22nd May 2020

Featured / Food / Isla Rechner

Rooibos Tea Brined Chicken Breast with Honey and Mustard Sauce, Hasselback Butternut Squash and Pea Shoots

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Rooibos Tea Brined Chicken Breast with Honey and Mustard Sauce, Hasselback Butternut Squash and Pea Shoots

Serves: 4

Cooks in: Overnight and 1 hour 25 mins

Difficulty: Difficult


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

Honey and Mustard Sauce
80g whole grain mustard
80g honey
80g cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
A pinch of salt

Hasselback Butternut Squash
1 butternut peeled and halved.
1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped
80g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Pea Shoot and Radish Salad
1 bag pea shoots
1 bunch of finely sliced radishes


Sitting one morning with my hands lazily encasing a cup of rooibos tea with honey and lemon, I thought how these three ingredients would just as easily work in a hearty meal for dinner. Chicken breasts are a popular cut but are also notoriously known for drying out in a flash, but brining injects more flavour and much-needed moisture, resulting in it becoming succulent and juicy. Pairing this with butternut, crisp salad and the zippy honey and mustard sauce, this dish is a vibrant take on a modern roast. Perfect for these warm, summer days that have finally arrived by all of us with relish.


1. 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.

2. Place back on the heat adding the salt, stirring until dissolved.

3. Add the garlic, lemon and rosemary, leaving to cool off the heat until room temperature, place in the fridge for 30 minutes until fully cooled.

4. Add the chicken breasts to the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. The following day remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel

6. 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.

7. Preheat your oven to 175°

8. Spoon melted butter over the chicken and place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes

9. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes then remove and leave to rest.

10. For the Hasselback Butternut Squash set your oven at 175°.

11. In a small saucepan, place thyme, butter, olive oil and garlic. On medium heat, cook until the butter has melted.

12. 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.

13. Finally, assemble the pea shoot and radish salad by combining together in a large bowl.

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Isla Rechner

As group pastry chef of Granger & Co., London-based Isla Rechner can mostly always be found cooking up a storm with her delicious pastry recipes. Over the years, her style has been heavily influenced by growing up around delicious produce in her native South Africa. Her penchant for exploring the world, as well as her upbringing, helps her create eclectic dishes that are full of fun – sunshine food, if you will.

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