There are many more to ways to savor sweet maple syrup beyond the traditional topping for pancakes. Try this sweet and spicy chicken soup for your next family dinner featuring vibrant flavors from pure maple syrup, crushed red chili flakes, and five-spice powder.
New England is known for a lot of things: gorgeous fall foliage, winning sports teams, and naturally sweet and impossible-to-resist pure maple syrup.
So when Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup (Quirk Books, 2015) by Katie Webster landed in my kitchen, I was more excited than two kids in a candy store as I poured through its sweet pages!
Katie’s book covers tips for using maple syrup in everyday cooking, and she shares the backstory on how maple trees are tapped. The book also features Katie’s formula for using maple syrup in place of sweeteners like granulated sugar. Katie lives in Vermont where she cooks up new dishes each week for her food blog, Healthy Seasonal Recipes.
I did have a chance to make Katie’s recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Hot Pot.
While I initially planned to make her Maple Carrot Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting and Maple Ginger Roasted Salmon, the cooler New England weather beckoned me to give her slow cooker soup a try.
Katie and her daughters collecting sap from maple trees. Don’t you just wish you could bundle up and pop yourself into that scene right now!
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil or organic canola oil
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
- 1 large Spanish onion, diced
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1⁄2 cup dry sherry
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄4 cup dark maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium, wheat- free tamari or reduced-sodium
- soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 cup large-diced carrots
- 1 cup large-diced peeled celeriac
- 1 cup large chunks peeled yellow potato
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced scallions
- Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add chicken thighs and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until browned. Flip and brown other sides. Remove skillet from heat and transfer chicken to a large slow cooker.
- Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic and cook, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes, until onion is softened. Add five-spice powder, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring 30 to 90 seconds, until fragrant. Add sherry and cook, scraping up any browned bits, 30 to 90 seconds, until mixture comes to boil and sherry is reduced by one half.
- Transfer onion mixture to the slow cooker. Add broth, syrup, tamari, and vinegar and stir to combine. Place carrots, celeriac and potato on top (do not stir.) Cover and cook for 4 hours on low. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions and serve.