Thursday, February 6, 2014

Maple Bourbon Roasted Chicken Legs with Beets and Butternut Squash

I know a lot of you are struggling through some pretty bitter, cold temps and snowy days. This would be the perfect recipe to warm you up after shoveling snow or trudging through the "white stuff" to pick up your kids at the bus stop. I know that my little snow story here in South Carolina does not compare with what my family in Pennsylvania or a lot of you from up in that area (that are devoted readers) are suffering through. However, last week, we had snow here in South Carolina- a whole inch!! And Yes! I know we become the laughingstock of the east coast every year when this happens, but if you have ever lived in the south you know why. There really are no resources to deal with snow- regardless of the amount. There is also no need to waste tax payers money on the equipment and supplies when there is only a slight chance that a winter event will even occur. And most importantly, for a lot of local kids, why not take a day off to enjoy a once in a year phenomenon.

Anyway, I was cold and had the day off and I wanted to make some comfort food to warm up a little. Unfortunately, I did not want to do a lot of work nor did I have a lot of ingredients. So, I came up with this simple, one pan dish. For me, these ingredients are staples in my house, so that part was not hard and neither was the prep.  I watched the oven as this awesome marinade bubbled away. When it was done I was so happy to cuddle up on the couch with a big bowl, my fuzzy blanket and a few episodes of Sex in the City. Warm, I was!!

Maple Bourbon Roasted Chicken Legs with Beets and Butternut Squash

Many times, I think most people only think of marinades and glazes for grilling meat outdoors, but this dish will challenge that idea. The combination of these liquid ingredients made for the best glaze on the chicken and the veggies.

6 chicken drumsticks
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup bourbon
3 beets, cut into wedges
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 37 degrees. Combine maple syrup, apple juice, bourbon, salt and pepper in a bowl or zip top bag. Place chicken in this mixture and marinate for 2-4 hours. In the meantime, place cut veggies on a baking sheet; making sure to spread them out evenly. Remove chicken from marinade and place on top of the veggies on the baking sheet.  Drizzle marinade on top of all ingredients on the baking sheet. Toss everything slightly to coat. Sprinkle the thyme over the top of the ingredients. Bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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