• TO DRINK: Klein Constantia Rhine Riesling’s underlying spice is matched by elegant sweetness which tones down the peri-peri.

    Baby chicken with earth wedges

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 1 hour 40 mins plus extra for resting


    • 2 x 500g baby chickens
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 80g butter, at room temperature
    • fresh thyme or sage leaves
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 2 lemons, halved
    • Cajun spice, to taste
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 20ml (4 tsp) thyme sprigs
    • 10ml (2 tsp) butter
    • a pinch of peri-peri powder
    • a pinch of ground cumin
    • 5ml (1 tsp) tomato paste
    • 2 red chillies, seeds intact and minced
    • 3 very ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (see Cook’s Tips below)
    • 250ml (1 cup) tomato juice
    • zest of ½ lemon
    • 20ml (4 tsp) coriander leaves, chopped
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • WEDGES
    • fresh rosemary or marjoram, to taste
    • 80g butter
    • 50ml olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 4 large potatoes, cut into wedges
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced, to garnish



    Rinse the chickens and dry well with paper towel. Trim off excess fat, and cut off the pope’s nose.


    Combine the onion, garlic, butter and thyme or sage. Season to taste.


    Gently lift the skin away from the breast, only far enough to spoon a bit of the butter mixture underneath. If desired, make small incisions on the drumsticks and thighs and stuff each piece with the butter mixture.


    Squeeze the juice from 2 lemon halves over the chicken surface. Cut the remaining lemon halves into quarters and stuff them under the skin. Season the chickens with salt, pepper and Cajun spice. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string and refrigerate overnight so that the flavours can be absorbed.


    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the chickens breast-side down in a deep roasting tray. Roast for about 30 minutes, turning every 15 minutes to ensure even browning. Baste the chicken constantly with the juices. Reserve any leftover juices to add to the peri-peri sauce. The chicken is done if you insert a knife near a joint and the liquid is clear, not pink. If necessary, crisp the skin under the grill for a few minutes before serving.


    For the peri-peri sauce, fry the onion, garlic and thyme in the butter until the onion is translucent. Add the peri-peri powder, cumin, tomato paste, chillies, tomatoes, tomato juice and zest. Add the juices from the chicken. Cook gently over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.


    Remove from the heat, add the coriander and season to taste. Set aside.


    For the wedges, increase the oven temperature to 200°C.


    Using your hands, rub the herbs, butter, oil and garlic into the wedges. Season to taste. Place the wedges on baking trays in the oven and reduce the temperature to 180°C immediately. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally.


    Garnish the wedges with the onion and serve with the chicken and peri-peri sauce while hot.


    For the peri-peri sauce, you can substitute the fresh tomatoes and the tomato juice with 1 x 410g tin whole peeled tomatoes. Chop the tomatoes and use it with the juice in the sauce.

    The Showroom Café, corner of The Grand Daddy Hotel, 38 Long Street, Cape Town. Open Monday to Saturday from 6:30am – 11pm and Sunday from 6:30am – 5pm. Call 021-422-3206.