HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What do I serve Ina's Tuscan Lemon Chicken with?

We're throwing a birthday party this weekend and I'm wanting to serve Ina Garten's Tuscan Lemon Chicken from Back to Basics. Planning a menu isn't my strength and I can't for the life of me think of what to serve with it. My husband says hamburgers and/or hotdogs, but i really don't want to go that route... however if I can't come up with a menu soon, I'm afraid I'll have to just throw in the towel and let him do whatever.

For the kiddos, I'm already gonna serve Ina's mac n cheese and some breaded chicken nuggets... will be making cupcakes and maybe more macarons later this week but my mind is going blank on actual real food for lack of sleep or maybe because I'm a baker and can only think of sweet things that I want to make. Some suggestions with not too too much prep work the morning of would be great. Thanks in advance!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you are going to follow the Italian tradition of serving courses which includes Tuscan Lemon Chicken. First comes the antipasto, then the pasta course followed by the meat (in this case the chicken) or seafood course, then the salad and finally the dessert. So choose a pasta for the adults, and some vegetable casserole to go the meat, dessert is a given since it is a birthday party.

    1. Are you looking for another grill meat, or some sides that would work well w/ lemon chicken? If you need another meat, maybe a sausages like aidell's? If you want sides, what about isreali couscous. You could add roasted/grilled vegetables to it for both vegetables and starch. Or, for easy, an Israeli couscous salad, like this (using some lemon juice for some cider vinegar):


      1. It's a birthday dinner... with adults & children?

        >Roasted potatoes seasoned simply w salt & pepper,and olive oil - OR-
        >Rice seasoned w chicken drippings or butter,

        >Green beans in some form (I'd roast them too or steam them then season w salt, pepper, crumbled dried thyme,

        >Green salad tossed w a simple vinaigrette

        That's a start and will go very well with that delicious chicken recipe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gio

          I love all of what Gio suggests. It would go great with the chicken!

        2. From the sound of it (maybe hotdogs or hamburgers) you're looking for another dish to serve with the chicken. I would also go the sausage route and the roasted potato route and combine them, roast some chicken/mango or chicken/apple sausages with onions and red peppers and cut up new potatoes. Always a winner.

          1. For sides, the roasted potatoes sound great. Sauteed green beans with bacon and lemon would be good. I can also imagine a really good spinach salad with bacon.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sisterfunkhaus

              I fully second this suggestion. Would go perfectly with Ina's chicken recipe. Add some good crusty bready & you'd be all set.

            2. As roasted potatoes go, try these crash potatoes (works great w/ sweet potatoes, too). Kids will love them:


              2 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                Really? Sweet potatoes? Would you just have to find small ones, or how would you do larger ones. I have some yams (or maybe they're sweet potatoes) that I've been trying to figure out how to make so that the kidlets would eat them... I might actually try that tonight.


                1. re: tiffany

                  I use regular size ones and cut them to about the size of those smaller potatoes, peeled. I boil first until soft but hard enough to hold the shape. I roast them on high so it gets those crunchy sweet edges. My kids fight over them.

              2. Now why couldn't I have thought of sausages! I actually have some Aidells sausages in the freezer right now, but they're pineapple something, so I'll probably pick up one of the other varieties. My husband will LOVE this idea.. he can't say no to sausages. And Gio, it's an early birthday lunch. I even thought of doing a brunch at first but decided that we'd grill instead since the rain's gone now and it's supposed to be sunny this weekend. The couscous recipe looks good and I might do that too if I have time, but I think those crash potatoes might be a winner. Thanks chowser! I'd seen that PW post before and totally forgot about it. I don't have a potato masher... you think a large fork would work just as well? and green beans sounds great too for both adults and kids. I had thought maybe a salad too.. maybe just the bagged spinach salad from Trader Joe's since I'm not gonna have any help, or something else simple.

                My question now, is what to bake last? Both the mac n cheese and smashed potatoes need the oven.. well, actually the breaded chicken for the kiddos need the oven too, but I can do that earlier. Maybe potatoes? I only like my potatoes when they're burning your mouth hot. I won't even go anywhere near a warm french fry.

                Thanks guys for all the great suggestions! I don't know.. my brain just doesn't work very well when it comes to putting a menu together but this is perfect. Thank you thank you!

                1 Reply
                1. re: tiffany

                  I use a heavy cup to smash the potatoes. If you're going w/ a bagged salad, Costco has a decent one that will serve a lot of people, comes w/ dressing, feta, cranberries and nuts (which I hold off on w/ functions w/ children). If you turn the oven on higher for the potatoes, they won't take that long. I'd do the mac and cheese and nuggets first, cover so they cool some for the kids, while potatoes are roasting.

                2. I love rice pilaf with chicken, and it would be easy to tailor one to compliment the flavors of the chicken dish you are serving. Salad and some roasted vegetable side dish would nice also.

                  1. Hey guys, thanks for all the recs! The party turned out great. I actually ended up going with a sundried tomato pasta salad (also Barefoot Contessa) that was a huge hit last year and again, everyone loved it. Did the green beans per everyone recommendation.. they were actually the french green beans that I tried to blanch for a minute, plunge in ice water, then saute with some butter.. they were still way too raw for me and I hated them, but people still thought they were okay and ate them. Grilled some Aidell's sausages with the chicken and that was super easy. Chowser, the crash potatoes were a huge hit! I almost forgot about them until half of our party already got food and started eating.. but that worked out perfectly because they were piping hot out of the oven. If you see this, what temp do you cook it at b/c I would have prefered them even crispier. Ran out of time to make a salad since I thought I'd have time to make my own, and that was actually the one thing that I think would have rounded out the meal, for me anyway.

                    Thanks everyone! You guys are the best!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tiffany

                      I do it at at 425 which, I think, is high--I love the crispy brown edges. And, I throw in a handful of chopped garlic, too.