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Brown Stew Chicken

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This Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken is full of Caribbean flavor and a perfect main dish for any day of the week. It’s the perfect stewed chicken dish when you want to have a taste of the islands.

brown stew chicken in pot with blue towel behind it

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We had brown stewed chicken quite often growing up and it quickly became one of my favorite stew recipes. It was on a weekly rotation in our house and we would have it more often than we had these amazing oxtails

Brown stew chicken takes a little more time than most traditional stew recipes you will find. The meat is washed and then marinated in “seasoning” which includes chopped aromatics and a few dry seasonings. The meat is then lightly browned on the stovetop or in the oven, and then stewed for about 30-40 minutes until the meat is fall off the bone tender. 

I’ve ventured from my parent’s recipe by using boneless and skinless chicken, mainly because I’m not a fan of chicken skin in stew. You could use chicken with skin and bone on it, just expect to cook it longer. 

How to Make Brown Stew Chicken

First, rinse your chicken with some vinegar and water. I’m 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’s 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. 

raw chicken with peppers, onions, and other seasonings in glass bowl

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

two glass bowls, one with peppers and onions and the other with raw chicken

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

chicken being browned in pan

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

peppers and onions being browned in pan

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.

chicken pieces cooking in pot

Serve and enjoy. 

Recipes to serve with:

Other Jamaican Recipes to Try:

or have a look at all my Caribbean inspired recipes.

brown stew chicken in pan
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5 from 11 votes

Brown Stew Chicken

This Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken is full of Caribbean flavor and a perfect main dish for any day of the week. It’s the perfect stewed chicken dish when you want to have a taste of the islands.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean
Keyword brown stew chicken, jamaican brown stew chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 people
Calories 626kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp browning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 spring onions chopped
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • ½ red pepper chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet seeds removed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

  • Add chicken, brown sugar, browning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, paprika, dried thyme, black pepper, allspice, onions, green pepper, red pepper, scotch bonnet, garlic cloves, and ginger to a bowl and mix, rubbing seasoning into the chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Remove peppers, onions, garlic, ginger and thyme from chicken and set aside. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add chicken, brown for about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove chicken and add reserved onions and peppers to the skillet 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. Serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • Brown stew chicken is traditionally cooked with a whole chicken that has been chopped into smaller pieces. Feel free to skip this by using chicken thighs or legs.
  • With any stew, dark meat works best as chicken breast can overcook and dry out. Dark meat also has more flavor. I generally opt for chicken thighs, chicken legs, and chicken wings when it comes to this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 626kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 222mg | Sodium: 1154mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 818IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




SOFIA Huff

Sunday 25th of July 2021

This recipe was great. The family loved it.

Michy

Sunday 11th of July 2021

I love the website I cooked the brown stewed chicken today and it smells and taste great this is my 2nd recipe I used the first one was the curry chicken and it also came out great. Thank You for sharing

Charmaine

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

I had to comment so that you know I just cooked this, rather successfully, and it is absolutely delicious! This is my first attempt at cooking it and I haven’t eaten it in years. I’m far away from home and have, lately, been feeling the urge for comfort food from my island. This hit the spot! So, I’ll be making my way through your other recipes and will try to update you on my progress. 😂 Thank you so much.

Tanya

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

So glad you liked the recipe Charmaine :)

Donna Ryles

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

What is browning sauce?

Will

Friday 11th of June 2021

@Donna Ryles, basically you melt down brown sugar and then add water to it

Tanya

Saturday 5th of June 2021

It's a dark sauce used to add color and a little flavor to dishes. I've linked to the kind I use in the recipe card.

Togeedah Petersen

Saturday 22nd of May 2021

Hello. I haven't made your recipe yet, but I think I have an answer as to why chicken is washed in a water and vinegar solution. I live in Cape Town, and my aunt used to say you wash it in water with a little bit of vinegar to remove any bacteria on the chicken, especially when you're marinating the chicken. So maybe that's why your family does it?

Tanya

Monday 24th of May 2021

Yup, I think that's why they do it but I'll admit that the bacteria gets removed when the chicken is cooked. I think it's so ingrained in the tradition that we're instructed to wash it. We're also instructed to fully disinfect our kitchen sink and surrounding areas when handling chicken, so I have no problem washing it.