A little bit exotic, a little bit famil iar, Country Captain is perfumed with history. An aromatic one-pot stew of chicken and spices, it’s most often associated with Georgia, specifically the port city of Savannah. But it’s found a life of its own in the South. “Although Country Captain was off my radar growing up in suburban Savannah, it was on the menu at the Georgia restaurant where I started my cooking career, and I fell in love with the dish,” says Steven Satterfield, chef/owner of Miller Union in Atlanta.
As a historically significant seaport, Savannah was a cross-cultural capital of import-export, and the distinctive tomato curry base speaks to the influence of the British spice trade. “It is the complex range of India-influenced spices that distinguishes this dish,” Satterfield says. “So I stay true to that and make my own curry mix.” When it comes to the finishing touches, Satterfield leaves plenty of leeway for individual tastes, serving the dish surrounded by bowls of colorful condiments. So the final flavor depends upon who adds what—the very essence of regional Southern cooking.