Country Captain is a Southern dish with an interesting (albeit suspicious) history. It is a stew made with browned chicken pieces, onions, and curry powder. The story goes that it originated in India as a simple poultry recipe enjoyed by British officers. An early 19th-century British sea captain working in the spice trade introduced it to the American South via the port of Savannah, Georgia.
Whatever the real history of the dish is, the house smelled great the whole day while it cooked, and the savoury stew was delicious. The slivered almonds, bacon bits and currants provided some delicious bursts of varying flavour and texture that really kept the dish intriguing with each mouthful.
Adapted from the New York Times
1⁄4 cup flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon bacon bits
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons currants
1 x 28 ounce can diced tomatoes and their juices
3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
Cooked white rice.
1. Combine the flour, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and the thyme in a bowl. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off excess, and fry, in batches if needed, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
2. Add the onion, pepper, celery, garlic, curry powder and 1 tablespoon of the currants to the crock pot. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Arrange the chicken on top of the mixture and spoon some of the sauce over the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours.
4. Serve with white rice and top with bacon bits, remaining currants and slivered almonds.