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Quick and Easy Country Captain Chicken

This Quick and Easy Country Captain Chicken is a speedier version of the classic Southern dish of tender chicken, bell peppers, onions, and sweet currants in a curry-spiced tomato sauce served over rice.

If you’ve never heard of or tried Country Captain Chicken, you’re in for a real treat, especially if you’re a fan of curry.

This dish is full of fabulous flavor and – with the exception of the rice – it’s made all in one pan. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner when time is tight!

It’s Called Country Captain Because…

Well, to be honest, I’m not really sure. I did some looking around, and there are lots of different theories, but I couldn’t find a definitive answer for this one.

The most common story is that it was introduced to America in the early 1800s in or near Savannah, GA by a British sea captain who worked in the spice trade. In those days, the term country was sometimes used in reference to India (where curry comes from).

Country…Captain…It kinda makes sense, right?

Well, regardless of where it originated or how it got its name, it is one super delicious dish that needs to go on your recipes-to-try list!

Traditionally, Country Captain Chicken is a longer-cooking recipe made with whole bone-in chicken pieces. This version, which is slightly adapted from a recipe by Rachael Ray, uses chicken tenderloins or breasts cut into bite-sized pieces to speed things up, but there’s no sacrifice in flavor!

pan full of country captain chicken with a serving spoon and a bowl of rice on the side

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • Basmati, jasmine or white rice
  • Flour (all purpose)
  • Paprika
  • Chicken tenderloins or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Green bell pepper
  • Red bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Curry paste or curry powder (I like to use my Easy Homemade Curry Powder)
  • Currants
  • Green onions (optional for garnish)
  • Sliced or slivered almonds (optional for garnish)

Here’s a Look at How to Make Quick and Easy Country Captain Chicken:

three images showing steps to make country captain chicken
three images showing steps to make country captain chicken
three images showing how to make country captain chicken
three images showing how to make country captain chicken

Tips & Tidbits

  • I like to use basmati rice when I make this dish. It is rice that (most often) is grown in India, and it has a nutty flavor and aroma that pairs perfectly with the curry-spiced sauce. Jasmine rice is also delicious, and regular long-grain white rice will work just fine too.
  • If you’re a fan of dark meat, boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used instead of the tenderloins or breasts.
  • Either curry paste or curry powder will work in this recipe. Note that some curry pastes and powders can be hot-spicy while others are not. Use whichever you like. I use Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste (2 tablespoons) for this recipe when I make it, and I don’t find the final dish it to be hot at all.
  • Currants, which are basically just extra-tiny raisins, can be found by the raisins in the grocery store. If you can’t get them, you can use raisins instead, regular or golden.
  • You won’t be using that whole box of currants for this recipe. Wondering what to do the extras? Use some to make a batch or two of my Welsh Cookies for a delicious treat!
country captain chicken over rice in a white bowl topped with almonds and green onions

And don’t forget the garnishes! Top each serving with some green onions and sliced or slivered almonds for an extra flavor punch and crunch that makes this bowl of deliciousness even better!

I hope you try this recipe for Country Captain Chicken and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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country captain chicken over rice in a white bowl

Quick and Easy Country Captain Chicken

This Quick and Easy Country Captain Chicken is a speedier version of the classic Southern dish of tender chicken, bell peppers, onions, and sweet currants in a curry-spiced tomato sauce served over rice.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 587
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped into ½" pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped into ½" pieces
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons curry paste or curry powder, add more or less to taste
  • cup currants
  • sliced green onions, optional, for garnish
  • sliced or slivered almonds, optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the rice according to the package directions. While the rice is cooking, move on to the next steps.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Combine the flour and paprika in a bowl or shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and lightly brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Note: The chicken does not need to be cooked through in this step; we're just trying to get some nice color on it. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet along with the green and red bell peppers and the onions. Sauté until they have softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, curry paste (or curry powder), and the currants to the pan along with the chicken; stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 165°F). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Serve over the hot cooked rice. If desired (and I highly recommend it), top each serving with some sliced green onions and sliced or slivered almonds.

Notes

  • Jasmine rice or regular long-grain white rice can be used in place of the basmati.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used instead of the tenderloins or breasts.
  • Some curry pastes and powders can be hot-spicy while others are not. Use whichever you like, and adjust the amount to your tastes. Start with 1 tablespoon and adjust up from there. I use 2 tablespoons of the Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste for this recipe when I make it, and I don’t find the final dish to be hot at all.
  • Raisins, regular or golden, can be used in place of the currants. 
  • Estimated calories shown are for the chicken, sauce and rice only and do not include the green onion or almond garnishes. 
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Mention @nowcookthis or tag #nowcookthisrecipes!
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