Country Captain

Course : Curry
Serves: 6
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6 pound stewing -- (6 lb.) hen
2 whole bay leaves
2 stalks celery -- (include tops)
2 quarts water
2 large yellow onions, peeled, coarsely, chopped
2 large sweet green peppers -- cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
1/4 cup olive or other cooking oil
1/3 cup minced parsley
1 cup dried currants or raisins
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme -- crumbled
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
2 cans tomatoes -- (1 lb, 12 oz) -- with their juice
3 cups reserved chicken stock
1 cup toasted slivered almonds -- (topping)

Preparation / Directions:

Remove all body fat from the cavity of the bird, then place the bird and giblets in a large kettle. Add the bay leaves, celery and water, cover, and simmer 10-to-15 minutes; remove the liver and reserve. Re-cover the chicken and simmer 1-to-1 1/2 hours or until tender. Lift the chicken from the kettle and cool, strain the stock and reserve. In the same kettle, stir-fry the onions, green peppers and garlic in the oil 8-to-10 minutes over moderate heat until the onions are golden. Add all remaining ingredients except the almonds and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes, stirring now and then. Meanwhile, skin the chicken, remove the meat from the bones, and cut in bite-sized pieces; also dice the giblets and reserved liver. Add the chicken, giblets and liver to the kettle and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. NOTE: At this point, you can cool the mixture to room temperature, ladle into 1-quart freezer containers, filling to about 1-inch of the top. Snap on the lids, label and date, then set in a zero-degree freezer and freeze until firm. The Country Captain can be made several weeks--even months--ahead of time. When ready to serve, place the blocks of frozen Country Captain in a large, heavy kettle, set over low heat, cover and bring slowly to serving temperature, stirring now and then, taking care not to break up the chunks of chicken. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve the Country Captain over fluffy boiled rice (you can cook the rice while the Country Captain reheats) then sprinkle each portion with some of the toasted slivered almonds. Makes 6 to 8 Servings

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