Maple Syrup Two Ways

These infused candied pecans get a kick from Crown Maple's Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. Easy to prepare, you'll find a zillion ways to enjoy them this fall. They are a natural on top of vanilla ice cream or pretty much any apple dessert. Use as a decorative garnish for crème brûlée. Or toss them in a salad with bitter greens like escarole or peppery arugula dressed with a sherry vinaigrette. In the unlikely event you have any left, they'll keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Boozy Maple Pecans

  1. Grease a baking sheet with the oil and set aside.

  2. In a small heavy sauté pan, warm the pecans and syrup over low heat. Stir until the pecans are coated and have absorbed the syrup, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Pour the pecans onto the baking sheet and spread them out to cool.

Sweet and salty with a boozy kick, this is our favorite chicken recipe for fall. Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup sends an ordinary chicken to new heights. The easy stove-top sauce works well for a whole roasted chicken or wings. Football anyone?

Bourbon Maple Chicken

 Serves 4 

  • 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds), or 16-20 chicken wings (4-5 pounds)*

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 2 tbsp grape seed or other neutral oil

  • 6 large sage leaves, finely chopped

  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes

  • 2 tbsp Crown Maple Bourbon-Barrel Aged Maple Syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Season the chicken liberally inside and out with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. Choose a cast iron or other low-sided roasting pan that will hold the chicken snugly, but don't place the bird in the pan just yet. Instead, pop the pan in the oven to thoroughly heat up, about 10 minutes. (Placing a whole chicken in a super hot pan gives the dark meat a chance to cook faster than the white, giving you a shot at having it all ready at the same time.)*

  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the oil in a small saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the sage and chili flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sage begins to brown, 1-2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and stir for 2 minutes. If it starts to bubble, turn it down a bit.

  5. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully place the chicken inside, breast side up. Give the sauce a quick whisk to fully blend it and pour it all over the chicken.

  6. Roast the chicken in the oven for an hour, basting it every so often, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F at the thigh. The skin should look slickly glazed.

  7. Let the chicken rest 5-10 minutes before carving. Pour the pan juices over the sliced chicken before serving.

    *To make wings, choose a sheet pan with a lip and skip step 3. Toss the wings with the sauce right on the sheet pan (parchment paper helps with the clean-up), and cook in a single layer for 45 minutes.

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5 Things to Do With Boiled Cider


It looks like molasses: rich, thick, and syrupy, but Boiled Cider tastes like apples: a little tart, a little sweet, decidedly autumnal. You can make boiled cider yourself by cooking apple cider down very slowly, straining it, and pouring into sterilized jars. Or, if you don't have 8 hours to spare, you can try this version from Woods Cider Mill, bottled in small batches in Vermont. Then use it in recipes below or like this:

1. Instead of maple syrup, over pancakes or waffles.

2. As au jus, for this sweet and savory oven-roasted pork tenderloin.

3. To flavor frostings like butter cream or cream cheese, then slather on apple cupcakes.

4. For breakfast, drizzled over Greek yogurt and roughly chopped almonds, or for dessert, to jazz vanilla ice cream.


5. At cocktail time, in this beautifully balanced rye and cider drink.

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Meet the Maker: Potlicker Kitchen

Nancy Warner | Potlicker Kitchen

A former archaeologist, Nancy Warner began her two-time Marmalade Awards Gold-winning and Sofi and Good Food Awards finalist jellies and jams business in a one-room school house in Vermont. (Whispers are that there are five more prestigious awards headed her way.)

In The Savory Pantry, you’ll find flavors like Margarita Marmalade, Cucumber Jalapeno Jam, Vermont Crafted Carrot Cake Jam, Blueberry Sage Jam, and Apricot Ale and India Pale Ale Beer Jellies. (And keep your mouth open for the soon-to-be-stocked Cabernet & Black Pepper Wine Jelly.)  

Four years before Potlicker Kitchen reached half a million in sales in 2016, Nancy was transforming the passion for foraging that she’d developed as an anthropologist into a canning hobby.

“People often don’t realize how much food is just beyond their doorstep. As an anthropologist—archaeology being a field of anthropology—I became very interested in traditional foodways. That led me to begin foraging.”

Nancy was a Southeastern archaeologist who specialized in burial relocations. “I primarily did ‘phase one’ archaeology—which involved walking through the woods prior to construction projects to see what might need to be done beforehand—and phase three, which is what a lot of people think of—where you are out there digging in the dirt with trowels. There are many different burial traditions, so each job was a little different.” Many jobs, Nancy added, also “required a dark sense of humor.”

