Roast Chicken with Black Pepper and Maple Glaze

Source: Food and Wine, April 2004 - Maria Helm Sinskey
adapted by

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
coarsely ground pepper
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large chicken or 2 small ones
1 small orange, poke holes in it with a fork
small potatoes and butternut squash chunks (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of coarsely ground pepper. Remove the glaze from the heat. (or you can just pour the syrup and dots of butter in the pan with the onions and stir it a couple times while they roast!)

On a large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet, toss the sliced onions with the olive oil. Season the onions with salt and pepper and spread in an even layer. Season the chicken inside and out with salt, put the orange in the cavity, then arrange the chicken on top of the onions. Loosely tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string.

Roast the chicken for about 60 minutes at 350°. Brush the chickens all over with half of the maple glaze and continue roasting them for 1 hour longer. Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Generously brush the chicken with the remaining glaze and roast until the cavity juices run clear and the chickens are nicely browned.

Transfer the chickens to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Pour the onions and pan juices into a large glass measuring cup and skim the fat from the surface. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the chickens.