Can I Cook Glazed Carrots a Day Ahead?

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For glazed  carrots, use baby carrots or cut into uniform size.
For glazed carrots, use baby carrots or cut into uniform size. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Glazed carrots make a quick and tasty accompaniment to roasted chicken or pork. Making them the night before streamlines your meal preparation even more. Select small, thin carrots that seem crisp and have a smooth skin. Large carrots are often woody, and those with cracks or a wilted, soft texture are likely old. Carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but remove the greens before you store them.

Preparation

Glazed carrots are usually made in one of three ways. You can boil or steam the carrots until they're tender and then glaze them with honey or brown sugar. An even simpler method, though, is to place the carrots in a saute pan with enough water to barely cover them. Add butter and brown sugar, maple syrup or honey. As the carrots simmer in the water, they become tender. Once the water evaporates, the fat and sugar coats them, causing them to become caramelized and slightly browned. To turn up the heat even more, try roasting carrots in a hot oven until they're tender and brown. Wait to add the sweetener until the last two minutes of cooking.

Considerations

Glazed carrots continue to cook for a few minutes after you've removed them from the heat, and they'll soften slightly in the refrigerator. They'll also cook for a few more minutes when you reheat them the next day. Because of this, cook the carrots only until they're fork tender. If you cook them too long, they might be mushy upon reheating.

Storage

Once the glazed carrots are complete, transfer them to a plastic bowl or a microwave-safe serving bowl. Cover them with a lid or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Store them for no more than two days before serving them.

Serving

Glazed carrots can be reheated right before serving. Microwave them in a microwave-safe bowl for a few minutes or place them back in a saute pan and heat them just until warm. Once heated, you can add salt and pepper or sprinkle the glazed carrots with dill or chopped parsley.

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