Rooibos chicken bake - pic supplied

Tea might be the second most-consumed beverage, but we often overlook these fragrant leaves when it comes to cooking, you’d be surprised at how cooking with tea can enhance the flavour of the food.

Here are some tasty treats you can try at home using Rooibos tea.

Rooibos chicken bake

(Serves 6 – 8) 


1 kg chicken pieces 

Salt and pepper to taste

2 onions, quartered

10 cloves garlic, peeled but kept whole

1 sachet prunes

15 ml grated lemon rind

375 ml rooibos tea

125 ml rosé wine

60 ml olive oil

2 bay leaves

6 sprigs thyme

1 sachet green olives, pitted

10 capers

Fresh coriander leaves


Preheat the oven to 160°C.

 Arrange the chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish, season with salt and pepper.  

Add the onions, garlic and prunes. Sprinkle with lemon rind. Mix the rooibos tea, wine, olive oil and herbs and pour over. 

Marinate for at least an hour. 

Bake for 1 hour, then add the olives and capers and bake for another half an hour until the meat is done and tender. 

Arrange in a serving dish and garnish with a bunch of fresh coriander leaves. Serve with mashed potato or polenta with feta-cheese mixed in.


This dish is great to serve for a large crowd as it’s so simple to prepare and can easily be doubled to serve more.

Gammon with tangy Rooibos marinade recipe - pic supplied

Gammon with tangy rooibos marinade recipe 

(Serves 6) 


1,5 kg smoked gammon, skin on


30 ml (2 T) Dijon mustard

30 ml (2 T) soft brown sugar

30 ml (2 T) olive oil

5 ml (1t) fresh thyme, chopped


3-4 chillies, chopped

90 ml (6 T) apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar

8-10 sprigs thyme

750 ml (3 c) strong rooibos tea

60 ml (¼ c) brown sugar

To finish

1-2 whole heads garlic, halved

4 onions, peeled and quartered

Maldon salt and freshly ground mixed peppercorns

4 red and green apples, quartered (leave skin on)
180 ml (¾ c) brown sugar

Dijon mustard, plain yoghurt and lemon juice to prepare gravy


Preheat the oven to 160°C.


Mix all the ingredients for the spread and rub all over the meat. Place the meat skin side down in a casserole dish with a lid.


Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the meat. Marinate for 45 minutes.

To finish

Add the rest of the ingredients except the apples, half the sugar and plain yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper for taste. 

Cover and oven bake for 1,5 hours. 

Turn the meat skin side up; add the apples, sprinkle with the rest of the brown sugar and oven bake for another 45 minutes till the meat is tender and slightly sticky. 

Pour off the pan juices and remove the meat. 

Place the meat on a serving platter and rest for at least 10 minutes. 

Turn on the oven grill and heat until the apples are slightly caramelized. 

Pour the pan juices into a saucepan, add about 15 ml (1 T) more mustard and boil down till reduced, stir in a dollop of plain yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with the meat and apples.


  • Use a deboned and rolled shoulder or leg of pork instead of the gammon.
  • Pears can be used instead of the apples.
  • The meat can also be cooked in a saucepan on top of the stove and then just caramelized in the oven to brown the skin of the meat and the apples.

Recipes supplied by SA Rooibos Council and Cooking From The Heart