There are some ingredients I always love to use in my cooking and rooibos is certainly one of them. Yes, I know it’s tea, so it’s meant to be a beverage, mainly, though it can be more than that, as this recipe proves. I have added loose rooibos leaves to a spice mixture and created this super easy crispy rooibos chicken with autumn apple.
Rooibos is a very nutritious and tasty beverage (see more on rooibos < here>) which I enjoy in great quantities daily. Rooibos leaves are tiny and soft (not prickly though they look like they might be), perfect to add into a spice mix and coat chicken thighs with it. How did I get from rooibos to spice mix to chicken? I am not exactly sure. The main thing is, my fragrant rooibos spice mix goes very well with the chicken as well as the sour autumn apple I’ve also included in this recipe.
We are in the apple season and bramley apples are great in so many desserts but they complement savoury dishes too. I left the skin on them so they would keep their shape better and also because the skin is an integral part of the deliciousness of bramley apples.
This dish is filled with sweet and sour notes and tastes delicious with a generous sprinkling of black pepper. It can be enjoyed either on its own (don’t forget to add some fresh pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander) or with a side dish of quinoa, couscous or rice.
Yields 4 portions
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 4 chicken thighs (patted dry, skin left on)
- 1 and 1/2 or 2 bramley apples, cut into quarters, cores removed
- 2 red onions, peeled, cut into 6 parts each
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
- 2 rooibos teabags
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
- 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Coriander and pomegranate seeds for garnish
- In a small bowl empty the contents of the rooibos teabags, add the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and enough seasoning for 4 chicken thighs. Mix thoroughly and tip onto a large plate. Coat only the skin side of the chicken thighs. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. Place the apple pieces in a large baking tray. Set aside.
- In a frying pan heat up the oil and fry the chicken, skin side down only, on a medium/high heat for 5-6 minutes taking care not to burn it. This will get rid of most of the fat in the skin and crisp it up. 3 minutes into the cooking add the garlic and onion pieces (stir a few times as they are frying, but don't stir or turn the chicken over).
- Transfer everything into the baking tray placing the chicken skin side up, sprinkle any remaining spice mixture onto the vegetables, season the whole thing with salt and plenty of pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 30 minutes (halfway through you can give the onions a little stir if you like but it's not necessary).
- Serve immediately with pomegranate seeds and freshly chopped coriander.