Classic Country Captain Chicken Stew

Country captain chicken on rice

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1074 Calories
57g Fat
41g Carbs
100g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1074
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 57g 73%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 289mg 96%
Sodium 1125mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Protein 100g
Calcium 204mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Because of the Madras curry powder in the recipe, you wouldn't think this dish is Southern. But the country captain recipe originated in Georgia, possibly in Savannah, 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. The recipe calls for a cut-up chicken, but boneless or bone-in chicken thighs or whole legs would be excellent as well. Serve this delicious combination over hot boiled rice.


  • 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 celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 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 fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds (slivered)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a Dutch oven or sauté pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain; crumble and set aside.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Place the currants in a small bowl, pour hot chicken broth over them; let stand for 20 minutes or until plump.

  6. 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.

  7. Sprinkle with parsley, crumbled bacon, and toasted almonds.

  8. Serve the chicken with hot cooked rice.

  9. Enjoy.

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