Roasted Chicken Breasts with Cape Gooseberries

Cape gooseberries have many names, including physalis and ground cherries. They are grown in South America (although were originally grown in South Africa) and are available here all year. I tend to buy them in the winter, when there is not so much choice of fruit for sauces. They make a pretty garnish with their papery brown cloak and they cook very well too. If you can't find cape gooseberries, you can substitute one small mandarin orange, thinly sliced with its peel. Add to the pan along with the onions. Serve with quinoa and sautéed dandelion greens.


  • 4 chicken breasts, skin on, bone removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into rounds
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cape gooseberries, papery skin removed
  • 1 cup chicken stock


Preheat oven to 425 F.

Sprinkle breasts with salt pepper and thyme. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken skin side down for 2 minutes or until skin is golden; turn over and sear second side for 1 minute. Remove to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium low and add onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until just beginning to soften. Add cape gooseberries.

Return chicken to skillet skin side up and place in oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring onions and gooseberries occasionally, or until chicken juices run clear.

Remove chicken and place skillet on medium heat. Add chicken stock and boil until slightly thickened. Pour over chicken breasts. Serves 4.