Do you have a special occasion coming up or would you just like to treat your family to a nice feast? Instead of going to a restaurant and paying thousands of rand for a meal, you could make a 3-course feast in the comfort of your own home. All the recipes for these 3 delicious courses come from the book, Beginners step-by-step, the perfect guide for new cooks.
Roasted Chicken with Rice and Roasted Vegetables
Mini apple crumbles
2tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
400g canned peeled plum tomatoes
300ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
1tbsp tomato purée
1tsp hot chilli sauce
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper
Start by heating the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring until it is soft.
Add the tomatoes with the juice in the can, and then add the stock, tomato purée, chilli sauce and half the basil leaves.
Purée the mixture with a hand-held blender until smooth, then transfer to the pan.
Stir the soup over medium heat until just boiling, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
1 chicken, weighing at least 2.25kg
55g butter, softened
2tbsp chopped fresh lemon
Thyme, plus extra springs to garnish
1 lemon, cut into quarters
125ml white wine, plus extra if needed
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 220ºC and place the chicken in a roasting pan.
Mix the butter and thyme in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste and then use this to butter the chicken.
Place the lemon inside the cavity, then pour the wine over the chicken and roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 190ºC and roast, basting frequently for a further 1 ¾ hours.
Check if the chicken is cooked through by piercing a thin skewer in between the drumstick and the thigh. Any juices should be piping hot and clear, and there should be no traces of red or pink. If you are still not sure if it’s cooked through, gently pull the leg away from the body – there should be no traces of pinkness or blood.
When you are sure the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a warmed platter and then cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Simmer your roasting pan juices gently over a low heat until it has reduced and is thick and glossy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and leave it to use later.
To carve your chicken, place on a clean chopping board. Use a carving knife and fork to cut between the wings and the side of the breast. Remove the wings and cut slices in the breast, cut the legs from the body and then cut through the joint to make drumstick and thigh portions.
Serve with the roasting pan juices and garnish with thyme sprigs.
3 parsnips cut into 5cm chunks
4 baby turnips cut into quarters
3 carrots cut into 5cm chunks
450g butternut squash cut into 5cm chunks
450g sweet potatoes cut into 5cm chunks
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
2tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
2tsp chopped fresh sage, plus extra for garnish
3tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Start by preheating the oven to 220ºC. Place all the vegetables in a single layer on a roasting pan.
Scatter the garlic and herbs over the vegetables, and then pour over the oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Toss all the ingredients together until they are well mixed and coated with the oil (if you have time you can leave them to marinate to allow the flavours to be absorbed).
Roast the vegetables at the top of the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes until they are cooked and nicely browned. Turn the vegetables over halfway through the cooking time.
Serve with a handful of the fresh herbs you kept for garnish and add salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients for rice
2 cups of rice
2tsp of Robertson’s Spice for Rice
Boil water and add salt, then pour in your rice, add the spices.
Stir the rice once with a wooden spoon to separate (don’t over stir; this will cause your rice to get sticky).
Once rice is almost cooked, rinse with cold water until the water is clear leave some water and let the rice cook until dry and serve.
2 large apples peeled, cored and chopped
3tbsp maple syrup
Juice of ½ a lemon
½tsp ground All Spice
55g unsalted butter
100g porridge oats
40g light muscovado sugar
Preheat the oven to 220ºC; place a baking sheet in the oven to heat. Place the apples in a saucepan and add the maple syrup, lemon juice and All Spice and mix.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until almost tender.
Meanwhile, melt your butter in a separate saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the oats and sugar.
Divide the apples into four 200ml ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle over the oats mixture, place on the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling and serve.
Words: Natassha Burrell