Country Captain – Spiced Stew Chicken


Chef Bruce’s Country Captain

Bruce and I often brainstorm recipe ideas. Last night’s dinner was a perfect example. He wanted to make a spiced chicken, with a dry rub of middle eastern spices. I was all in on the spiced flavor idea, but wasn’t appealing to the side of me that is freezing cold, and wanted a comforting winter stew.

But his idea made me think about a homey recipe I used to make, but hadn’t had in over a dozen years. Country Captain, or Captain’s Chicken. The thought alone of the zesty tomatoes mingling with exotic Mid-Eastern spices and juicy yellow raisins made my mouth water. 🙂

Bruce, being trained in French and fine dining, had never heard of it. I explained the concept, and found this interesting article (if you’re in to these things, like we are) on Captains Chicken. I liked that it told the history, and the recipes were close to what I had in mind: “Classic Country Captain Makes a Comeback”.

Once he read it, he got it. Off he went to the kitchen. Since it was his first try, he basically followed Recipe #2 “Remix” in the article, which I have printed for you below. We tested it for you, so you know it works. (see photo at top of page). We chose to omit the potatoes, and add a bit extra spice. Okay, Let’s Get Cooking!

photo by:

Country Captain – Spiced Stewed Chicken

*Ingredients for 4 servings:

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (we added a bit more)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds of chicken thighs and legs, bone-in and skin-on

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, cored and diced

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cored and diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (we omitted potatoes and served over rice)

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can crushed tomatoes [we substituted 14 oz of V-8 Juice]

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup golden raisins

Toasted slivered almonds, to garnish (optional)

In a small, dry skillet over low heat, combine the curry powder, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon. Toast, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spices become fragrant. Transfer the spices to a small plate and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces through the flour mixture, being sure to thoroughly coat all sides, but shaking off any excess.

In a large skillet over medium-high, combine the butter and the oil. Heat until the butter is melted. Add the chicken, searing the pieces on all sides until well browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.


Add the onion, both bell peppers, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, thyme and reserved toasted spice blend. Reduce heat to medium and saute until the onion is soft and translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes, broth, raisins, and chicken. Bring to a simmer, then cover and continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, 30-45 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve garnished with the toasted almonds.

There are lots of variations, so don’t be afraid to Google other recipes, and give it your own style.

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Source: Alison Ladman  *  Original at

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