"There was a property near where I grew up in Johnson, New York, that I went to once with my dad," says Llewellyn. "Being the middle child of seven kids, one-on-one occasions like that were rare. I also remember it because it was the first (and only) time I'd sourced my own maple syrup. Or maybe it sticks in my mind because it was the first time I got stitches, when the farm-owner's son covered a rock with snow and pegged it at my head during a snowball fight. We'd tapped the swelling trees the day before, so we'd returned to fill a massive drum with maple water that we then placed on top of a fire and left to simmer away until all that was left was the rich, thick syrup. This can take hours, even days, which is why we were having a snowball fight. I know a lot of you won't bother or may not be able to smoke your maple syrup, but whatever you do, please use the real deal. Don't buy imitation maple syrup because it's cheaper. It's cheap because it's crap. This syrup is brilliant with fried chicken, and drizzled over waffles and vanilla ice-cream." Makes about 1 litre.
Note This recipe is from Fried Chicken & Friends ($49.99, hbk) by Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart, published by Murdoch Books and has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.