Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recipe from Christmas Past

Thank you so much for stopping in today. I am going to share a special memory and recipe. I am linking to Foodie Friday so make certain you check in with the others and the incredible recipes that will be shared.

  • As Doug and I get older, our festive activities seem to get more streamlined. It seems like just last year we would have an annual open house. We would decorate every room in a theme. Back then I had a tree in each room. And the same menu every year. If I tried to change it there would be outrage.
    The Menu always consisted of :
    Country Captain
    Steamed White Rice
    Fruit Salad
    Green Bean Almondine
    Homemade parker house rolls
    Assorted Pies, cakes and cookies
    Today I am going to share a recipe that is tried and true but have not prepared in a while.

    I love the history behind Country Captain.

This delicious dish, known throughout Georgia, dates to the early 1800s. It is thought that this dish was brought to Georgia by a British sea captain who had been stationed in Bengali, India and shared the recipe with some friends in the port city of Savannah, Georgia. Savannah was then a major shipping port for the spice trade. The dish was named for the officers in India called “Country Captains.”

In the 1940s, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd President of the United States and General George S. Patton (1885-1945), U.S. Army General, were served this dish in Warm Springs, Georgia, by Mrs. W. L. Bullard. Their praise and love of this dish helped to rekindle its Southern classic status. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who first gave national recognition to Warm Springs when, in 1924, he visited the town's naturally heated mineral springs as treatment for his polio related paralysis. Roosevelt was so enchanted with Warm Springs that he built the only home he ever owned here - a modest, six room cottage called the Little White House which served as a relaxing, comfortable haven for him.
© copyright 2004 by Linda Stradley - United States Copyright TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved to Linda Stradley, and to the web site What's Cooking America.

The internet is wonderful. We all know it. I researched this before posting today, found the above information and it appears to be factual. For many years I shared a fanciful story about this dish that I believed. Being a Georgia girl, and having very strong opinions about the War of Northern Aggression (known to some as the Civil War); I completely believed the tale I was told so many years ago. Today my bubble was burst. Not one word of truth to the story I shared years ago. Bummer but I am certain the recipe is still wonderful.

Country Captain

(Emeril's version)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (3-pound) chicken fryer, cut into serving pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon dried ground thyme
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes, crushed, and their juices
1/2 cup chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 cup currants
Steamed long-grain white rice, as accompaniment
3 ounces toasted slivered almonds, for garnish
In a large shallow dish, combine the flour, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper and stir to blend. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to coat on all sides, shaking to remove any excess.
In a large heavy saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in batches until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the pan. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, bay leaf, curry powder, thyme, and red pepper. Cook stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the chicken broth, sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to blend and reduce the heat to medium. Add the cooked chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender but not falling from the bones, about 50 minutes. Add the currants and cook for 10 minutes longer.
Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve hot over the steamed white rice. Garnish with the almonds and serve.

Thank you so much for stopping in. Don't forget to check back in with Foodie Friday for some more great ideas. I would love it if you would leave comments and questions.


  1. Jeanette, This is my kind of dinner! Delicious and deep with flavor. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. Wow, that sounds so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  3. This looks wonderful -- I have a recipe that's similar but this sounds so much better~ Thanks for your sweet comments today on my tablescape -- it's always nice to have blogger guests at the table.

  4. I downloaded the template for s'mores and I am going to have some of my middle school students make them...thanks for the idea and connection to her blog!

  5. Wow really looks good.

  6. This looks so good, I will be giving it a try for sure! I love a recipe with a story! Thanks for sharing.

  7. This is a great dish. Thank you so much for sharing it along with its history.

  8. This sounds so good. I see a bay leaf and curry, I know it will taste and smell wonderful. Thanks for visiting and following! I'm going to do the same:)


  9. The is the first time I've heard of Country Captain--sounds delicious!

  10. I must say I've never heard of this dish, but it sure does sound delicious. I'm moving to South Georgia in just a few months and my family there will be impressed if I make this recipe for them. Thanks for sharing the history!

  11. OHHH... this sounds so yummy! I'd never heard of this dish before. thank you for the background and recipe!.. dee dee

  12. Hi Jeanette, What an interesting post filled with seafaring history and a lovely meal to share! Great recipe (looks yummy!) and I thoroughly enjoyed the story! Thanks for sharing and have a Happy Foodie Friday! Coralie

  13. Yummy! I will have to add this recipe to my stack! Have a great weekend!

  14. My family loves Country Captain and have enjoyed it for years. I really like the recipe you've shared with us today. Have a great Foodie Friday.

  15. Delish.....really like this recipe. Enjoyed the story as well:)

  16. Jeanette, I haven't even had breakfast yet, and now I'm hungry for dinner! This is a must try. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  17. Sounds and looks DELICIOUS!!! I have add your recipe to my recipes box. What a GREAT!!! combinatin of flavors.
    I have become a follower of your blog , I love to share recipes and ideas. Come by and visit my blog maybe you can do the same.

  18. Sounds and looks yummy.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today.

  19. I just had dinner and my mouth is still watering! This looks so good...and I loved the story!

  20. Oh my, that looks delicious. Almost too pretty to eat.

  21. This sounds amazing! :) Thanks for stopping in today and for the kind comment! ~Rhonda :)

  22. Yummy!!! I'm definitely making this dish! I love that you share the history behind this recipe. TFS XXXX

  23. Sounds absolutely delightful; really, I was quite thoroughly tickled to find what you had posted for this "Foodie Friday and must try this absolutely fab dish very soon!..,

    Thanks so much for stopping by for a wee respite of some "hot chocolate" and "cookies"!..,It's always delightful to have you visit my friend!..,

    Cheers, hugs, and blessings to you from Silken Purse @ The Plumed Pen ~ Merry Christmas my dear!

  24. Oops, I also meant to mention that I absolutely adore and am intrigued with the fact thatt you also shared the history of this recipe!..,Thanks!

  25. That is a beautiful recipe. Your family is also beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Doylene

  26. I just loved that you went to the trouble to post the history of that dish. Everything has a story behind it. That was just great! Thanks!

  27. Hi Jeannette, you have a wonderful blog - I'm so glad I found it. I will be following you from now on. Please stop by for a visit sometime!