Imagine my surprise when I saw the Country Captain, a chicken curry, recipe in the American Heritage Cookbook! Georgians claim the original Country Captain as their own dish, “insisting that the mysterious captain drifted into Savannah via the spice trade and entrusted his recipe to southern friends.” As a resident of Atlanta, GA, I felt it my Southern historic duty to try this recipe! Okay, I’ll admit, I just love Indian food.
Regardless of motive, this dish was flavorful but not too spicy and the chicken was beyond tender. A note about butter: American heritage recipes are generous in their use of it. Any of the non-baking recipes on this blog can certainly be made with oil or a combination thereof without a huge loss in flavor. If you are health conscience or trying to slim down for an upcoming wedding…oh wait! That’s me! Oops.
Country Captain Chicken Curry
American Heritage Cookbook
A 2 ½ lb chicken (I used two boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter (salted) (After making this, I think that 3 will do)
1/3 cup onion, chopped fine
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 can stewed tomatoes
3 tablespoons dried currants (Can’t find currents? No worries, use raisins)
Blanched, toasted almonds (instructions below)
Mix together flour, salt and pepper. Cut chicken into serving pieces and coat with flour mixture. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of butter (or oil) in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron works like a dream here). Add chicken and brown well on both sides. Once browned, remove chicken from pan and add onion, green pepper, garlic, curry powder, and thyme to skillet and cook for a few minutes over low heat, stirring in all the brown bits or until onions are clear and peppers are cooked through. Add the stewed tomatoes. Put chicken back in pan and stir to coat with sauce, cover, and cook over very low heat 20-30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Stir in the currents. Garnish with almonds and chutney and serve over basmati or jasmine rice. Serves 4.
I bought my almonds sliced and blanched. I don’t have time for all that! Spread almonds in a single layer on a heavy baking sheet with sides and place in an oven preheated to 350°. Bake 5 minutes and then shake baking sheet to flip almonds. Bake an additional 3-4 minutes, checking every minute, until almonds are a beautiful toasted brown. Try not to eat them all before serving. I had to make a second batch because snacking got the best of me!