Country Captain Chicken

Country Captain Chicken is an old Anglo-Indian favourite. There are many competing explanations as to where the name comes from, including being originally made by a Grandmother for her favourite Grandson – a British Army Captain – using her own Country Fowl. Or it’s because the dish was served up on British trade ships in India – known as Country Ships with Captains known as Country Captains. Alternatively, it is mistakenly claimed as an American dish, and cooked with fruits.

Whatever the origins of the name, the dish itself is a product of Anglo-Indian communities during colonial times. It is delicious, with a fiery blend of spices. There are many competing recipes out there and this is my take on it. Recommendations that it is best served with yellow (coconut) rice and devil chutney. For this particular one (pictured) I served it with pilau rice, devil chutney and mango chutney. I make no apologies for the mix, it was delicious!

The following is supposed to serve 4 – but as always, stretches nicely for 2 people with seconds.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


  1. 600g Chicken fillet, chopped in to chunks
  2. 2 onions, sliced
  3. 1 tsp chilli powder
  4. 0.5tsp turmeric
  5. 1 tblsp garlic paste
  6. 1 tblsp chopped garlic
  7. 1 cinnamon stick
  8. 3 cloves
  9. 2 cardamoms
  10. 4 peppercorns
  11. 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  12. Pinch of salt
  13. oil for cooking (I use olive oil)
  14. 0.5 cup of water


  1. Fry the onions in a little oil with the chopped garlic for a fewCountry Captain Chicken minutes
  2. Add the chicken pieces and the garlic paste. Cook for 4-5 minutes
  3. Add the spices: cardamom, chilli powder, cinnamon, cloves, pepper corns, red chilli flakes, salt and turmeric. Mix well
  4. Add 0.5 cup of water. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce (the gravy) starts to thicken
  5. Serve up with rice of choice and devil chutney (and mango chutney because it’s so good!)

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