It isn't a true Thanksgiving meal without loads of sides, scattered around the table like banchan at a Korean barbecue. And one side (other than creamed spinach) that I can't do without is a bowl of candied carrots.
The premise behind glazed carrots couldn't be more basic: you simmer the root vegetables in some form of sweetener (sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc.) until the sauce has thickened and coats the carrots.
If you're taking part in a beginner, budget-conscious, or fast Thanksgiving dinner, opt for a two-step recipe made of only four pantry ingredients. Alternately, add citrus for a side that has layers of complexity. Scope out both recipes after the break.
3 pounds carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal Serves 8. 3 navel oranges Serves 10.
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 pounds medium carrots (24), peeled
3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Special equipment: parchment paper or wax paper
3 pounds carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal
3 navel oranges