Need an idea for dinner? Something different, yet easy to make and absolutely delicious? Let me introduce you to this tasty number, Country Captain. Not being from the south, I wasn't familiar with this dish, but it was given a make-over by Bon Appetit and one look was enough to convince me that I needed to try this. Originally, it's a saucy chicken dish flavored with curry powder and served over rice. There's an interesting article on the history of how it got its name here. But all you really need to know is that it's easy and mouth-watering and (if you're interested) good for you.
What makes this dish truly stunning is the toasted spices. I'm a spice-a-holic and I have a huge collection in my pantry. It's so worth it to invest in the whole spices and a coffee grinder. Your house will smell amazing. People will swoon. You will never buy pre-ground, pre-packaged curry powder again. Why would you when you could play around with spices and create your own favorite blend? This one is warm, spicy and exotic. I've never ground cinnamon and cloves before to use in a savory application, but I loved it. All the spices blend together and each lend their own note to the song. It's a beautiful thing.
The other component that makes this meal is the toasted coconut garnish. I found some in the bulk bins of a local heath food store and I would strongly encourage you to seek it out. It adds a sweet, toasty, nutty accent. Whatever you do, don't turn your back on it when it's in the oven. It burns very quickly. I found that out the hard way, I'm afraid. It was still good, but most of it was just this side of burned to a crisp. So check it often. You want golden, fragrant flakes, not dehydrated mushroom look-a-likes. Just so you know.
Country Captain with Cauliflower and Peas
Note: It's true that there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but it does come together quickly. I didn't have any dried cherries so I substituted dried currants. You could skip them, but I like the idea of something a little sweet in a spicy dish.