The Dish | Country Captain Chicken

Southern Living: Country Captain Chicken

This southern recipe is good year-round and comes from my all time favorite cookbook, Cold-Weather Cooking by Sarah Lee Chase. Feel free to substitute the rice for different starches. I have used couscous, quinoa, brown rice, and egg noodles. It’s also great with cauliflower rice; I add a little curry to the cauliflower rice when sautéing it and a splash of coconut milk and lime juice to mask the cauliflower taste.

Makes 8-10 servings

  • 1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 3 whole chicken breasts, halved
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon fat or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 bell peppers of assorted colors (red, orange or yellow) stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons best quality curry powder
  • ½ cup of dry red wine
  • 1 16 oz can of stewed tomatoes
  • ½ cup of dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons of mango chutney

For the coconut crust:

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.

Heat the bacon fat and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown the chicken in batches on all sides.

Arrange the chicken in a large casserole or dutch oven. Add the onions and garlic to the fat/oil remaining in the skillet. Saute for 3 minutes, then stir in the peppers and curry powder, cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes, currants and chutney: simmer for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the coconut crust: Blend the butter, lime juice, coconut and almonds together in a small bowl.

Uncover the chicken and sprinkle the top evenly with the coconut mixture. Return to oven and bake until the topping is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve hot with rice.

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