Cecily Brownstone, Associated Press food editor from the 1940s until 1986, believed country captain was actually a northern dish, and traced its provenance to “Miss Leslie’s New Cookery Book,” published in Philadelphia in 1857. Her version of the dish, adapted here from James Beard’s classic “American Cookery” (Little, Brown and Company, 1972), is similar to one served at the turn of the 20th century by chef Alexander Filippini of New York’s storied Delmonico’s restaurant.
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 whole chicken (2 ½ pounds) cut into parts
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup finely diced onion
- 1/3 cup finely diced green pepper
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon dried crushed thyme
- 1 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons dried currants
- Blanched and toasted almonds
Mix together flour, salt and pepper. Coat chicken lightly with flour mixture.
In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. When foam subsides, add chicken skin side down and cook until browned. Remove chicken to a platter and set aside.
Add to the skillet onion, green pepper, garlic, curry powder and thyme. Cook, stirring, until vegetables just begin to soften. Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits.
Return chicken to skillet skin side up. Cover and cook over low until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir currants into the sauce. Serve with almonds as a condiment.