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Aromatic citrus chicken

Jun 15, 2023 | Mains, Meat


Aromatic citrus chicken

A flavourful chicken dish, so easy to prepare, and this cooking method keeps the chicken juicy. The combination of tomato paste, citrus, spices and tangy apricots is so good.
One of the client projects I have been involved with for over 10 years is the recipe book series from Pharma Dynamics, called Cooking from the heart. The sixth book in the series, called the DASH Edition, was recently awarded a Gourmand World Cookbook award for the best Professional Health and Nutrition recipe book. Enjoy this family meal from the book. For more detail on the book and recipes, click here

Serves 6


8-10 dried apricots, quartered

½ cup (125 ml) strong warm Rooibos tea

1 x 50 g (50 ml) sachet tomato paste

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange (see tip)

1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice

2 tsp (10 ml) finely grated lemon rind

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin

4 tsp (20 ml) paprika

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley

1,3 kg chicken breasts on the bone, excess fat removed (about 6-8 portions)

1 orange in the skin, cut into thin wedges

black pepper to taste


  1. Soak apricots in Rooibos tea for 20 minutes or until plump.
  2. Mix tomato paste, oil, both the citrus juices and rinds, garlic, spices and parsley together.
  3. Place chicken with apricots and any leftover Rooibos tea in a large mixing bowl. Pour the marinade over and toss well. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  5. Spoon chicken with all the marinade into an oven dish. Place orange wedges in between the chicken and season with pepper.
  6. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for another 15-20 minutes or until just cooked, but still juicy.
  7. Serve chicken and orange wedges with some of the sauce on a small portion of the sweet potato & bean mash (see tips for the recipe). Or enjoy with any healthy side of your choice.


  1. Sweet potato & bean mash: Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a saucepan and fry 1 onion, chopped, until soft. Add 1 large, sweet potato in the skin, diced, with 100 ml water. Bring to the boil. Simmer with a lid for 20 minutes or until soft enough to mash. Drain 1 x 410 g tin butter beans but keep the liquid. Add beans to the sweet potato mixture and cook together for 2-3 minutes. Mash mixture with about 30 ml of the retained liquid. Season with 1 tsp mustard and parsley, lemon juice and pepper to taste. Serve a small portion of mash with a lean protein of your choice. Try it with the Aromatic citrus chicken or the Crispy sesame seed fish. Serves 6.
  2. When oranges are not in season, replace the orange juice with more strong Rooibos tea and add another 15 ml lemon rind. Replace orange wedges with 1 onion, cut into wedges.
  3. If the apricots are very dry, soak for 30 minutes.
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