I really love meal planning. Every weekend I sit down in front of my laptop (with google calendar open to mark days when I have plans after work) and start creating my meal plan for the week (with an accompanying grocery list). I may start brainstorming based on a few ingredients we have at home (like a veggie, a protein, or an open package of goat cheese); sometimes I crave a particular dish (probably because I’ve seen it or was reminded of it through a recipe somewhere in the blogosphere) but in either case I typically stick to a formula of sorts – a meat dish, a vegetarian dish, a seafood dish, maybe a dinner out, then a (almost) no-cook meal (like a leftovers, jarred sauce + chicken or tofu, or pita pizzas); rinse and repeat. lol
I love love love this process. Searching through my google reader for ideas with a specific ingredient or browsing through cookbooks is almost meditative to me. I honestly could spend hours on it as I click through recipe after recipe. So many meals, so little time!
I often ask Adam if there is anything he’s craving and the answer is usually no, or… it’s been a while since you’ve made us banh mis. Yes, we love ‘em round these parts.
A few weeks ago, though, Adam surprised me and said he wanted something with maple syrup. Really??! Maybe he was subconsciously still thinking about those maple scones I made a while back?? I know I’ve been thinking about them ever since but I have a food-crazy mind.
Not surprisingly, my google reader had nothing in the savory department with maple syrup… but I imagined a nice roasted chicken with crispy skin and a maple glaze. So I got to work…
I used this recipe for maple glazed duck as my base but used a chicken we recently got in our meat CSA. Chicken cooks a bit differently from duck – I followed this roasting time guide and then made sure the thermometer read 175*. I also placed carrots under the chicken which absorbed all its juices. Root veggies under roasted chicken are actually my favorite part of the meal!
We don’t eat nearly enough roasted chicken but I just love it. The meat was super juicy… the only thing – the maple flavor wasn’t pronounced enough!
The carrots were spot on though– they really caramelized. LOVE.
I’m still impressed with pulling this off on a weeknight!
Do you meal plan? Any favorite savory recipes with maple syrup? I want MORE!