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Brown stew chicken recipe

Brown stew chicken recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken breast

A warming spicy Jamaican chicken stew; sooo yummy! Serve with boiled rice and my spicy steamed vegetables.

62 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 tablespoons all purpose seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons chicken seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 4 chicken breast fillets, diced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 red Scotch Bonnet
  • 1 knob butter (optional)

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:2hr ›Extra time:20min marinating › Ready in:2hr40min

  1. In a bowl combine 2 tablespoons all purpose seasoning, 2 tablespoons chicken seasoning, 2 teaspoons pepper and chicken fillets and rub the chicken all over with the spices. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan or wok until hot. Fry your chicken on all sides, turning occasionally until dark brown then remove from the oil and set aside. Drain the oil from the pan.
  3. Into the same pan, add the onion, peppers, spring onions and Scotch Bonnet (whole). Cook and stir for a few minutes until the onions have softened then add the chicken back in. Pour in just enough boiling water to cover, then add the remaining seasoning and stir.
  4. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to medium, cover and allow to cook for 2 hours or until the chicken is tender and falling apart. Remove the lid and allow the sauce to thicken. When ready to serve, remove and discard the Scotch Bonnet then ladle stew over rice or vegetables.

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Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

Welcome to the very first village recipe!! I’ve been teasing about village recipes for over a year now and the very first one is here!! Wondering what the heck is a village recipe? You can find out (and join in on the fun) about village recipes here.

Today it’s all about this BOMB Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken.

Anytime I go to a Jamaican restaurant I always get either jerk chicken or brown stew chicken. However, I’ve only tasted a few brown stew chicken dishes that were actually full of layers of bold flavor. I’m talking about the kind where you can taste the smokiness from the browning sauce, the lingering heat from the scotch bonnet pepper, and essence of that fresh thyme. Ahhhhh, amazing.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I’ve been playing around with this recipe for a while now. I’ve used tips and tricks from “the village” aka you guys and this is by far my favorite brown stew chicken I’ve ever tasted! I’m not just saying that to flatter you guys either!

Make Your Own Browning Sauce, Like For Real!

To start this recipe we’ll be making a homemade browning sauce aka burnt sugar. I LOVE the idea of using coconut palm sugar (thanks for this Charla) for this recipe. You can certainly use brown sugar, which is what I usually use whenever I’m making Southern dishes that require a browning sauce. The coconut palm sugar just made so much freakin sense with this recipe though. Yes, you can cheat and buy browning sauce if you don’t feel like smoking up your kitchen (because man it gets smokey) but promise me you’ll only get one with all-natural ingredients. Most store-bought kinds can taste really weird and chemically.

Rinse The Chicken…In Lime Juice!

I’ve heard several times that I MUST rinse the chicken in water and fresh lime juice before starting because that’s what happens in most Jamaican households. I usually rinse my chicken in salt water so using fresh lime was nice and the chicken seemed to enjoy their spa bath. They looked clean and smelled so fresh afterwards lol. I think I’ll start using fresh lime from now on.

That Chicken Marinade Tho!

This step is super important because it adds so much flavor to the chicken. Season it well!! You don’t have to go with my blend listed. You can use your favorite smokey all-purpose seasoning. I went with brown sugar, smoked salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Nothing too fancy yet delicious! I halved my vegetables and added half of them to the seasoned chicken along with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Refrigerate overnight. I do 24 hours if I have time.

Brown the Chicken

Searing the chicken creates a nice crispiness to the skin. This avoids the skins having that rubbering texture that stew chicken seems to always get. You could also just remove the skins but I really like them! Don’t cook the chicken when browning it though! Just get that pan crazy hot and quickly brown the skins. I accidentally burned the skins on a few pieces of chicken and found that I really liked the texture, once stewed! Ha! Whodathunkit!

