Recipe: Rooibos-infused hardbody chicken

Align South African combos with Zingisa’s rooibos-infused umleqwa recipe

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What better way to usher in Heritage Month than with some hardbody chicken? Infused with rooibos, nogal?

We are salivating at the thought of chef Zingisa Memela’s recipe.

Umleqwa or hardbody chicken is a staple in the homes of many South Africans, and Memela adds a simple yet oh-so-South African element, rooibos, to her recipe.

ALSO READ: Meet the TikToker who eats out for the greater good


1 hardbody chicken, plucked and cleaned

1litre boiling water

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1½ chicken stock cube

1 onion, chopped

Bunch of spring onion, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

3 rooibos teabags


  1. In a heavy-based pot, place your chicken. Add half the boiling water and stock cube. Simmer until there is very little water remaining.
  2. Brew rooibos tea with the remaining water and place aside.
  3. Add chopped onion and spring onion to the chicken.
  4. Gradually add brewed rooibos and simmer for 2 hours.
  5. Replenish rooibos water whenever the liquid reduces.
  6. Add chopped green onion and continue to cook for about 1 hour until your chicken is soft.
  7. Reduce and thicken the remaining liquid into a gravy to be served with the chicken. 

ALSO READ: Meet the TikToker who eats out for the greater good

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