Crisp chicken skin and sweet carrots pair perfectly with benne’s nutty and mildly bitter flavor.
Maple-Benne Chicken Thighs and Carrots
Makes 6 Servings
- 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound carrots, peeled, halved crosswise, and cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons toasted benne seeds
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- Garnish: chopped fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Sprinkle chicken with 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down; cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Turn chicken, and remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, toss together carrots, thyme, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Arrange carrots around chicken in skillet, and bake for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, stir together benne seeds, maple syrup, mustard, and hot sauce. Brush maple-benne mixture onto chicken. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in chicken registers 165° and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes more. Garnish with thyme, if desired.