Country Captain is a curried chicken and rice dish, which is popular in the Southern United States. It was introduced to the U.S. through Charleston, Savannah, New York and Philadelphia, but has origins in India.
Magic of MayaFoods Spices
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. bacon fat
- 1 whole chicken (cut into 10 pieces: wings, legs, thighs, and quarter breasts), patted dry with paper towels and seasoned with coarse salt and ground black pepper
- 2 cups diced yellow onion
- 2 cups diced celery
- 2 cups diced green bell pepper
- 1 fresh hot chili powder, seeded and minced
- 1 tsp. garlic paste
- Homemade curry powder (recipe below)
- 2 cups good-quality canned tomatoes, chopped 1 cup tomato juice (reserved from can)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup seedless raisins
HOMEMADE CURRY POWDER
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
- 2 tsp. freshly ground coriander
- 2 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground clove
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch Colman’s mustard powder
- 1 pinch dried thyme
- Place large ovenproof braiser or oval Dutch oven (in which the chicken fits in a single layer) over moderate heat, and melt butter and bacon fat until slightly foaming about 3 to 5 minutes. Raise heat, add chicken, and brown well on all sides. Remove crisped pieces to a platter, continuing until all pieces are golden brown.
- Lower heat to moderate and add the onion, celery, peppers, and garlic, using a wooden spoon to stir well.
- Slowly add curry powder, stirring well to evenly coat all the vegetables, and cook until they are tender, stirring frequently about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, tomato juice, stock, and bay leaves, and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits.
- Bring liquid to simmer, return chicken to pot, and cover tightly.
- Cook on top of the stove over a low flame until chicken is cooked through, about 35 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve: Transfer chicken to beds of rice in shallow bowls, sprinkle with raisins and serve surrounded by condiments like grated toasted fresh coconut, thinly sliced scallions, crushed roasted peanuts or almonds, green tomato or apple chutney, pickled hot peppers, or pickled okra.