Classic Country Captain Chicken Stew

Country Captain
Luca Trovato/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • 85 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

With its exotic curry flavors, you wouldn't think this dish was Southern, but it is! Country captain originated in Georgia, possibly Savannah, which was a major port for the spice trade. According to ​The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, Eliza Leslie (a mid-nineteenth century cookbook author) claimed the dish got its name from a British army officer who brought the recipe back from India.​

The ingredients in this country captain chicken recipe include raisins, curry, bacon, chopped tomatoes, almonds, and green bell pepper. Serve this delicious combination over mounds of hot boiled rice.

The recipe calls for a cut-up chicken, but boneless or bone-in chicken thighs or whole legs would be excellent as well.

What You'll Need

  • 1 broiler chicken (about 3 pounds, cut into parts)
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 teaspoon salt (divided, plus more, as needed, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes (chopped, or a 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 cup chicken broth (heated, preferably low sodium or unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup currants (or raisins)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds*

How to Make It

  1. In a Dutch oven or saute pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain; crumble and set aside.
  2. Add chicken parts to the pan; cook, frequently turning, for about 15 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper; transfer to an ovenproof dish and keep warm.
  3. To pan drippings, add celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook, stirring, until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, curry powder, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  1. Place the currants in a small bowl, pour hot chicken broth over them; let stand for 20 minutes or until plump.
  2. Return chicken to the pan; cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add the currants or raisins and chicken broth to the pan; cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the chicken pieces are fully cooked.
  3. Sprinkle with parsley, crumbled bacon and toasted almonds.
  4. Serve the chicken with hot cooked rice.

*Toast the slivered almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, constantly stirring until they are browned and aromatic.


Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 1074
Total Fat 57 g
Saturated Fat 14 g
Unsaturated Fat 25 g
Cholesterol 289 mg
Sodium 1,125 mg
Carbohydrates 41 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Protein 100 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)