Monday, January 6, 2014

Great Side Dishes for Roasted Chicken

So my last post was How to Roast a Chicken and I mentioned that cooking it on a bead of vegetables was optional. It is great to do, it makes things simpler and the chicken juices make the veggies quite delicious, but sometimes you want something a little different. Here are some of my favorite side dishes to have with oven roasted chicken.

Sauteed Asparagus with Garlic

Serves: 4

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  1. Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and asparagus spears; cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until asparagus is tender. If you like your asparagus well done, reduce heat and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Mushroom Risotto

(I am also a fan of asparagus risotto)
Serves: 4

  • 8 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 pound fresh portobello and crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Heat the chicken broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 onion and 1 clove garlic, cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms, herbs and butter. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in truffle oil then add the dried porcini mushrooms which were reconstituted in1 cup of warm chicken broth. Season again with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Saute 1 minute then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Coat a saucepan with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Saute the remaining 1/2 onion and garlic clove. Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque, 1 minute. This step cooks the starchy coating and prevents the grains from sticking. Stir in wine and cook until it is nearly all evaporated.
  4. Now, with a ladle, add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue to cook and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy. Transfer the mushrooms to the rice mixture. Stir in Parmesan cheese, cook briefly until melted. Top with a drizzle of truffle oil (optional).

Twice Baked Potatoes

Serves: 4

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • ½ c. milk
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 8 green onions, sliced and minced, divided
1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Wash potatoes and set aside. When heated bake potatoes for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a sharp knife.
2.     While potatoes are cooking, cook bacon in large skillet until evenly browned. Drain, chop, and set aside.
3.     Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes (or until cool enough to handle). Slice in half lengthwise and scoop into large bowl, saving skins. Mix potato flesh, sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, ½ c. cheddar cheese and ½ c. green onions. Mix until well blended and creamy.
4.     Spoon mixture into potato skins and top with remaining cheese and bacon. Bake for 15 more minutes.
5.     Top with remaining green onions and serve immediately.

Honey Glazed Carrots

Serves: 4

  • 1lb carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • fresh ground black pepper

  1. Rinse carrots under cold water and put in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and add salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a saute pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add honey and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and gently stir in carrots, coating well. Continue heating, gently stirring, until carrots are hot and glazed. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

Green Beans with Almonds and Fried Onions

This is a yummy healthier alternative to green bean casserole!

Serves: 4

  • 1 pound fresh green beans or frozen French-cut green beans
  • Salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (2-ounce package)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 can fried onions

  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a high-sided saute pan. If using fresh beans, cut them lengthwise while you wait for the water to boil.
  2. Add salt and green beans to boiling water and cook until just tender. Drain beans and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the butter. When butter is melted, add the almonds and cook until golden brown.
  3. Return the green beans to the pan, along with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, add salt and pepper, to taste. When warmed through, top with fried onions.

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