This sweet and sour citrus salad, with juicy oranges, sticky dates, and crunchy almonds, is the perfect foil to rich, fatty roast chicken. Or crispy chicken cutlets, sliced into strips.
Sure, you could sauté asparagus with just oil and salt. But things get infinitely more interesting with thinly sliced garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and a squeeze of lime.
A side dish that might steal the show. (Don’t tell the chicken.) Next time you’re grilling breasts or thighs, whip up this mustardy grilled zucchini salad to go with.
5. Potato Salad
A humble potato salad that gets along with everyone it meets. Don’t skip the diced chives or onion powder—both bring a super-savoriness that will have you coming back for seconds.
Because if you’re grilling chicken, you might as well grill your salad, too. Bitter chicories love a bold char, and don’t even get us started on the fennel-seedy dressing with chiles and garlic.
But wait! you say. I’m eating this chicken for dinner, not breakfast! That’s a-okay. These simple-as-heck, strategically spiced potatoes are excellent anytime of day.
The secret to these stunners from Yasmin Fahr? The braising liquid, which “reduces down to a thick consistency that coats and infuses the potatoes, also giving them a bright, orangey color.”
Culinary historian Michael W. Twitty recommends serving his Genius rice with chicken, and who are we to disagree? Make extra candied garlic if you know what’s good for you.
Italian tonnato sauce is traditionally served with veal, so you bet your bottom dollar that it’s A+ with chicken, too. Especially when spring jewels like asparagus and fava beans are involved.
A riff on Julia Child’s creamed spinach. The creaminess comes not from cream, but from flour’s thickening prowess, plus butter (because if it’s inspired by Julia, of course it involves butter).
The only roasted broccoli recipe you’ll ever need. That’s it!
Just like a really good bag of salt-and-vinegar potato chips—only instead of crunchy and crackly, soft and plush. A simple roast chicken would thank you kindly.
“If you love smoked paprika, the odds are high that you’ll love these carrots,” writes Dorie Greenspan. “They’re roasted in a hot oven after they’ve been rolled around in a mix of honey, vinegar, cumin, cayenne, and smoked paprika.”
For leaner (aka blander) chicken cuts, like breasts, a rich side dish is just the ticket. Think: meaty mushrooms, creamy labneh, and enough puckery lemon to grab your attention.
Sure, you could roast or sauté or boil broccoli. But you could also leave it alone, like in this crunchy salad. Feel free to swap in whatever fruit or nut you have on hand.
A minimalist masterpiece from Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. The ingredient list is in the title: miso and butter and onions and that’s it.
“Since traditional Persian rice can take years to perfect and hours to make,” writes Samin Nosrat, “I’m including this Persian-ish variation, which I accidentally devised one night when I found myself with a few extra cups of just-boiled basmati rice on my hands.”
Why yes, this dill yogurt would go great with your chicken, too. This crispy-creamy template from Abra Berens would work well with any roasted veg, from fennel to cauliflower.
Sometimes simple does it. If your chicken recipe has a lot going on already, opt for a pared-down side dish like these sprouts.
Sweet potato wedges get treated to a jammy peperonata and peppery greens. This would be excellent with a cold glass of white wine.
23. Creamed Corn
No cream is needed for this decidedly creamy corn dish. Indeed! Our senior food stylist Anna Billingskog will explain the rest.
Scallions need no more than a hunk of butter to become their best selves, slouchy and sweet—it’s impossible to eat just one.
Summer chicken, we’re ready for you. This coleslaw gets its extra-good looks from two types of cabbage (green and red), plus orangey carrots and emerald parsley.
“If you’ve never had cooked radishes before, you’ll be delighted,” writes Darra Goldstein. “Though they retain some crunch, their flavor mellows, and the muted red of their skin is alluring.”
Meek cabbage? No more! Sauté with cream, onion, ginger, and garlic for a, ahem, suspiciously delicious result.