1. Bring a 5- to 6-quart pot of salted water to a boil and cook carrots until just tender (6-8 minutes). Drain well.
2. Melt butter in a large (12-inch) heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides. Add carrots and sauté 1 minute. Add orange juice, maple syrup, thyme, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Continue to boil, shaking skillet frequently, until liquid is reduced and syrupy, and carrots are tender (5-10 minutes).
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