{recipe} Middelvlei Rooster Sauvignon Blanc meets herby chicken pilaf

I’ve been spending a lot of my free time during lock-down in The Little Kitchen, trying out recipes I’ve been saving in my dog-eared flip-file for one day. Middelvlei Wines gave me the perfect canvas against which to create and cook with their stunning range of Rooster wines.


Brothers Ben and Tinnie Momberg apply the knowledge passed down to them through three generations of winemaking to produce wine of exceptional quality and reputation.

As a family vineyard, the Mombergs ensure that the lessons passed down from father to son are preserved and respected. All while still accommodating modern trends and new techniques in the winemaking industry. The beautiful 160-hectare farm is famous for its red cultivars. Tinnie has showcased his talents with his specialty, the Free-run Pinotage, a unique wine made through natural, un-pressed processes which set it apart from its peers (https://middelvlei.co.za/our-story/).


I’m not a “summer-white, winter-red” person. I believe you should drink what brings you happiness and joy, regardless of the season. And for me there’s always a space for a Sauvignon Blanc in winter, as it allows me to reminisce of warmer days and pool-side evenings.

I do believe winter is a time for comforting, wholesome meals that warm you from the inside out. For Middelvlei‘s Rooster Sauvignon Blanc, I chose to pair a slow cooker herbed chicken and rice pilaf with this crisp, zesty white.

Click here to read my review on Middelvlei’s unoaked Chardonnay 2019!

Middelvlei Rooster Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Tinnie describes the Rooster Sauvignon Blanc 2019 as a crisp fresh wine which presents with a medley of tropical fruit aromas. I find that chicken loves the juicy flavours of tropical fruit. It adds a beautiful sweetness and light freshness to the meal. This Sauvignon Blanc is also a fan of earthy herbs, and laps up the subtle spiciness of the dish.

Tasting notes:  flavours of pineapple and green melon, which are perfectly balanced with subtle citrus notes resulting in a zesty lingering aftertaste.
In the vineyard:  100% Sauvignon Blanc
In the cellar:  the juice received 30 minutes skin contact. 100% was tank fermented at 14 degrees Celsius.
Cellar door price:   
approx. R90 a bottle from the Tasting Room

Slow cooker herbed chicken and rice pilaf

You can also use an Instant Pot if you don’t have a slow cooker, or a cast iron casserole in the oven. You’ll just need to adjust the cooking times accordingly. And if you have enough to spare, you can substitute a cup of your chicken stock with a cup of Middelvlei Rooster Sauvignon Blanc to make the chicken extra juicy and tender!

The beauty of this dish and pairing lies in the simplicity of it; tender, herby chicken with fluffy rice, washed down with a clean, crisp Sauvignon Blanc. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Slow cooker herbed chicken and rice pilaf

Half Baked Harvest
This wholesome, one pot meal is guaranteed to chase the winter blues away. Filled with comforting staples like rice, herbs and chicken, you can be sure everyone is coming back for seconds!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Main Course
Servings 6


  • Slow cooker


  • 1.5 cups rice (I used a mix of brown and white rice)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 2 carrots chopped into cubes
  • 1 punnet button mushrooms sliced
  • 2 small red onions quartered
  • 1 pack chicken thighs and drumsticks bone in
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (can also used dried thyme)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp brown onion seasoning (to taste)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  • In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the rice, chicken stock, lemon juice, mixed herbs, crushed garlic, thyme, carrots, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and mix everything up to combine.
  • Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic salt, brown onion seasoning and a pinch each of salt and pepper. 
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Toss in the quartered onions and cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove the chicken and onions from the skillet and place directly into the slow cooker, skin side up, along with any juices left in the pan. Add the fresh rosemary and cayenne pepper.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. If the rice is hard, add and addition 1/2 cup stock and cook another 30 minutes on high.
Keyword Chicken, Rice, Slow cooker

Click here to read my review on Middelvlei’s unoaked Chardonnay 2019!

In conclusion

Sometimes, a one pot meal is exactly what is needed after a long day, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring, bland or uninspiring. Thanks to Middelvlei‘s Rooster Sauvignon Blanc, this mid-week meal was elevated to date night status!

Thank you, Middelvlei Wines, for sharing your Rooster Sauvignon Blanc with us!

Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.

The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.

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