How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Country Captain Chicken, Cap'n!

We take a brief pause from our non-stop posts about the Big Green Egg to prove that we do still know and care about cooking by non-kamado means. A couple weeks ago I returned to The Tabasco Brand Cookbook by Paul McIlhenny and Barbara Hunter, a small volume from which we have drawn several successful recipes (and blogged about them here, of course).

I found Country Captain Chicken, which appeared to be a simple recipe that would use ingredients I had in mind using. It had the added bonus of being a personal favorite of FDR, that Patrician social democrat who saved capitalism.

But I digress; back to the recipe. This recipe calls for a whole chicken, cut up, which is the start of many recipes I remember from earlier times. This is increasingly difficult to find, and as is often the case I simply used some organic chicken breasts. I cut these into chunks and tossed them with flour, paprika, a tiny amount of salt, and pepper. I cooked these in a bit of oil in our indispensable cast-iron skillet. After they were browned, I set them aside, and then added to the still-hot pan:
Tabasco wreath motif -- see below

chopped onion and green pepper, minced garlic, minced parsley, cumin*, a can of tomatoes (recipe calls for whole; I used diced) with juice, raisins (in place of currants) and of course the magic potion -- that is, Tabasco Sauce.

* I chose to use cumin instead of the curry powder called for. I very recently learned that curry is mainly cumin plus turmeric. Since I like the former and tolerate the latter, I decided to make this a cumin-forward curry.

While all this was going on, I cooked some Basmati rice, using the soaking and rinsing technique I had learned only recently (took me long enough!).

We were supposed to have topped all this with toasted, slivered almonds, but the cupboard was (again, oddly) bare in that department. Nonetheless, this was quite a tasty dinner, which we will make again. It was quite a while back, but I'd be willing to bet we paired this with Malbec to good effect.

Tabasco Wreath: On the page facing this recipe is the story of how Tabasco came to be included in Meals, Ready-to-Eat, the combat ration that I helped to manufacture for a couple years back in the 1990s. I worked for a company about 5 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border (on the U.S. side) that made 100,000 of these meals a day. This meant that we shipped out more than 30,000 of those 1/8-ounce hot-sauce bottles, which came to us in enormous totes. We literally had millions of these things in the warehouse at any one time. And so we had them in our offices, purses, pockets, and homes. For secondary quality assurance -- and because the McIlhenny people were always bringing us cool Tabasco gear. Pam made both earrings and a wreath from some of this surplus.
Pam's Crafty Wreath

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