Playing Maple-Orange Sweet Potatoes

Rachael's helping you plan the perfect Thanksgiving dinner with her two-day "Thanksgiving A-to-Z" event, featuring delicious recipes, affordable tips and more! This recipe offers a bit of Rachael's hometown flavor; the maple will take your sweet potatoes the extra mile on Thanksgiving.

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 4 cloves
  • Juice of 1 orange plus a few strips of rind
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Several sprigs thyme
Optional garnishes: chopped candied pecans, chopped smoky bacon, chives
  • Chopped candied pecans, chopped smoky bacon, and chives, for garnish (optional)
Preparation

Place potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Salt water and cook potatoes to tender. Drain and return to hot pot.
 
Meanwhile, place stock, syrup, bay, cinnamon, cloves, orange juice and rind, butter, thyme and peppercorns in a small pot over medium-low heat.

 
Strain the stock and syrup into the sweet potatoes and mash. Adjust seasoning and serve with toppings candied nuts, bacon and/or chives, if desired.