Maple Chicken is a traditional chicken preparation in Vermont. Of course, maple syrup is the culinary pride of the state and I find it pairs well with chicken and pork. The combination of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar may seem like it will be too sweet, but here the balsamic actually cuts the bright, sugary syrup, adding a sour note to the sauce. Sometimes I use the balsamic in more traditional savory sauces and gravy and there it contributes more sweetness.
- 1 Chicken (whole, cut up into quarters)
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper (fresh, ground)
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika (optional)
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- 1 TB Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 TB Maple Syrup (pure Vermont, of course!)
- 2 TB Lucini 10-Year Gran Riserva Balsamico
- 1 TB Lucini Delicate Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the chicken parts well, then season with the salt, pepper and, if using, paprika/cayenne pepper. Allow the chicken to sit for 10 minutes. While the chicken sits, make the sauce by heating the maple syrup over medium flame for 1 minute and then add the balsamic. Simmer until the syrup ‘melts’ and the sauce has an even color.
Place the chicken in a well-oiled baking dish and then top with half of the sauce. Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, until the internal temperature of the breast is 160 degrees. Drizzle the chicken with the lemon oil, turn down the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes – the chicken should have a deep brown color, but not black. Remove from the oven, top with the remaining sauce and serve.