Jamaican brown stewed chicken is amazing but it sounds intimidating to cook! However, let’s get two things out of the way. 1. This is one of my favorite foods and I try to eat it once a day when I am in the Caribbean.
2. This recipe takes time but do not let it scare you away! Most of the time it takes to cook this dish is the food just marinating or simmering while you sit on the couch! there is only 10-15 minutes where you actually have to do anything!With that said, don’t be intimidated by the long cook time as it truly is so simple. At the end of the day it is just cutting up some vegetables and mixing some ingredients together, putting it in a deep pan and that’s it.
Sure you may see 2.5 hours but 90% of that time you are sitting down watching TV, walking your dog, making out with a loved one or whatever the heck you do in your spare time… point being, its 2.5+ hours but really you’re only doing stuff for like 20 minutes.
To the novice cooks like us… don’t let words like fresh thyme sprigs or scallions push you around. I used dried thyme that you can get a shaker of for $1 and scallions are just green onions with a sexier name that also cost less than $1 for a bunch.
Aside from that, the recipe just asks for pretty much everything you should already have in your fridge or simple stuff from the store for the most part. Jamaican / Caribbean stew brown chicken is the absolute best if you have never had it.
The chicken is cooked to perfection and the stew with the rice are orgasmic. If you can find some pepper sauce then definitely get it and add it to every bite!
As an aside, I live in Phoenix, and there are no Jamaican or Cajun restaurants in the city, which is horseshit, someone create a combo restaurant now thank you, I will be there non-stop.
This Jamaican brown stew chicken recipe is authentic and tastes just as good as anything I got in the caribbean. While you can brown your chicken or even make the entire dish in the stove… the taste just isn’t the same as when you make it on the stove.
This dish is not meant to be healthy so go for it on the stove, especially in terms of browning the chicken as the remnant oils and liquids are the special sauce you need to add to your stew anyways!
- I would suggest buying all ingredients the day before or 3 hours before you want to eat. This way you can marinade the chicken for a day or AT MINIMUM marinate it one hour. Don’t be hangry getting to the store only to be marinating and cooking for 2+ hours after.
- Recipe calls for 1.5 cups of water. Just do 1 cup of water to start and then after 15 minutes of cooking see if you need the other half cup or more. You can always add more water if you need but you can’t take away.
- I make a double batch of it so I can have meals for a few days! I need to use two large pans to make two batches though since once batch takes up the entire large pan.
- Make even more than double of the chicken as you can use it for anything over the next few days of meals as well.
- Buy a cast iron skillet. I say this all the time, it is so cheap and you will use it a ton to make your food better, whether it is pan-seared steak or chicken in this case.
Simple Authentic Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Recipe
- 3 lbs Chicken I like a mix of thighs and drumsticks
Chicken Seasoning and Marinade
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced Or use 3 tbsp of pre minced garlic
- 4 stalk scallions/white onions white part only
- 3 tbsp Ketchup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Pepper sauce
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp paprika sub chili powder
- 2 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp brown sugar sub white sugar
- 1 tsp All spice seasoning
- 1/2 tsp ginger fresh or dried
- 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme sub 1 tbsp dried thyme
- All Remnants from marinade Get as much of marinade off chicken as possible
- 1/2 cup Hot water Start with 1/4 and add more if needed
- 1/4 cup Cooking oil, used for cooking chicken Coconut ideal, vegetable or canola are great too
- 1 Large yellow onion Chopped or diced small
- 1/2 Red bell pepper Chopped or diced small. Using 1/2 isn't bad either.
- 1/2 Green bell pepper Chopped or diced small. Using 1/2 isn't bad either.
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine chicken and marinade ingredients in a large bowl or bag and let sit for 1-24 hours. At minimum try to marinade for 1 hour.
- Remove chicken from marinade and try to shake off as much moisture as you can for 2 reasons. 1. You want to use this marinade in your gravy. 2. Frying chicken that is wet tends to splatter a lot more. Normally people tell you to pat dry your chicken, however in this case that would take away some of your marinade coating so... nah, live with the splatter.
- Cut onions, peppers and add those together with everything in the gravy ingredients into your largest pan, everything EXCEPT the hot water and oil, We add those later.
- In a cast iron skillet (can use a frying pan if you don't have), brown the chicken on both sides for 3 minutes at a high heat. You aren't fully cooking the chicken here, this happens in the gravy pan.
- After browning the chicken put it on a plate to the side to rest while you make make the gravy.
- You should already have everything chopped up and combined aside from the water and the oil you cooked the chicken in. Now here is a great secret; When you add the first cup of water, pour it into your chicken oil, swish around and empty into your gravy mix. Yes it will splatter a little, you're fine. Bring gravy to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken to gravy along with 1 cup of hot water. Cover and let simmer at low heat for 30 minutes. Check on the gravy 15 minutes in to stir the chicken around and see if you need to add the extra 1/2 cup of water to the gravy.
- After 30 minutes take off heat and let it stand uncovered for 5 minutes to thicken any extra.... then serve and go to heaven. Can serve this with a salad and steamed rice. If you again don't know how to make rice, Uncle Ben's microwave 90 second rice has your back, basmati, chicken flavor is great or go healthy with whole wheat.