Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Country Captain Chicken

A stew made of chicken thighs, or a whole cut-up chicken, browned in butter and oil, and cooked in a tomato-based Creole sauce with the trinity of veggies and a mix of curry, herbs and spices and rice.
A stew made of chicken thighs, or a whole cut-up chicken, browned in butter and oil, and cooked in a tomato-based Creole sauce with the trinity of veggies and a mix of curry, herbs and spices and rice.

Country Captain Chicken

There are a lot of theories about the origins of this dish, none of which is set in stone, although both Georgia and South Carolina have definitely laid claims to it. Legend has it that it's a dish that a ship's captain carried to America as a result of the spice trade, perhaps through the ports of Charleston or Savannah.

It's a one-pot, butter-browned, curried chicken dish, appearing to be Indian in origin, typically made with bone-in, skin-on, whole cut-up chicken, or most often, only chicken thighs. If you want to cut back on fat, you could get away with boneless, skinless thighs, with the understanding that the loss of bone and fat is also loss of flavor, and you'll need to compensate with cooking time and seasonings.

Seemingly, both curry and either currants or raisins are essential elements that are basic to this dish. For me, the combination of spices in curry powder is strong, and I used a red curry as well, so I kept it fairly low, only a teaspoon. If you're a fan, feel free to use more, as some recipes I've seen call for a tablespoon!

Just a quick reminder.... if you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, photos, tips and such on a blog, as always, you'll find the complete recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the post!

Of course, as happens in the South, every cook has put their own spin on Country Captain along the way, including a fusion from Creole cooking with the addition of the trinity and tomatoes making an appearance along the way.

This dish quickly became both a regional classic and a favorite throughout the South, making regular appearances in most Junior League cookbook in existence. It's not a dish my Mama ever made though. I'm afraid it probably would have been a bit too exotic for her!

Usually Country Captain is served over rice, but I recently saw in Taste of the South magazine where they cooked the rice with the chicken instead, and I thought that was an excellent idea! Some folks prefer noodles or mashed potatoes.

All sorts of condiments can be offered at the table in small bowls, but I find that too busy. Garnishes typically include additional raisins, chopped toasted almonds or peanuts, shredded fresh coconut, green onion or scallions, chutney or even pickled okra or peppers.

Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you away, as it's mostly seasoning vegetables, herbs and spices. It's a beautiful, fragrant dish that I think you'll enjoy.

Here's how to make it.

Mix together seasonings; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil and butter in a large, lidded skillet and season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium high and add chicken, cooking until browned on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside.

Please Note: As an Services LLC Associates and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases linked in my posts.

Add onion, bell pepper and celery to skillet, cooking and stirring until tender, about 6 minutes. I used the dicing kit (#ad) on my KitchenAid food processor pictured to get an even dice on the veggies. Sure do love that accessory! Add garlic and jalapenos; cook another minute.

Add the seasoning mix; bring to a boil. Stir in the water and tomatoes, rice and raisins. Return chicken to skillet and nestle in the sauce; cover and transfer to oven. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size of pieces, or until an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees F on the thickest part of the thigh.

Dig in!

We Need Your Help! There's no paywall here on Deep South Dish - recipes, step by step photos and printables are free and available at no cost to our readers, however, advertising featured on the blog helps to pay for the groceries. If you enjoy the blog but you're using an ad blocker, please consider whitelisting Deep South Dish so I can keep the blog going!

For more of my favorite chicken thigh recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!

Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.

Posted by on March 5, 2019
Thank you for supporting my work! Please note that Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, do not copy and paste post or recipe text to repost or republish to any social media (such as other Facebook pages, etc.), blogs, websites, forums, or any print medium, without explicit prior permission. Unauthorized use of content from ©Deep South Dish is a violation of both the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright law. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.