Never one to under-impress, Isla Rechner’s vibrant take on a modern roast is perfect for those warmer summer days that have finally arrived for us all to relish in.
‘Sitting one morning my hands lazily encasing a cup of rooibos with honey and lemon, I thought about how these three ingredients that make a tasty morning brew could just as easily work in a hearty meal for dinner. Chicken breasts are a popular cut but also notoriously known for drying out quickly. Brining injects more flavour and much-needed moisture, resulting in it becoming succulent and juicy. Paired with bright butternut, a crisp salad and a zesty honey and mustard sauce, this dish totally morish!’
Rooibos tea brined chicken breast with honey and mustard sauce, hasselback butternut squash and rocket, radish and watercress salad
Rooibos tea brined chicken
1-litre water, 4 rooibos teabags, 20g sugar, 30g salt, 4 cloves garlic crushed, ½ lemon thinly sliced, 2 sprigs rosemary, 4 chicken breasts, skin and bone on, 30ml olive oil, 50g Butter, melted
In a medium-sized pot place water, rooibos tea and sugar, heating to a simmer. Take off the heat and let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Place back on the heat adding the salt, stirring until dissolved. Add the garlic, lemon and rosemary, leaving to cool off the heat until room temperature, place in fridge for 30 minutes until fully cooled. Add the chicken breasts to the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight. The following day remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. In a heavy based saucepan and on medium heat, place olive oil and once at temperature cook chicken skin down first initially until the skin is lightly golden, roughly 5 minutes a side.
Preheat your oven to 175. Spoon melted butter over the chicken. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Leave to rest
Honey and mustard sauce
80g whole grain mustard, 80g honey, 80g cup mayo, Juice of 1 lemon, Pinch of salt
In a bowl, place all ingredients stirring until combined
1 butternut peeled and halved, 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped, 80g butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, crushed, Salt
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. In a small saucepan, place thyme, butter, olive oil and garlic. On medium heat, cook until the butter has melted. Using a sharp knife, slice the butternut in ½ centimetre intervals keeping the bottom intact. Place butternut in a roasting dish and pour over butter mixture. Roast for an hour or until golden and cooked through
Pea shoot and radish salad
1 bag rocket and watercress salad, 1 bunch of finely sliced radishes, Extra virgin olive oil to dress
Place pea shoots in a large bowl. Scatter radishes over the pea shoots