What Goes Good with BBQ Chicken: Perfect Pairings for a Delicious Meal

This article presents a selection of side dishes that perfectly complement the flavors of BBQ chicken, enhancing your culinary experience.

Key takeaways:

  • Rich and Creamy Coleslaw: Shred cabbage finely, include carrots, and chill before serving.
  • Smoked Mac and Cheese: Use sharp cheddar and smoked gouda, lightly smoke the dish.
  • Buttery Cornbread: Use stone-ground cornmeal, add honey or sugar, serve warm.
  • Oven-Baked Fries: Slice potatoes into wedges, season with smoked paprika, bake at 425°F.
  • Lemon Herb Roasted Asparagus: Roast with lemon zest and herbs, maintain crunchiness.

Rich and Creamy Coleslaw

rich and creamy coleslaw

Balancing the smoky flavors of BBQ chicken, a rich and creamy coleslaw offers a refreshing crunch and tanginess. The inclusion of both green and purple cabbage not only adds a vibrant color contrast but also provides a variety of textures.

When crafting this side dish, consider the following:

  • 1. Shred cabbage finely for a delicate bite that complements without overpowering.
  • 2. A dressing with mayonnaise as the base achieves the desired creamy texture, while a dash of vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice cuts through the richness, introducing an essential acidic note.
  • 3. Include shredded carrots for added sweetness, and consider a touch of onion for a subtle sharpness. This can round off the flavor profile, ensuring each mouthful is a dance of sweet, savory, and tangy notes.
  • 4. Do not overdress the coleslaw; it should be coated lightly, allowing the ingredients to shine rather than swimming in excess.
  • 5. Allow the coleslaw to chill before serving. A rested coleslaw enables the flavors to meld, culminating in a more cohesive side dish.
  • 6. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs such as parsley or chives to inject a pop of brightness, beautifully offsetting the deep flavors of your BBQ chicken.

Smoked Mac and Cheese

Elevate this classic comfort dish by introducing a smoky dimension that pairs excellently with the savory notes of BBQ chicken. Use a mix of cheeses such as sharp cheddar for depth and smoked gouda to complement the infusion from the grill. For added texture, stir in a layer of oven-crisped panko breadcrumbs on top. Consider lightly smoking the mac and cheese itself to infuse those subtle wood-smoke flavors that harmonize with your main course. Opt for al dente pasta to ensure it holds up against the rich, creamy sauce and retains a satisfying bite post-smoking. The key lies in balancing the smoke intensity to avoid overpowering the delicate creaminess of the dish.

Buttery Cornbread

Cornbread is a stalwart companion to BBQ, offering a slightly sweet and savory balance to the smokiness of chicken. Its buttery texture complements the meat’s juiciness while its crumbly nature adds a pleasing contrast.

To leverage the pairing, consider using stone-ground cornmeal for a more authentic texture and richer corn flavor. Adding a touch of honey or sugar to the recipe can enhance the natural sweetness, making it a delightful palate cleanser between bites of chicken.

Serve it warm to allow the butter to melt into the bread, ensuring every piece is infused with a hint of richness that echoes the succulence of the BBQ chicken.

Oven-Baked Fries

Pairing oven-baked fries with BBQ chicken brings a balance of textures and flavors to the meal. The crispy nature of the fries complements the tender, smoky chicken.

For the best results, slice potatoes into even wedges to ensure uniform cooking. Coating them lightly with oil, seasoning well with salt, pepper, and a hint of smoked paprika to echo the BBQ theme adds depth.

Bake at a high temperature, around 425°F, flipping halfway through, to achieve a golden exterior with a fluffy interior.

Serve alongside the chicken for a classic, satisfying side that appeases a variety of taste preferences.

Lemon Herb Roasted Asparagus

Perfectly complementing the smoky flavors of barbecued chicken, asparagus roasted with a hint of lemon and a sprinkle of herbs offers a refreshing balance.

The natural earthiness of the vegetable is enhanced by a light zesting of citrus which cuts through the richness of the meat.

Add thyme or rosemary, which not only infuse the asparagus with aromatic flavors but also lend an aesthetic touch with their green hues that brighten the plate.

Roasting ensures that the asparagus keeps its crunchy texture, providing a satisfying contrast to the succulent chicken.

For the best results, toss the asparagus in olive oil with lemon zest and herbs before baking until just tender – it’s a simple yet sophisticated side that stands up to the hearty main.