When she and her husband moved to Vermont so that he could attend law school, there wasn’t demand for a southeastern archeologist specializing in burial relocations.

Nancy says, “There wasn’t a job, and I needed a job, so I made a job. Foraging had a short season, and I learned how to can to extend the season. My parents had citrus groves where I grew up in Florida, and they would make marmalade. My grandmother always made blackberry jelly. So, I had been surrounded by canning at home, but more or less taught myself.”

As her hobby developed, Nancy wrote a food blog where she shared canning recipes. “When I realized how satisfying it was to take a raw product and put it up, I wanted to keep going with this obsession. I kept going, canning everything I could get my hands on. I even harvested wild grape leaves and put them up. I made a great batch of strawberry jam but really was interested in making something I couldn’t already buy. That idea still shapes a lot of my flavors today.

“At some point, I ran out of fruits and vegetables, so I started looking around the house to see what other ingredients I could use. There was coffee, vinegar, and a friend’s home brewed beer.” Then, Nancy was on to the ingredient that would launch her business.

“When I made my first beer jelly, no one else was making it. I was hanging out with a home brew beer club and had friends on the Vermont beer scene. Brewers either loved my beer jelly and the idea of it, or thought I was nuts.”

Bills were coming in and Nancy needed to pay them. “I thought about what I could do. I decided to put all the jellies in my pantry, including a couple of the beer jellies, in a basket and head to the holiday winter market. I sold them all! That really pushed me to make more and start selling at the farmers market.”

The demand for Nancy’s beer jellies increased rapidly. “I knew I was starting to push Vermont’s limit on income for a home business. I found a 500 square foot facility to rent about an hour away and started commuting.”

Carrot Cake Fruit Jam | Potlicker Kitchen

Then, in 2015—about three years after Nancy sold her first beer jelly—a call came that would be every entrepreneur’s dream. “Uncommon Goods found us. I didn’t know who they were. When they put the beer jelly on their site, they sold out in minutes. It was mind boggling. Then, the orders started coming to our site. After Black Friday, I printed out a ream of over 100 orders. I had to hire someone immediately. There was no time left in the day to commute. I was sleeping on the floor of the facility on packing materials, and getting up and doing it all over again. We stopped taking orders December 7 because we knew there was no way we’d get them ready in time for Christmas.” Potlicker Kitchen’s sales doubled each year from 2012 on, and hit half a million in 2016.

“With respect to everything I make at Potlicker, I always say: ‘Traditional techniques. Uncommon flavors.’ Most of our products are regional and some a hyper-local, like knotweed jelly.” Knotweed is an invasive species with which Nancy has managed to do something constructive. “With those super local products, they are made in small batches and only sold locally because it hasn’t made sense to me to sell them elsewhere. All of our beer jellies are made from Vermont brews and I try to stay local with other ingredients whenever it’s possible.

“I believe it’s important for us to become closer to our food systems and understand where foods come from. My volunteer work with food shelves [known as food pantries in the South] relates to helping people understand food sources.”

Now, with a very successful business and as a mother of two girls, Nancy is in the position of reassessing business relationships to ensure they are ones she really wants to have—relationships that comport with the core values of Potlicker Kitchen.  

“I’ve worked with some big corporations and have had to rethink after experiencing corporate burn.” One instance of burn happened after Nancy drove six hours through a snowstorm to attend corporate training at her own expense, only to arrive on the company’s doorstep and find out the training had been cancelled with no notice. They wouldn’t even cover the cost of her lodging.

“I want to be in relationships with companies that are also thinking about me, not just their bottom line. That means downsizing a bit, but I am very comfortable with that. We have two to four employees, depending on the season.” Much of Nancy’s focus now is on building and continuing relationships with specialty and gourmet foods stores like The Savory Pantry.

This entrepreneurial pause and rethinking is sealed in the very essence of Potlicker’s philosophy, including in its name. “Potlicker Kitchen came from my anthropology roots. Potlicker is a common Southern name for the liquid in the pot when you cook something, and sometimes more specifically refers to the liquid that comes from hours of cooking collard greens and pork fat. For me, it also means licking the bottom of the pot and getting the most you can out of life.”

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Meet the Maker: Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon

From the western North Carolina town of Waynesville, Jessica DeMarco and her brother, Dan Stubee, are “preserving tradition” at Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon through handcrafted and seasonally produced jams, pickles, and artisan foods.