Creating A BOLD Sauce

The final part is creating that rich, flavorful sauce! We’re gonna do that by sauteing the remaining fresh veggies (not the ones in the marinade). Chicken stock replaces the water, and ketchup, more browning, fresh herbs, and the other half of scotch bonnet pepper simmers to create a fresh, bold sauce. The key here is to play it up to your taste buds once you have the basic recipe down.

Thicken the Sauce or Nah

From all of my test recipes, I discovered that I didn’t really like having a thick, gravy-like sauce. I chose not to thicken the sauce since I liked the thickness it had simply from simmering away with those peppers but you can certainly cook in some flour, cornstarch or even breadcrumbs to get the sauce to your desired thickness. Totally a personal preference here!

Now Just Enjoy!

After your chicken has simmered away in that delicious sauce it’s probably falling-off-the-bone tender. Use more salt (you HAVE to add salt to bring out all the flavors of the sauce!), garlic powder and a pinch of ginger to awaken all of those fresh ingredients we used. Add more fresh herbs as a garnish if desired. I served this brown stew chicken with cabbage w/mixed vegetables, coconut rice & beans (rice and peas) and mini cornbread muffins. Oh and a glass of Southern sweet tea on the side ha! Hey, you can take a girl from the south but you can’t take the South from the girl!

The Great Debate: Real Authentic Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

As with any traditional dish, you will ALWAYS have different variations. I mean here in the South, everyone claims to have the best and authentic fried chicken recipe and buttermilk biscuits. After viewing so many comments about Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken I can see that same passion is alive and well with this dish and I LOVE IT! Some folks say use ketchup, others say don’t! Some folks say thicken the gravy, some folks say never! Some folks say to use only scotch bonnet and pimento peppers, some say use a variety of bell peppers! Ha! I can already tell I’m going to enjoy the village recipe series!!

Thank you all so much for helping me create our very first village recipe! It’s a hit! I’ll be announcing the next village on the village recipe page!

Brown Stew Chicken

When anyone talks of brown stewed chicken, I’m ready to eat.


3lbs Chicken, cut in pieces and skin removed wash in lime n salt
2 tbs green Bajan seasoning
1/2 tsp Black pepper
2 tsp Sugar
3 Large cloves garlic, minced
2 stalk chives finely chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 Large onion, chopped
1/4 each, Red and Green bell pepper, chopped
1 sprig of thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp Pepper sauce
1 Tbsp Tomato ketchup
2 cups Hot water
1 tsp salt (to taste)


Cooking Tip: Wash the chicken and make sure to dry it with a paper towel to remove any water before frying.

1. Season chicken with chicken seasoning, black pepper, garlic and green seasoning. Marinate the chicken overnight of at least one hour before cooking.

2. place a pot on the stove at high heat, Add the oil and sugar let it brown for 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken and brown on all sides for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned completely. careful not to burn. add onion, garlic, chives, and peppers stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add thyme, hot pepper sauce, tomato ketchup, and 1 cup of hot water to the pan and stir taste the gravy and add 1 tsp of salt, if needed let boil for 15 minutes.

Add 1 more cup of hot water and turn heat to low and cover the pan.

Simmer chicken for 45- 55 mins or until it is tender and the gravy has thickened.

How to Make Brown Stew Chicken

First, rinse your chicken with some vinegar and water. I&rsquom sure some will wonder why. This is just a rule from my mom and almost anyone from the Caribbean. So I do it. No questions asked.

Place your chicken pieces in a bowl along with the brown sugar, browning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, paprika, dried thyme, black pepper, allspice, garlic cloves, ginger, onions, and peppers. That&rsquos a lot, but oh so necessary if you want those deep flavors. Mix ingredients, making sure the chicken is fully covered. Cover and place in the fridge and allow the meat to marinate for at least 1 hour. If you can, allow it to marinate overnight.

When ready to cook, remove the onions, peppers, garlic, and ginger from the chicken and place in a separate bowl.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil, and then add chicken pieces and brown on each side, for about 2 minutes.

