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.
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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.
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.
Serve and enjoy.
Recipes to serve with:
Other Jamaican Recipes to Try:
- Jamaican Curry Chicken
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- Rum Punch
- Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Callaloo and Saltfish
- Jamaican Banana Fritters
or have a look at all my Caribbean inspired recipes.
Brown Stew Chicken
- 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
- 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.
- 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.