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Winter Vegetables Warm Up to Chicken

Posted on January 25, 2013

healthy chicken recipes

When the weather warms, grilled chicken breast on a crisp veggie salad is the way to go. But right now, when the thermostat can dip below freezing, it’s time for hearty stick-to-your-ribs fare. Of course, that’s not all meat and potatoes. In fact, pair a roasted, braised or stewed FreeBird with any of the following veggies and it rivals the most decadent of comfort cuisine.

Parsnips: Tossed with a little olive oil and roasted for about 15-20 minutes in a 425°F oven, parsnips offer an earthy flavor that goes perfectly with roasted chicken. How convenient that roasted chicken cooks perfectly at that very same temperature! Next time you place a FreeBird on a roasting rack, line the pan beneath with a layer of parsnips and start roasting. The drippings in your pan will be the best seasoning parsnips have ever enjoyed.

Onions: Onions play a great background role in many dishes. Caramelize them on your stovetop, slowly and deliberately, and you’ll create a luscious, memorable topping for a golden pan seared chicken breast. All you need to do is slice onions into thin strips and place them in a little bit of oil in a saucepan over a very low heat. Stir occasionally and allow all of the moisture of the onions to sweat out and evaporate. Add a little balsamic vinegar and a dash of brown sugar and cook until completely tender. Season with salt and pepper and make sure to have plenty of crusty bread to go with what’s destined to be a new favorite winter chicken dish.

Chard: Slow cooked dinners may be most people’s fantasy winter fare, but reality gives us only 30 minutes to prepare typical midweek meals. A quick sauté of chopped chard, sliced chicken, garlic and slivered almonds takes a minimalist approach to cooking a complete meal that you’ll marvel over. To prepare chard, simply wash and coarsely chop–that should take all of 5 minutes. Then set it aside. Sauté sliced or cubed chicken in some olive oil with chopped garlic until lightly browned. Once the chicken is nearly cooked through, toss in the nuts and chard and cook until just wilted. Serve over a bed of whole grains like barley, brown rice or quinoa and you’re ready for a little winter hibernation.

Turnips: What would a winter weekend be without hearty stew simmering on the stove? Combine chicken thighs or legs with turnips and other root vegetables in a Dutch oven with a little white wine and get into your comfort zone. Chicken becomes fork tender in 60-90 minutes depending on the cut, cooking temp and piece size. Sit back and allow the flavors to meld while you catch up on some reading in front of a warm fireplace.

Butternut Squash: There’s something about the sweetness of butternut squash that seems more permissible on a frosty night than any other. In addition to its delicious flavor, butternut squash offers lots of vitamins to help keep those colds and flu bugs at bay during this time of the year. Sautéed together with pan roasted FreeBird; this winter vegetable chicken one pan meal is bound to be a hit.