Remove chicken and add reserved seasonings to the pot and sauté until softened, for about 5 minutes.

Add chicken back to skillet along with chicken broth, water, and ketchup. Bring mixture to a simmer and cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, to reduce the gravy.

Brown Stew Chicken

Jamaican brown stew chicken is a sweet, tangy, sticky Caribbean chicken recipe that is made all the time in Jamaican homes. I had always wanted to learn how to make this dish so I sweetened up my uncle to teach me. It was so easy, I find that I make it for my family all the time. The best thing when making this recipe is to soak the chicken overnight in a Chinese mushroom soy sauce, this will give the chicken time to saturate itself with all the flavor. Some people like to add tomatoes and potatoes to the mix, but I opt for those out and just have the chicken and spinners, which are little boiled dumplings.

Like I mentioned before this chicken takes absolutely no time to make, just serve it with rice, plantains, or hardo bread. If chicken is on the menu for dinner tonight take a chance and make this chicken recipe, I promise you won’t be disappointed!
I always ask my butcher to chop up a whole chicken, in small pieces, or aka curry style… All butchers know what that means. Wash and clean your chicken. Chop a lemon and squeeze on chicken to clean.

Season the chicken with garlic powder, black pepper, garlic powder, chopped garlic, chopped green onions, and soy sauce.

Place in refrigerator overnight.

I haven’t been able to find this sauce anywhere in Orlando, but was fortunate enough that my Uncle brought me a bottle.

If you do not plan on cooking chicken the following day then just place in airtight ziploc bag and place in the freezer. I always do this along with curry chicken so when I need it it’s there.

In a large rimmed skillet heat oil on medium high heat. Start frying the chicken in batches. Do not discard the marinade form the night before. We will use it at the end again.

Flip the chicken pieces so that all sides are cooked.

Once the first batch is finished browning, remove the chicken and place into a dutch pot. By removing the first batch of browned chicken and placing it in the dutch pot, all of the juices will start to run out of the chicken, which will be used to make the yummy gravy.

Continue browning the remaining chicken pieces and placing them into the dutch pot to drain.

Once all the chicken is cooked change spots on the stove top. Add the left over marinade of the chicken from the night before along with 2 cups of water. Allow the chicken to boil for 15 minutes.

Once you see the chicken almost finished cooking, add a little salt, sugar, and ketchup. Cover and let simmer.

It’s spinners time… love these.

Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and stir until you have a stiff, smooth dough. Roll the pieces into cylinders, drop them into the simmering stew and boil.

What to use instead of chicken?

Because we are making a vegan version of the classic brown stew chicken, you won’t be using chicken meat for the purpose. Instead, we can use any of the following ingredients:

  • Tofu: Tofu is made from condensed soy milk and is rich in plant-based protein.
  • Seitan: It is a perfect meat substitute for vegan dishes. You can also use it for this dish. However, it is not gluten-free.
  • Cauliflower: Although I have used tofu for this dish, you can also use cauliflower florets as a protein.

Grenadian Chicken Stew

This Grenadian chicken stew is made with bone in chicken legs, vegetables and lots of flavorful spice. It's the perfect Caribbean chicken dish.

Yield: 2-4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 65 minutes

Total Time: 80 minutes


  • 6 chicken legs, skin removed
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for topping (optional)


In a large bowl add chicken, carrots, garlic, onion and bell pepper. Mix together.

Sprinkle on curry powder, smoked paprika, oregano, kosher salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the whole mixture in seasoning.

In a large pan (I used my 3.5 quart braiser pan) add sugar over medium high heat. Keep an eye on the sugar and watch it start to melt and slowly turn from clear to golden brown to dark amber brown. You have to keep your eye on the sugar as it can go from perfectly caramelized to burnt in a few seconds.

Once the sugar is dark amber in color (think the color of maple syrup) add in the chicken and just enough chicken stock to reach the top of the chicken without totally covering it.

