Chicken meat has a natural, delicate flavour that pairs well with many side dishes, and fried or baked chicken has the taste and texture advantage of crispy skin, which makes it a good companion for softer foods. A range of hot and cold sides complement baked chicken wings.
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Baked chicken wings simply seasoned with salt and pepper bring out the tart taste of coleslaw made with shredded cabbage and carrots and lightly dressed with a mixture of mayonnaise thinned with a little cider vinegar. If you can find plump, ripe tomatoes, make an easy salad of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil or snipped chives. For a slightly heavier side salad, toss salad macaroni (cooked al dente) with chopped red onion, diced pimento and hard-boiled eggs, and lightly coat with a mustard and mayonnaise dressing or light basil pesto.
Rice and potatoes go well with baked chicken. You can keep the side dishes simple by serving plain white rice or mashed potatoes with butter. To jazz up the rice, sauté it in a little oil and chopped onion before adding the water or broth to the pot. Give the potatoes a gourmet touch by mixing in roasted garlic, sour cream, or shredded cheddar or jack cheese right before serving. Creamy macaroni and cheese or silky scalloped potatoes are good companions to baked chicken wings. For a cool starchy side, make your favourite potato salad or purchase a high quality pre-made variety from a delicatessen.
Hot Vegetable Side Dishes
Brighten a dish of steamed green beans by mixing them with chunks of boiled new potatoes and chopped fresh tomato and celery. Season the dish with chopped cilantro, red pepper flakes, minced garlic and olive oil. Steamed corn on the cob is a tasty accompaniment to baked chicken as well or, if it is not in season, substitute creamed corn baked with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Stir-fried broccoli crowns flavoured with almonds go well with chicken, or, if you prefer cheesy vegetables, top steamed cauliflower with a homemade or prepared cheese sauce.
Breads and Rolls
If you want to keep your baked chicken wing meal on the casual side, serve the poultry with a simple salad and a choice of breads. Cornbread studded with bacon bits and topped with honey butter heightens the savoury flavours of the wings. Homemade or store-bought yeast rolls are easy sides, as are freshly baked buttermilk biscuits.
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