Thursday, November 19, 2015

Country Captain Chicken

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is another recipe that was well used in the early years of my marriage. I was searching for new recipes to feature here and the Silver Fox, who is into curries these days, suggested I share this mild curry with you. I hadn't made it in years because this is one of those dishes that wafts in and out of favor. For my part, it was retired because I served it so often we became tired of it. Once the recipe was tucked away, I completely forgot about it and it became just another card yellowing in my original recipe box. It was exhumed tonight and I was reminded how very good it can be. Country Captain is a curried chicken and rice dish. While it's popular in the Southern United States, it has its origins in India. Save for the rice, the dish is a braised one pot meal that is really easy to make. It's believed it was first made for British officers stationed in India and brought to Savannah, Georgia, by a British sea captain. If you have never had this curry I urge you to give it a try. It is one of those dishes that works well for family and informal entertaining. It is inexpensive to make and gets you out of the kitchen in record time, so it is hard to go wrong. The recipe came from the original New York Times cookbook. Here is how the chicken is made.

Country Captain...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Craig Claiborne


1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 (15-oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Cooked rice


1) Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside.
2) Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large zip-top bag. Add chicken and shake to coat all surfaces.
3) Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and oil in a skillet large enough to fit thighs in a single layer. When it shimmers, add chicken and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
4) Pour oil from pan. Add remaining tablespoon butter, onion, green peppers, garlic and curry powder. Cook and stir until vegetables are wilted. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drain raisins and add to skillet. Serve with cooked white or saffron rice. If using, sprinkle chicken with almonds and pass chutney at the table. Yield: 4 servings.

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Susan Lindquist said...

I love this kind of dish, Mary! It simple and has several good flavours that mix up in the bite ...sweetness of the raisins and the combo of curry and tomato ... mmm! Perfect with that rice!

Francie Newcomb said...

This is really an old favorite in our family. It is also said to have been one of President Roosevelt's favorite dishes when he stayed at Warm Springs, Georgia. The Craig Claiborne version looks marvelous although I might remove the skin from the chicken thighs before starting to make it.

Elizabeth said...

I am 60 years old and remember my mother making this fairly regularly when I was a child...this was on the east coast of Canada, and I have no idea where she would have come across the recipe. Curries are not traditional even now in this area. Thank you for both the memories and the recipe.

Francie Newcomb said...

Back to say we had this for dinner tonight, with brown rice, toasted almonds, and homemade mango chutney from August. It was delicious! Thank you! (We liked it with the skin removed, too).

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