“Country Captain Chicken”
Curry was brought to the US in the eighteenth century by the British immigrants. The first known curry was “Apple Curry Soup”, featured in an eighteenth century manuscript written by Catherine Moffatt Whipple (1734).
Savannah, located in Georgia, a southern state in the US, was a cross cultural capital of import-export in the 18th century. During this period commodities such as tea, pepper, ginger, cardamom, saffron, turmeric, cumin and curry powder were delivered from India via England. Indian spices became more accessible to the American middle classes after the East India Company lost its monopoly over trade with India.
Boston’s India Wharf would accommodate ships going to and from India and China. Around 80 ships from India would unload their cargoes in only one day. Boston taverns would serve chicken, lobster and veal curries to their customers. During this time we can see an increase in the demand for curry dishes by Americans.
One of the most popular curries in the southern United States was“Country Captain Chicken”. Its origin remains vague, however according to one explanation, it was brought by a sea-captain, who sailed into Charleston harbour with a shipload of spices from India. He was so graciously entertained by the city’s hosts that he repaid their hospitality by teaching their cooks to make a chicken curry, which was then named after him” (Cited from Curry: A Global History by Colleen Taylor Sen). Although no one knows definitely who created this dish, for sure it has been very popular for centuries in the south of the USA.
Even President Franklin D.Roosevelt became a fan of this chicken curry after tasting it. President Roosvelt then offered it to George S Patton, the General of the US army, and he fell in love with it so much that he included it in the military’s meals.
If you’d like to try it someday, here is a simple and delicious recipe https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/country-captain-chicken-0
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 2 medium)
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapeño,
- undrained 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
How to Make it ?
Step 1 Combine curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle chicken with curry mixture.
Step 2 Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth, currants, 1 tablespoon thyme, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with almonds