Tag Archives: garlic

Roast chicken with garlic, lemon and thyme

16 Oct

Roast chicken with loads of garlic, thyme and lemon, served with green beans.

Coming from a family of 6, we rarely had whole roasts of any kind when I was a child. Chicken was served as an economical dish, braaied or baked as individual cuts in a hearty chutney sauce, or boiled and deboned and served in a creamy white sauce topped with crushed tomato flavoured potato chips (one of my favourites). Both dishes were served on rice, with accompanying veggies. My Mom did sometimes buy whole chickens, but they were always boiled in water, after which I had to debone the cooled birds for my Mother to use in one of her family feasts. I have to confess: I always ate some of the meat while deboning the chickens. I once actually ate a whole chicken on the job – I started with 2, but ended up with only one for the rest of my family. My Mom was NOT impressed!! (PS: those were the days when my teenage metabolism was still as fast as a freight train.)

The first time I ever had whole roast chicken was when I made it myself, about 12 years ago. There are few things as simple and as festive as whole roast chicken. Always use the freshest and best quality chicken you can find. If you have ever tasted real organic farm chickens, large as turkeys, with beautiful brown meat, you would understand the difference. Now, I know that it is simply not always possible to get hold of these chickens, or to afford them. So we buy the specials in the supermarkets and we make the most of them.

With this simple recipe, a cheap small supermarket chicken will taste fantastic. If you can get hold of a free range organic farm chicken, it will change into something heavenly. Buy whatever you can afford!

Ingredients: (1 medium sized chicken will serve about 4 people)

  • 1 whole chicken (cleaned and trimmed)
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 whole heads of garlic


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Mix olive oil with rind and juice of the lemon. Strip the thyme leaves off half the sprigs and add to the mixture. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Separate cloves off one head of garlic, then slice the other head in half horizontally.
  4. Place chicken breast side up in a medium-size roasting tin. Place separated garlic cloves and sliced head of garlic next to chicken, along with the used lemon halves. Now drizzle all over with the olive oil mixture. Make sure the chicken is covered well. Place remaining thyme sprigs in chicken cavity.
  5. Place roasting tin in over, uncovered, and bake for one and a half hours, or until chicken is golden and garlic cloves are dark brown.
  6. Remove from oven, then serve on a large serving platter with blanched green beans and roast potatoes.



This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Food: Ilse van der Merwe.

Photography: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Tasha Seccombe & Nicola Pretorius


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Grilled, marinated aubergines

14 May

Grilled aubergines, marinated in olive oil, lemon, garlic and mint, on bruschetta.

There are few things I love more than lazy, extended, tapas-style eating. Although the term “tapas” was coined by the Spaniards, I still prefer my snacks mostly Italian, very simple, and served on bruschetta.

I got the most beautiful organic aubergines from Genesis Farm outside Stellenbosch – so richly purple they almost looked painted. I sliced them thinly, grilled them until they softened slightly, then drenched them in a marinade made from good quality olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, crushed garlic, fresh and dried mint, and some salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. They soak up a lot of the marinade, and are simply exquisite served at room temperature on crusty toasted bruschetta. Add a glass of good red wine and I’m in Mediterranean heaven.


  • 2 large organic aubergines, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup good quality cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of  1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 t dried mint (optional)
  • handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and mint. Add salt and pepper and test seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary – the flavour should be quite intense.
  2. Heat a griddle pan on medium-high heat on the stove top. Fry slices of aubergine in batches untill lightly charred and softened. Remove from grill and arrange in a porcelain dish, covering each batch with a few spoons of marinade.
  3. Add more layers of grilled aubergines, drizzling each layer generously with marinade. If there is any marinade left, spoon it all over the top layer.
  4. Cover the porcelain dish and cool to room temperature. Serve on toasted bruschetta.

This dish keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days, covered. Return to room temperature before serving.

Contact John House from Genesis Farm: 082-215 6968.

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Roast leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic

28 Apr

My favourite roast meat simply has to be leg of lamb. I always associate it with special occasions, since we only got it for Christmas when I was a kid – I come from a family of 6, which means that cheaper cuts always got the upper hand on my Mom’s shopping lists!

These days I sometimes buy a small deboned leg of lamb that my husband grills on an open fire, basted with a tied rosemary parcel dripping with olive oil, garlic & lemon juice. The two of us eat it (pink on the inside but crispy on the outside) with freshly toasted ciabatta slices and a caprese salad with basil pesto. But I have to say, I still prefer a slow-roasted leg of lamb from the oven, preferably deboned (to make the life of the carver so much easier), the slits stuffed to the brim with garlic and rosemary. I just LOVE the way the aroma fills the whole house, and hangs around for another day or so. […]

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