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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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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
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blog post.

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.

Watch this video tutorial and see how I make this brown stew chicken from start to finish.

brown stew chicken in pan
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4.85 from 65 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




Vanessa

Friday 15th of April 2022

Hi I'm going to make this tomorrow. I had it on the beach in Jamaica and was the best chicken I've ever tasted. I'm in uk what is browning please? Only thing I can find is gravy browning. Thanks

Tanya

Monday 18th of April 2022

Hi Vanessa, there's a link in the recipe card to the browning sauce I use. Gravy browning, like Kitchen Boquet or Gravy master, will also work.

Sue

Saturday 9th of April 2022

What can I replace for the scotch bonnet and can I use kitchen bouquet in place of browning sauce. Thanks

Tanya

Saturday 9th of April 2022

Hi Sue, yes, you can use kitchen bouquet in place of the browning. For the scotch bonnet, habanero pepper is the closest sub. You could also leave them out if you're not a fan of spice. I've also had some people use jalapeños.

Marc Moore

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Hello there 😁. I made this Stew for the first time two weeks ago and it turn out so good by following your recipe.😋I just loved it so much I'm going to make it again this coming weekend for my friend it will be done just in time to watch Soccer Championship. But thank you for sharing this great Tasting Chicken Stew. I really appreciate it 👌🏾👍🏾😁

John

Thursday 14th of April 2022

@Marc Moore, Add corn and potatoes makes it hardy and delicious

Nicolai

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Jamaican brown stew chicken is a regular in my rotation. This is definitely in the top 3 that I've made. I usually switch up recipes or just make my own recipe on the fly but this one is a keeper. Sooooo delicious

Tanya

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Thanks so much Nicolai!

Shakeba

Friday 4th of March 2022

Tried this recipe on Sunday and I’m about to make it again because it wears sooooo good. Nothing compared to the lousy way I’ve made it in the past. My daughter requested it and because I have a Hatian bf now I knew I had to come hard with it. We all loved it. This is going on my stash of recipes and the instructions were really easy to follow. I didn’t have chicken broth and just water instead.

Tanya

Friday 4th of March 2022

Thank you Shakeba! So glad you all liked the recipe :)