Jessica DeMarco | Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon
Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon



Where did the notion of reinvigorating preserving traditions begin with DeMarco?

She shared, “My grandparents were farmers so we had a food- and farm-loving family, although our family garden was smaller when I was growing up. We had big family dinners at our grandparents’ house that nurtured my enjoyment of food, and I always loved being experimental in the kitchen. In college, I was an English major and that felt like one direction for my creativity, but I wanted something more experiential versus a traditional path, so I decided to go to California School of Culinary Arts (a Le Cordon Bleu school) in Pasadena.

“After culinary school, I worked as a pastry chef. Then I started a family and was trying to come up with things to do that would allow me the flexibility I needed to also be a mom.

“Preserving tradition had always come through as a theme for our family, so I started exploring that more. I began to think of it as literally making preserves, but also as inspiring people to think about food heritage and maintaining food traditions so that we don’t lose them or have to call them lost arts. Also, preserving foods was a way to be self-sufficient and plan for the future which had also been values in my family.

“I didn’t know much about how to can or preserve, so I obsessively researched. I pored through old cookbooks and immersed myself in anything I could find. Then, I just got in the kitchen to see what I could come up with. I experimented with so many recipes and tried so many things before hitting on it. The Red Pepper and Peach Jam was our first home run.”

Flash forward, and three years later, that Pepper and Peach jam was a Food & Wine Magazine Editor’s Pick. The jam lineup has expanded to include Blueberry Bourbon Jam, Apple Moonshine Jam, and savory Oven Roasted Tomato Jam. Other twists on classic southern favorites include Copper Pot Garlic Dill Pickles, Southern Style Pickled Okra, Spicy Jalapeno Dill Sandwich Chips, Dilly Beans with Pickled Peppers, and Onion and Peppercorn Pickles

Why Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon?


DeMarco continued, “As I became self-taught through my early research and recipe attempts, French chef Cristine Ferber arose as the gold standard in jam making and preserving, and she always uses a copper pot. Copper pots are sought after because of their even heating and evaporation. This is perfect for jams so that they can cook down without the bottom of the pan scorching. And of course no cook is properly equipped without a traditional wooden spoon.

Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon

Preserving Agricultural Traditions and Seasonality


 “We work with farms that we know within our own and surrounding counties. 90% of our produce comes within 60 miles of where we live. We are in very close conversation with farmers about the status of their crops. If we have a bad season we’ll get peaches from down the mountains in South Carolina, but generally, we are staying as local as possible.

 “Traditionally, folks couldn’t just go to the store in February and buy strawberries, and we work with all our ingredients on a seasonal basis. In North Carolina, you only have May as your strawberry season so you have to stock up while you can and get to work.  

“My brother and I normally have our own domains, but in the summer we are both in the kitchen up to our elbows in peaches and strawberries. As the business started to grow, it became clear it wasn’t going to be something I could do on my own. He is a jack of all trades. He has a construction and plumbing background so he is very handy, and is also a graphic designer so he created our logo and does the marketing. Now he does most of the kitchen management and supervises production. We work well together.

“It’s also good to have another palate since no two people are going to like the same things. We want a variety of textures and tastes to fit an assortment of preferences so that everyone can find a product they can enjoy. My brother eats all the pickled foods and I eat all the jam. Our pickled okra is a customer favorite but it isn’t necessarily my own. My boys are 11, 8, 6, and 3 months old, and the Apple Butter goes fast in our household.”  

Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon


and Triumphs


When asked to hit on the challenges and highlights of her culinary journey with Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon, DeMarco shared, “It has been really interesting to experiment with recipes and see what different flavor profiles work or don’t. Take tomato jam, for instance. There are so many interpretations. We tried one version that you often see with cinnamon and brown sugar, but it kind of comes across as baked bean. Our final version is more savory—using red wine, garlic, and herbs—and came through as such a nice spread with cheeses; that’s more the direction I was hoping for.” If you haven’t tasted it and need proof that they got it right, note that it was featured in Garden & Gun Magazine’s 2012 Made in the South Awards.

“Tomatoes are challenging because we seed, peel, and roast all the tomatoes by hand. But we love strawberries and blueberries because the scent of the berries just fills the room, and the hint of bourbon in the Blueberry Bourbon Jam just makes you want to relax on the porch. When its winter and I taste the strawberry jam, it takes me back to summer.

“One really great part of it all is the nostalgic aspect of food. We like sharing that with people and want to make food an experience rather than something that is just consumed. Rather than being something that is simply nourishment, we hope everyone who tastes our foods takes away a memory.”

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