Besides our being famous for the creation of Dr. Pemberton’s Coca Cola and being the home of AFLAC, my hometown Columbus, Georgia (sharing the same roads with Ft. Benning) is also known for the Southern staple Country Captain. The Junior League of Columbus has kept the recipe in its cookbooks dating back to my earliest copy from 1957 to its newest from 2010. They say it originated here and in the South, that’s gospel when it comes to claims of food. Don’t mess with us, Darlin’.
According to the cookbooks when General George Patton was en route through Columbus from Ft. Benning he wired ahead saying, “If you can’t give me a party and have Country Captain, put some in a bucket and bring it to the train.” They would! Smart General. The newest Columbus Junior League cookbook Pull Up a Chair: company, conversations & cuisine further tells the origin of the recipe as being created by Mary Blackmar Bullard in the early 1900s. Her daughters shared it with family and friends. In addition to Patton’s love for the dish, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enjoyed it so much that he hired the family cook right out from under the Bullards and moved him to the White House.
A few days ago, I set out to officially test my new version of this classic dish using a slow cooker and making it Weight Watchers friendly. If you know anything about the recipe, that’s no small task because the true Country Captain dish has fried chicken in it and honestly, it’s not the same with grilled or even letting the chicken cook from the start in the sauce with no breading. Yuck.
I posted pictures on Facebook and because I have a few young military wife friends, the pictures got comments requesting what this dish was? They’d never heard of it. So today, I want them (and you) to know how to prepare this dish in a simpler and healthier way. I think the General and President would still request it were they still alive.
Then put them in the slow cooker:
And I waited for them to do their thing over the course of six hours. Considering that the chicken was cooked, but frozen, I assumed six hours would be a tad too long but I had to be away from home and trusted that the LOW setting was going to be just fine. It was long enough to make the chicken begin to fall apart, so I would recommend to start with four hours and check to see if cooking should continue. Be sure to stir at some point so all flavors have time to marry. Serve over the hot rice and top with almonds, currants, and green onions.
The not fried, but breaded and precooked chicken gave me the taste and consistency to which I have grown accustomed in Country Captain. Eating a controlled portion that had points comparable to most recipes for main dishes in Weight Watchers afforded me the tasty compromise I desired. Enjoy this classic Columbus dish do-over. It’s some gracious goodness on a plate.
And sometimes, I knit.
On a recent trip to Williamsburg, Virginia I stopped into a local yarn shop (LYS) in that area and bought a hank of the loveliest hand-painted Rayon metallic yarn that caught my eye and fingers from the get go.
The yarn was soft, lightweight and cool to the touch. Here in our hot and humid climate, that’s a lovely thing to have in a yarn you may intend wearing outside in the warm to hotter months entering inside the frigid conditioned air (hopefully). The price of the yarn was extravagant, but to find a less expensive yarn with the same shimmer of gold amidst coral hues bathed in strawberry vibrancy was not going to be possible in the bigger chain stores.
Insert sigh here as my soul yearns for a LYS of my own right here in my very own town.
When I saw the yarn in its glory my mind traveled to memories of dramatic fuchsia pink and coral sunsets that cause one’s jaw to drop at its majesty. I could NOT leave the store without the yarn. It was my souvenir from a wonderful getaway trip. And now I’m sharing the souvenir with you as a finished product.
Two weeks ago, I was able to wind the hank into a ball of yarn ready for knitting into something elegant with a soft drape.
It was a wrap (literally and figuratively) by Sunday, and yesterday I listed it in my Etsy shop YarnAmiAmour.
Take a look, read the description, see the pictures, imagine you in the lovely goodness of cool yarn gracing your skin in the heat of summer. Then, buy this bit of luxury for yourself and enjoy wearing it for a long time.
Wear it well!
Open my eyes to see those things in my life that need Your attention. Those things that cloud my vision and block my perspective. Open my eyes to agree with You about what is grievous to You in my life, home, my city, my country, the world.
Open my ears to hear hurt more tenderly when it exudes from those whose path I cross. Open my ears to hear good things genuinely spoken and receive them as the gifts they were intended.
Open my mouth to speak truth rather than skirting around hard issues. May my words be filled with grace and goodness, even in the speaking. Open my mouth to share the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Open my hands to share what I have with those in need rather than grasping tight-fisted to something that won’t be going with me when I come to see You one day.
Open my spirit, soul, and body to the discipline I need in all things.
Thank You for opening my heart to receive Your Gospel call when I was 14.