Stir in ketchup, cover with a lid and let simmer over medium heat until the chicken is fall off the bone tender and fully cooked, about an hour. The mixture will cook down so if it starts to get dry and the chicken is not fully cooked simply add a little more stock.

Once full cooked sprinkle with cilantro and serve plain or overtop rice.

Disclosure: I teamed up with Pure Grenada to attend the Pure Grenada Nutmeg Festival free of charge and was paid for my time in Grenada. As always, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me as I continue to work with brands I love.


If you don&rsquot have browning sauce you can make your own by burning sugar in the skillet. To do this you cook brown sugar in a skillet until it melts to almost like a syrup consistency. Add boiling water (slowly) after it&rsquos melted and constantly stir to a thinner sauce consistency.

Cut the pieces into smaller pieces. This makes for a faster cook and makes it easier to brown all parts of the chicken.

Habanero can be substituted for scotch bonnet. You can dice the chili and add to the marinade. Alternatively you can cut slits into the sides of a whole chili and place in the skillet during cooking.

Wash the chicken in something acidic like lime juice or cider vinegar.

For a quicker easy weeknight version try this instant pot brown stew chicken recipe.

What is brown stew chicken?

Brown stew chicken is a common dish found throughout the Caribbean, most notably Jamaica. It&rsquos essentially caramelized chicken pieces that are stewed in a flavorful brown sauce made from burnt sugar. It is the sauce that gives the dish its name and during cooking renders that delicious dark brown gravy.

I cheated in this version. Rather than making a burnt sugar-based brown sauce in my instant pot, I substituted a recent jerk bbq sauce recipe I created. Though it&rsquos lacking in those burnt sugar nodes, it packs mucho gobs of flavor and maintains that dark brown color.

Brown Stew Chicken

Caramelized Chicken thighs are stewed in a delicious brown sauce. This is a popular dish throughout the Caribbean Islands. A few tweaks made this the perfect low carb comfort food.

Related: I get all of my grass fed beef and pasture raised chicken from Butcher Box. Read my honest review here.

You might have noticed that I like to cook with chicken thighs. That might be because they are juicy, full of flavor, and versatile! For this Brown Stew Chicken you could use chicken thighs or legs. Either would be delicious!

This is not traditional brown stew chicken but I think it is pretty close. A few things that are different…I used swerve instead of brown sugar to caramelize my chicken and I didn’t use ketchup.

Also, brown stew chicken is typically very spicy because it calls for a scotch bonnet pepper. A scotch bonnet pepper is SUPER hot to me so I opted to skip that little step. In its place I was going to add a red chili pepper but my local grocery store didn’t have any. If you are not a cry baby like me, then go for the scotch bonnet.

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My first order of business was taking my chicken thighs and pulling off the skin. The skin will just get flabby and that’s never good!

I then dumped my chicken in a bowl with the chopped onion and red bell pepper, minced garlic, lime juice, dried thyme, soy sauce, and ginger. Then mix, mix, mix!

Let this marinate for about and hour.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, I added the swerve sweetener. The sweetener will start to melt and turn dark. At this time, I added the chicken (make sure to shake off any excess marinade) and I got that seared on both sides. Move the chicken around with some tongs to wipe up all of that caramelized sweetener.

I then removed all of the thighs from the pan and added the reserved marinade/vegetables to the pan. I let those sauté until they were tender.

I then added the tomatoes, chicken, and the broth to the pan.

Let that simmer for about 20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through.

How to thicken brown stew chicken?

For thickening I would choose a cornstarch slurry (if not following low carb) or xanthan gum for low carb. The cornstarch needs to be mixed with cold water, poured into the sauce, and brought to a boil. I would do 2 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold water. Fo the xanthan gum…sprinkle 1 teaspoon over the hot liquid and whisk until dissolved.

Most people serve this with rice or potatoes, but I would do Microwave cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower!

This brown stew chicken was easy, flavorful, hearty, and super delicious!


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