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Summer accompaniment for fried chicken?

I realize we're deep in the heart of barbecue season, but I'm feeling a real yen for some fried chicken this week. Any suggestions on a light accompaniment to go with? Maybe a twist on some traditional southern sides?

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  1. roast some corn on the grill, cut off the cob & toss with some salt & chipotle butter...or a light vinagrette.

    green beans steamed & then tossed with butter & lemon juice

    3 Replies
    1. re: evans

      I'm definitely feeling this roasted corn idea... maybe even as some sort of warm salad with roasted peppers, green onion. I totally had potato blinders on.

      1. re: novelgazer

        Roasted corn and black bean salad with red onion, red bell pepper and lots of cumin. Mmmm.

      2. re: evans

        That corn salad would be great with the addition of fresh off the vine cherry tomatoes. I've made a corn relish salad by sauteing garlic in a little olive oil, adding the corn, then a little balsamic vinegar. Cook the vinegar down so that it just coats the corn. Add sliced green onions and quartered cherry tomatoes until just heated through.

      3. Grilled squash/zucchini is always nice. Corn too. A nice fruit salad would also fit the season.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pylon

          I might have to combine some roasted corn and zucchini... or a corn and pineapple chutney? Not traditional southern fair, but I bet it would be really refreshing.

        2. Potato salad definitely gets lighter if you skip the mayo-based dressing and toss warm potatoes with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, capers, a touch of grated onion and fresh herbs Can be served warm, room temperature or cool.

          Barely steamed sugar snap peas are also a favorite summer side of mine. Toss with a touch of olive oil infused with citrus peel, and you've got a gorgeous, delicious side.

          1 Reply
          1. re: 4Snisl

            Mmm... I love sugar snap peas prepared that way, hot or cold.

          2. Smothered okra, of course!

            Okra dipped in corn meal, fried crisp and then covered in a savory tomato mixture. Oh so good.

            1. Not a twist but a great side anyway - Carolina style coleslaw - crunchy and tart, not mayonaissy.

              4 Replies
              1. re: lupaglupa

                I'm not a big fan of mayonaisse-based cole slaws... can you recommend a good recipe for Carolina style?

                1. re: novelgazer

                  This is my Aunt Becky's - adapted from Southern Living:

                  1 small head of cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
                  1/2 green pepper
                  1/2 red pepper
                  1 medium onion
                  1/4 cup sugar
                  1/3 cup vinegar
                  1/4 cup canola oil
                  1/2 tsp. salt
                  1/2 tsp. celery seeds

                  Shred the cabbage, slice the peppers and onion thinly. Toss with sugar. Cover and chill for two hours. Bring vinegar, oil, salt and celery seeds to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over cabbage mix. Toss well, cover and chill 2 hours. Serve. Keeps about 5 days.

                  I use apple cider vinegar mostly but others work. You can really jazz this up - I've put in ginger and soy sauce or added hot peppers and cilantro - it's the technique that counts. One thing - use the standard boring green cabbage. Napa and Savoy aren't crunchy enough - they get limp (I found this out the hard way!).

                  1. re: lupaglupa

                    I'll have to give this a try... sounds like it'd be great for a picnic or a party. Should I salt the cabbage first to draw out the water? I've seen that in other recipes. Like the idea of adding hot peppers... I bet it's a nice contrast to that natural cabbage sweetness.

                    1. re: novelgazer

                      I never salt the cabbage - the sharp crunch is one of the best parts of the salad. It can be made the day before too, it will stay crip for a while (although over time it does get limp). I'm planning to take it on a picnic in a couple of weeks - with fried chicken as the main course!

              2. Maque choux (or succotash or smothered okra/tomatoes)
                Fresh tomatoes, simply sliced & sprinkled w/s&p, with homemade lemony/garlic mayo on the side

                1. I made "summer bread salad" this weekend. It was more or less the Zuni bread salad, but I left out the currents and used very coarsely chopped tomatoes. I guess it was starting to be panzanella at that point. Served w/ roast turkey, but I think it would have been nice w/ fried chicken.

                  You could grill some sweet potato wedges if you wanted to go "southern", or make the sweet potato salad w/ peanut dressing that you can find on EPI. Asian slaw is nice in the summer too. The dressing IS mayo based, but you can use as little as you like and it's still quite flavorful. Find this on Martha Stewart website.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: danna

                    Heh, that's funny, I was just coming into this thread to recommend panzanella as an accompaniment. I'm making roast chicken tonight (I know, I know, my kitchen is going to be hot, but it's relatively cool here right now), and I'm making panzanella and pan roasted corn as sides.

                    1. re: danna

                      I've never had bread salad/panzanella -- this sounds really good. Didn't see it in time for tonight's dinner, but I'm going to have to try this in the next couple days.

                      1. re: novelgazer

                        Panzanella was GREAT tonight along with the roast chicken, so I bet it would be good with fried too.

                    2. The Ziti Salad from The Store Cookbook is always a big hit. Devoured down to the last ziti.

                      1. A tasty Southern side is a black eyed pea salad with a champagne vinaigrette, served room temperature,
                        You can also cut fresh corn on the cob into small cobbettes, boil as usual then roll them in butter, lime and chili for more heat chop a serrano or jalapeno very fine and put that in there too. I make some mild ones for the kids. Everyone loves these, perfect size no hassle with the corn holders. or Fresh corn salad, with cilantro, serrano chili, red onion, black beans with a lime dressing.

                        oops too late!!