Someday, I will learn to photograph meat in a way that does not emulate a retro cookbook. Today is not the day.
I can say, however, that the recipe is fantastic. The mingling of cider, maple syrup, cinnamon, and star anise with the chicken and pork ribs is irresistible. While everything roasts, the most delicious perfume, sweet and exotic, wafts through the kitchen. By the time everything is cooked, it's no effort to dig in and enjoy.
The only "problem" is that a craving can't be immediately sated; the ribs and chicken must be marinated overnight, or up to 2 days ahead. Trust me, though: it's well worth the wait.
Oven-Roasted Maple Chicken 'n' Ribs (source: Nigella Lawson)
1 cup apple cider, as sharp as possible
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
8 pork spareribs
6 chicken thighs with skin and bone.
In a large freezer bag or bowl, blend apple cider, maple syrup, vegetable oil and soy sauce. Add star anise, cinnamon stick, garlic and hot pepper flakes. Add pork and chicken and seal bag or cover bowl. Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
Remove marinated mixture from refrigerator, and preheat oven to 400-degrees. Pour contents of bag or bowl (including liquid) into a large roasting pan. Turn chicken pieces skin side up.
Roast until chicken is opaque throughout and ribs are tender, about 1 1/4 hours; 35 to 40 minutes into roasting, turn ribs over, but leave chicken skin side up. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.