A classic, Lowcountry dish that was served to Queen Elizabeth for her Diamond Jubilee celebration.This one is lightly adapted from Saveur Magazine.
- 1 3–4-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces or packaged pieces
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- Flour seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 ⁄4 cup canola oil
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 3 ribs celery chopped
- 2 green bell peppers cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 3 Tbs. good curry powder
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes optional
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 ⁄3 cup currants plus more for garnish
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups steamed white rice for serving
- Almonds or peanuts, crumbled fried bacon, and more currants (or raisins) for garnish
- Season chicken lightly with flour that has been mixed with thyme, salt, and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet and add chicken, skin side down. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Discard oil and return skillet to medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Add the garlic, celery, peppers, and onions to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. (Place in Dutch oven at this point if your skillet is getting crowded.) Add tomatoes and their juice and cook, stirring frequently, until the juice thickens, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the curry powder, butter, currants, and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens into a chunky sauce, 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 325˚. Add the reserved chicken to skillet (or Dutch oven), nestling it into the thick curry sauce; spoon some of the sauce over chicken. Cover and cook until chicken is very tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken, serve with rice, and garnish with bacon, currants, and peanuts. Serves 4-6.
- Note: I have substituted golden raisin for the currants and used stewed tomatoes rather than crushed tomatoes. I have also soaked the currants (raisins) in Marsala wine for a half hour before adding them.