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The Lee Bros. Country Captain

Serves 4 servings

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • cup homemade chicken stock (see page 220) or canned low sodium chicken broth
  • cup dried currants or raisins
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces slab bacon or fatty country ham, chopped
  • 12 skin on, bone in chicken thighs
  • Canola oil, if needed
  • 1 large dried chile, such as guajillo or pasilla, split and seeded
  • 2 1/3 cups thickly sliced carrots (1 inch pieces)
  • 2 cups diced yellow bell peppers
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups cooked white rice, hot
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped
  • cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Pour the stock in to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Put the currants in a small heatproof bowl and pour the hot stock over them. Set aside to plump.

In another small bowl, combine, curry powder, garam masala, 1 teaspoons salt, and teaspoon black pepper.

Scatter the bacon in a 4 to 6 quart enameled cast iron pot or Dutch oven set over medium high heat. Stir the pieces around occasionally until the bacon is firm and just golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small bowl.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pot, reserving the excess fat in a small bowl.

Brown the chicken thighs, in batches, over medium high heat, taking care not to crowd them in the pot, until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. If the pot becomes too dry, add a little of the reserved bacon fat, 1 teaspoon at a time. Remove the chicken to a medium bowl.

Add 2 teaspoons of the reserved bacon fat to the pot (if there is none left us canola oil). Add the chile and toast until very fragrant, about 30 seconds per side. Add the carrots, bell peppers, onions, and garlic, and cook until slightly softened, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, curry powder mixture, ginger, and the currants and their stock. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down to a puree and the sauce has thickened around the vegetables, about 8 minutes.

Nestle the chicken thighs gently in the sauce so that the skin side faces up and is above the surface of the sauce. Tent the pot loosely with foil and transfer it to the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the country captain resembles a roiling stew around the chicken thighs, about 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake until the sauce has thickened further and the chicken skin is just beginning to crisp, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, skim any excess fat from the surface, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the chile. Spoon 1 cup hot white rice into each of 4 wide, deep bowls. Use tongs to arrange 3 thighs on top. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and rice, and garnish with the reserved bacon, almonds, and parsley.

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