Slow Cooker Country Captain Chicken Recipe

Country captain chicken is well known as a Southern classic, even if it's said to have had its origins in the Indian subcontinent, but the New York Times reveals the shocking truth: Indian-inspired though it may be, the recipe was first published in an 1857 Philadelphia cookbook and was later tweaked by a chef at legendary NYC eatery Delmonico's. Also unknown is which, if any, captain, may have lent the dish its rank, but one thing we do know is that it was a favorite dish of someone even higher up the chain of command: General George S. Patton.

While we're not sure what "Old Blood and Guts" would have thought of this version of country captain chicken, he might want to pin a medal on recipe developer Kristen Carli for her version of the dish. Carli, a registered dietitian, came up with a light, healthy version that comes together in minutes and practically prepares itself in a slow cooker. As she tells us, "This is a great option for a weeknight meals."

Gather the ingredients for this country captain chicken

To make her country captain chicken, Carli says "boneless, skinless chicken breasts are great for this dish because they are a lean protein option that is easy to serve." Many other recipes call for using chicken thighs or even a whole cut-up chicken. You can use these substitutes if you choose, but bear in mind that bone-in chicken may take a bit longer to cook.

You're also going to need a large (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, a yellow onion (well, actually, only half an onion), celery, carrots, and dried currants, although Cali says you can use raisins instead of currants if you like. In fact, she says, "I would love this dish with golden raisins!" For seasoning the country captain chicken, you'll be keeping things simple: just salt, pepper, and curry powder.

Prepare the vegetables for your country captain chicken

Start by preparing the vegetables to go into the country captain chicken. Might as well kick off with the hardest one first — not that there's anything terribly difficult about peeling and chopping an onion, but you may want to protect your eyes if you can. Use a sharp knife and dice the onion as quickly as you can without endangering your fingers — that way, the onion fumes will have less time to reach your eyes.

Once you've chopped up half the onion, you can put the other half back in the fridge. Next, you'll peel the carrots, although you can skip peeling them if you don't mind the slight bitterness the peel imparts. Cut the carrots into thin coins, then slice the celery.

Toss everything into the slow cooker, then set it and forget it

After the veggies are chopped, you've got 90% of the prepping out of the way. All you need to do now is toss the chicken breasts into the slow cooker and sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped veggies, curry powder, and currants, then stir gently to combine.

Close the lid of the slow cooker, and set it to cook on high for four hours. If you started this dish in the morning, it should be ready to eat by lunchtime. If you are going to be out of the house all day, though, you may want to try cooking it for eight hours on a low setting instead.

Serve the country captain chicken over rice or pasta as you wish

Carli says, "I love to serve this with rice, but you could also serve this over pasta."

If you want to fancy up your country captain chicken, a sprinkling of slivered almonds and/or some chopped fresh parsley make great garnishes for this dish. As to beverage pairings, chai or a mango lassi would complement the country captain chicken's curry flavoring, while a tall glass of sweet tea would be true to its deep South heritage.

Slow Cooker Country Captain Chicken Recipe
5 from 18 ratings
We came up with a light, healthy version of country captain chicken that comes together in minutes and practically prepares itself in a slow cooker.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Country captain chicken with rice
Total time: 4.03 hours
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ cup dried currants
Optional Ingredients
  • Rice or pasta for serving
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, celery, carrots, curry powder, and dried currants.
  3. Close the lid of the slow cooker, and set it to cook on high for 4 hours.
  4. Serve the country captain chicken over rice or another type of grain or pasta.
Calories per Serving 350
Total Fat 13.3 g
Saturated Fat 3.7 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 84.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 28.0 g
Dietary Fiber 6.4 g
Total Sugars 17.7 g
Sodium 1,012.6 mg
Protein 32.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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