This column celebrates healthy soil, seeds,
and a local harvest.
In a world wired for fast food and chemically treated fruits and vegetables brought in from fields afar, we honor the patient work of the gardener, the farmer, and the imaginative cook.
Chicken Country Captain – use tofu, agave nectar and vegetable stock for a delicious vegan dish
Chicken or Tofu Country Captain
This recipe is based on a Southern dish said to have originated in Savannah, Georgia, a busy seaport in colonial days. Supposedly, a sea captain sailing the spice routes gave a favorite recipe to a Savannah friend to thank him for his southern hospitality. Columbus, Ohio also claims this dish. This is a hearty meal sure to warm you on a cold winter night!
*vegan-option ingredients in italics
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
2-4 cloves chopped garlic
2 green bell peppers chopped (can use 1 red and 1 green)
2/3 cup finely chopped parsley/save 3 tablespoons of parsley to sprinkle on top of dish
3 cups /28 oz. of diced canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup raisins (can use 1/4 cup yellow and 1/4 cup dark)
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Pinch or more cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce (use tamari for less gluten)
*1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
1/2- 1 teaspoon Tabasco or similar hot sauce
1-1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
*2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon cornstarch, wheat flour or rice flour dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
* 1 1/2 pounds of chicken* or tofu cut into 2″x 3 ” pieces. *Can use all breast meat or mixture. Take meat off bone or cook longer if using bone in chicken.
1/4 cup almonds
Cooked rice, millet, quinoa or any other grain
Chop and measure out vegetables, toast 1/4 cup almonds in oven or on stove top, cook grain of choice and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat large Dutch oven or large fry pan with cooking spray and oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft about four minutes, add green peppers and sauté for seven minutes, add garlic and parsley, and stir in tomatoes, raisins and all spices. Add honey and Tabasco. Cook at low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in corn, stock, and cornstarch mixture.
If your Dutch oven is large enough, add the chicken or tofu on top and push down into the sauce OR transfer to an 11″ x 14″ baking dish, tightly cover the baking dish and bake 30-35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 -15 minutes to reduce the sauce and make the top slightly dark and crusty.
Serve over cooked grain and garnish with parsley and toasted almonds, which although optional, add a really desirable
This recipe comes from CACC director and chef, Connie Beauvais. Since 1978, Connie has been cooking professionally at delis, restaurants, and catering companies. She has also organized the menu and food for CACC’s Kitchen at Wheatland for several years. Connie is the owner of “Lettuce-Duet,” a personal chef and catering company.