Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts
Adding maple syrup to the chicken broth in our Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts recipe provided a welcome sweetness, but we had to be sure to use real maple syrup. Halving the sprouts ensured they cooked through evenly, but if we didn’t cut them through the stem they fell apart in the skillet. We mimicked the brown, caramelized edges achieved through roasting by sautéing the sprouts for a few extra minutes before adding the liquid.
- Serves 6 to 8
- Choose Brussels sprouts with small, tight heads, no more than 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Use pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through core
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
1. BROWN SPROUTS Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in broth, 1 tablespoon syrup, thyme, and cayenne and cook over medium-low heat, covered, until Brussels sprouts are nearly tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. FINISH COOKING Uncover and increase heat to medium-high. Cook until liquid is nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining butter, remaining syrup, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
To keep the halved sprouts intact, cut them through the stem (and remove any tough outer leaves).
Halving Brussels Sprouts
Since poor cooking technique can turn Brussels sprouts mushy and sulfurous, we paid close attention to detail when developing our recipe for Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts. Some recipes recommend cooking the sprouts whole, others halved, and many others with an X scored into the sprouts’ stem end—that last, it’s said, for even cooking. We put them to the test both in our recipe and by simply boiling average-sized sprouts (1 to 1½ inches in length) in salted water. The whole sprouts flunked. They took nearly 15 minutes to cook, and by the time the core was tender, the exterior was army green, mushy, and sulfurous. The halved sprouts not only cooked faster (in 6 to 8 minutes) and more evenly, but the exposed interiors soaked up seasoning from both the maple glaze and the salted water. So did X mark the spot? Not so much. While the scored sprouts cooked slightly faster (about 13 minutes) than the whole sprouts, again the exterior overcooked before the inside was done.