Easy Jamaican brown stew chicken

Easy Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

Jamaican brown stew chicken is a classic Jamaican stew that is also found in some Caribbean countries. The chicken is tender with a rich, flavourful gravy and it has many layers and depth of flavour. As with most traditional dishes, there is always some kind of variation, each family having their own take on it. Ultimately, it boils down to how good the food tastes and personal preference.

Browning the chicken helps remove excess fat and gives the stew a rich flavour and colour. Brown stew chicken is a one-pot dish that is very easy to make, similar to Jamaican fricassee chicken. It tastes even better the very next day.

About the chicken

You can use chicken drumstick, thigh, breast or whole chicken. Cut the chicken into small pieces and wash thoroughly adding lime juice or vinegar to your water. You can also remove the skin on the chicken except for the skin on the drum stick and wings, then trim off excess fat (This is optional).

washed and clean chicken parts

Don’t skip marinating your chicken, aim for 2 hours to overnight. Before frying the chicken, carefully remove the seasoning marinade. This is an important step because the bits of vegetable stuck on the chicken will burn in the oil while the chicken is frying.

You will then either have to pick the burnt bits out from the oil or they will give your gravy a bitter taste. This is quite different from the caramelised bits of meat at the bottom of the pan after frying the chicken, those ones add to the rich flavour of the gravy.

When marinating your chicken, you can set aside some of the vegetables and add them towards the end of your cooking.

Easy Jamaican brown stew chicken

More about Jamaican brown stew chicken

You can use brown sugar to make your own homemade browning (burnt sugar) although store-bought browning is also made with sugar.

There are other ingredients that can be added to Jamaican brown stew chicken. Depending on your preference, some people add ketchup, which is actually delicious in it, but I prefer to use fresh tomatoes, soy sauce, paprika, turmeric, tomato paste etc.

Use hot water when adding water to your gravy and add it from the sides. As you cook, if the gravy is drying up, add more hot water bit by bit but do not drown the chicken in water and produce a weak tasting stew.

In case you want to thicken your gravy, mash one or more pieces of potato and continue to cook. I wouldn’t suggest a cornflour slurry. Dumplings are also excellent in the brown stew chicken. For the dumpling recipe click Jamaican chicken soup with dumplings.

Also, do not use a non-stick pot for this stew unless that is all you have because a non-stick pot will not produce those caramelized bits at the bottom of the pot after frying the chicken. A cast-iron pot is best.

How to prepare Easy Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

1.5kg Chicken (whole)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chicken seasoning
2 all purpose seasoning cubes
1 teaspoon dry thyme (1 tablespoon fresh thyme)
4 seeds pimento (allspice), crushed (optional)
3 stalks Spring onions, chopped 
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cubed
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 scotch bonnet, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon browning
2 medium irish potatoes
1/2 cup vegetable oil

ingredients for Jamaican brown stew chicken in a plate

Wash and clean chickens (see above).

Put chicken pieces in a bowl, sprinkle salt, black pepper, chicken seasoning, seasoning cubes, thyme and pimento.

Add Spring onions, garlic, onions, green and red bell peppers, scotch bonnet, tomato and browning.

Massage well into chicken pieces. Cover with the bowl cover or cling film. Set aside in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Peel potatoes and cut into four pieces each, set aside.

Scrap off the marinade from the chicken pieces and set aside the marinade.

Pour vegetable oil into pot and place over medium-high heat, when hot, gently place your chicken and potatoes into the oil. Do not overcrowd the oil, fry in two batches.

Remove chicken from oil.

Drain off the oil leaving about two tablespoons of oil behind.

Reduce the flame to medium heat.

fried bits at the bottom of pot used to fry chicken

Pour the marinade with the vegetables into the pot, stir to loosen the bits at the bottom of the pot.

Place chicken and potatoes back into the pot, cover and cook for 5 minutes (until you can see oil).

fried chicken with marinade in a bowl

Rinse out the marinade bowl with one cup of hot water and add to the pot. Stir gently, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Add a further 2 cups of hot water, from the sides, stir gently, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Easy Jamaican brown stew chicken in a pot

Taste and correct seasoning. Take off the heat.

Serve with rice and peas, fried plantains, callaloo (Nigerian ‘green’) etc.

Easy Jamaican brown stew chicken

Jamaican brown stew chicken

gaga
A classic Jamaican stew (Gravy)
Prep Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 kg Chicken (whole)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chicken seasoning
  • 2 all purpose seasoning cubes
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme (1 tablespoon fresh thyme)
  • 4 seeds pimento allspice, crushed (optional)
  • 3 stalks Spring onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper cubed
  • 1 scotch bonnet chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • ½ teaspoon browning
  • 2 medium irish potatoes
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • Wash and clean chickens (see above).
  • Put chicken pieces in a bowl, sprinkle salt, black pepper, chicken seasoning, seasoning cubes, thyme and pimento.
  • Add Spring onions, garlic, onions, green and red bell peppers, scotch bonnet, tomato and browning.
  • Massage well into chicken pieces. Cover with the bowl cover or cling film. Set aside in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
  • Peel potatoes and cut into four pieces each, set aside.
  • Scrap off the marinade from the chicken pieces and set aside the marinade.
  • Pour vegetable oil into pot and place over medium-high heat, when hot, gently place your chicken and potatoes into the oil. Do not overcrowd the oil, fry in two batches.
  • Remove chicken from oil.
  • Drain off the oil from the pot leaving about two tablespoons of oil behind.
  • Reduce the flame to medium heat.
  • Pour the marinade with the vegetables into the pot, stir to loosen the bits at the bottom of the pot.
  • Place chicken and potatoes back into the pot, cover and cook for 5 minutes (until you can see oil).
  • Rinse out the marinade bowl with one cup of hot water and add to the pot. Stir gently, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add a further 2 cups of hot water, from the sides, stir gently, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Taste and correct seasoning. Take off the heat.

Notes

  • Serve with rice and peas, fried plantains, callaloo (Nigerian 'green') etc.
Keyword brown stew, caribbean food, chicken stew

If you enjoyed my Easy Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken, you will also enjoy my  Jamaican Rice and Peas, Jamaican oven-baked Jerk chicken, Jamaican Jerk marinade (sauce), Jamaican Escovitch fish and Jamaican goat curry.

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4 Comments

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  3. The recipe looks lovely but please don’t wash chicken. It’s entirely unnecessary and only results in potentially (probably) contaminated chicken juices being flung all over the kitchen.

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