This is one celebratory dish and after the magnificent wedding of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex I strongly believe we need more dishes like this. Don’t you think this world could use a few more celebrations? Perhaps a bit more kindness and recognition of actual joy? I guess it boils down to BEing NICE instead of just sporting the “be nice” bumper sticker on the back of your car. I don’t long for days gone by as much as the respect, consideration and honesty which I grew up knowing and that now seem to have been thrown to the side of the road. Kindness in the form of philanthropy is back “in”, as is Botswana, and I am thrilled. I’m fully aware our world is still a troubled place and I will do my part to make this world a better place, however, I also crave celebrations of love and joy and peace and I kind of think the rest of the world does, too. We were privy to some of the royal couple’s dating and engagement details showing us, in no uncertain terms, these are two people who want to be of use and come to the aid of those who have nothing. I don’t mean to preach but, really, how hard is is to buy a deli-sandwich, a bag of chips and a jug of water for the homeless man with barely any teeth in his head standing outside the grocery store? You’re about to buy food anyway, so how about helping someone who’s life is so fragile? A bunch of wings and a jug of water could make an enormous difference in someone’s day. Celebrate the joy and happiness you feel by spreading a little love to those who so desperately need it. You may not BE a royal when you give but you certainly will feel royal. Deli mac ‘n cheese never tasted so good!
Country Captain is an easy dish, perfect to prepare for festive gatherings or Sunday dinner. Served over fluffy, long grain rice, this chicken dish is also great prepared in advance and here’s some more good news. The flavors really bloom and become full and mellow the following day so leftovers are a delight. Country Captain is not a spicy dish but a perfectly seasoned one. It hails from the South, specifically Georgia, and is a favorite throughout the state served often at brunch and on stately sideboards.. I suppose we can thank all the curry spices coming into the port of Savannah. This aromatic one-pot stew is well-rounded and flavorful, dotted with green peppers, onion and garlic, bits of sweet tomato and fat raisins. It is truly a delight. I brown in butter both skinless boneless chicken breasts and thighs to add more of a rich flavor. The thighs also add to the richness and, in the end, everyone seems to get the piece they want. Country Captain can be prepared in a high-sided skillet or a heavy bottomed dutch oven. I use both. Either golden seedless or the common brown raisin may be used with excellent results and the recipe doubles easily. I hope for your next gathering you’ll try this dish. It’s quite the celebration!
Country Captain or Southern Curried Chicken
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each half breast cut into thirds
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 generous tablespoons good quality curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- hot cooked rice, to serve
- Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl and lightly dredge chicken, shaking off excess flour. Set aside.
- In a high sided skillet of dutch oven melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil.
- Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, carefully add the chicken and brown on both sides but do not cook all the way through.
- Remove from the pan and add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, curry powder and nutmeg stirring well. Cook about 3 minutes the vegetables are soft but not browned.
- Add the tomatoes and juice and stir well.
- Add the chicken and any juices plus the raisins to the pan covering the chicken with the sauce.
- Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes so the chicken becomes tender.
- Garnish with almonds and serve over hot, buttered rice.