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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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4.95 from 17 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 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons browning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon 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 Tablespoons 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




Shannon

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

This sounds delicious and I want to try it. I cannot eat hot (spicy- like from the scotch bonnet peppers). My husband just always adds hot spice on his plate. How would this recipe be without the peppers cooked in it? Any pepper you could suggest to have flavor without the heat? Thanks for any help you can give.

Tanya

Thursday 21st of October 2021

Hi Shannon, the only spicy pepper would be the scotch bonnet but you could totally just leave it out and it'll still be good.

Bethany

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Did you use whole allspice, or ground? I had this dish a few weeks ago at a Jamaican restaurant, and they called it Pimento. When I looked it up, it said Jamaican whole allspice. Is that the same thing you used?

Tanya

Thursday 21st of October 2021

Hi Bethany, I used ground allspice. Allspice is the berry from the pimento tree, which is why you may hear it called by both names. My parents call it pimento too. But if you're shopping for it, it'll be either "whole allspice", which is the full berry you can crush yourself. Or you can buy the ground allspice.

Tonya

Sunday 17th of October 2021

I made this recipe and it was delicious! Followed the instructions step by step. I only had time to marinate the chicken for an hour and it was sooo good. Next time, I’ll plan properly and marinate the chicken over night as I’m sure it will be even better! Thanks for a GREAT recipe!

Tee

Sunday 3rd of October 2021

I loved stew chicken before I became vegan…..I know some people will flip out over this question but I’m asking anyway…. Can I do this with extra firm tofu? Or cauliflower? All the seasonings are vegan . I was wondering if I can trade out the chicken ,

Michelle Blackwood

Saturday 16th of October 2021

@Tanya, thank you for recommending my recipe, I really appreciate it!

Tanya

Monday 4th of October 2021

Hi Tee, that's not a crazy question at all. You could use either I bet. Also, I know a ton of Vegan Jamaicans that do this quite often. My friend Michelle over at healthier steps has a vegan brown stew recipe with tofu. https://healthiersteps.com/recipe/vegan-brown-stew-chicken/

Courtney

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

I made this a couple of weeks ago my family loved it. Was wondering if I could substitute the chicken for pork? Will it taste as good?

Tanya

Monday 4th of October 2021

Hi Courtney, I haven't made it with pork but I'm sure the flavor would be good. I'm just thinking about if the pork would be tender. Since this cooks in 30 minutes, thin pork chops or cooked pork may work. Please let me know if you try it.