improvement disasters and I completely feel for you!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window November 13, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I love all these ingredients, The whole plating looks awesome.

Sue/the view from great island November 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

That dinner plate is calling to me! What a wonderful enticing image, the chicken looks perfectly cooked, and I love fennel and sweet potatoes!

Poires au Chocolat November 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm

This sounds like such a wonderful meal – I love all three elements. There's something so wonderful and comforting about roast chicken.

I can totally understand your frustration with the painting – those sort of things drive me mad!

Boulder Locavore November 12, 2011 at 4:48 pm

You know there are certain projects I just won't even start anymore because they are always as you've described! I know my tolerance for pain and have a great contractor friend who takes on those I feel have the opportunity to drive me mad….on a tight timeline as well!

Your meal looks a wonderful rustic, seasonally soothing antecdote for your paiting woes. Beautiful and earthy. Gorgeous colors and photos.

Lea Ann November 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Kirsten what a beautiful meal. The combination of sweet potatoes and maple sounds wonderful. I bought a whole chicken to roast for Sunday dinner tomorrow. Whole Foods sale. However, will be doing a more traditional plan. This has been bookmarked (Pinterest) and I'll try this next time. I really get frustrated when I have to re-do projects. wish I would have had this meal when I had to re-boil, re-seal and re-can a jelly project last weekend. :/

Karen Harris November 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm

What a wonderful comforting meal after a stressful day of painting. Your photos look like you reach out a take a piece. Beautiful.

I am usually the painter in our house and a few years ago I swore off painting for good. We hired someone to come in and do it for me and I was so particular that I decided I was better off doing it myself afterall. Good luck with your project. I know it will be perfection when your guests arrive.

Susan November 12, 2011 at 4:34 am

Your photo is so inviting. I'd have to fore go the chicken, but those carrots and fennel look scrumptious!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes November 12, 2011 at 2:07 am

All I can say is . . . this looks delicious! I love the idea of using maple and roasted fennel! YUM!

Have a great weekend!

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