The Jamaican brown stew chicken recipe is one of the tastiest ways to serve up a big pot of flavorful and tender chicken. This dish combines tender fall-off-bone chicken parts deeply simmered in a tasty and rich braising liquid.
Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Recipe
Jamaican brown stew chicken is a slow-cooked, savory dish packed with flavor and is most often served over rice and peas. The ingredients are simple, but the resulting taste is complex and satisfying.
Brown stew chicken is a recipe made of chicken marinated in warm spices, vegetables, and aromatics, forming a flavourful and rich brown gravy base.
This is one of my favorite meals I make because it’s so versatile and makes great leftovers. It’s also perfect for serving at dinner parties or family gatherings because it can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how many people are eating!
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The most important thing about brown stew chicken is its rich flavor which is as a result of the gravy. The gravy is where the magic happens with brown stew chicken — The gravy is what makes this meal so delicious!
The brown gravy is a unique and complex sauce that is made with a mixture of herbs, spices, and other seasonings. It’s more than just a simple blend of ingredients: it’s a savory combination of flavors that is meant to complement the chicken perfectly.
The gravy itself is usually made by browning the meat in oil. This gives it a deep caramelized flavor that will make your mouth water. It’s best to make this dish ahead of time so that the chicken can soak up all of the flavors.
Browning sauce makes your food taste better.
Jamaican browning sauce is a staple of Jamaican cooking. It is a thick, dark brown sauce that adds a rich flavor to your meal. It’s used to give stews and sauces a browned look.
It’s easy to make, and you can use it to add a little extra depth of flavor to so many different dishes. All you need to make this sauce is brown sugar and water. I have a detailed recipe on how to make the Jamaican browning sauce here.
The best part about browning sauce is that it goes with almost anything! You can use it as a marinade for chicken, beef, or fish.
Brown Stew Chicken Ingredients
Use the following ingredients for making authentic Jamaican brown stew chicken. They are inexpensive and easy to find. You probably have most of them.
- Chicken: You can use any chicken cut. You can use boneless/ skinless or bone-in/skin-on chicken. I used ten pieces of chicken cut in this recipe.
- Sauces: You need browning sauce and tomato sauce. You can also add hot sauce if you want the stew to be spicy. Browning sauce gives the chicken a caramel and hue color that gives a beautiful appearance to the stew. Tomato sauce thickens the stew.
- Spices: This recipe is filled with warm spices like smoked paprika, ground allspice, black pepper, fresh thyme, and bay leaves.
- Seasonings: Use chicken bouillon powder, kosher salt, and black pepper to season the stew chicken.
- Veggies/herbs: For the chicken, you need yellow onion, bell pepper, scallions, and garlic cloves. For the stew, carrots and bonnet pepper are essential ingredients. The veggies add flavor and texture to this Jamaican brown stew chicken.
- Oil: I used vegetable oil for this recipe. You can also use canola oil as an alternative.
- Chicken stock or broth: Adds extra chicken flavor.
How to Cook Brown Stew Chicken
Brown Stew Chicken is all about slow cooking. It features braised chicken pieces cooked in a flavorful stew with veggies, spices, and herbs. You know that amazing flavor you get from slow cooking? Well, this is all about it!
- Season: Wash the chicken, pat dry with a paper towel, and season well.
- Marinate: Leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cook: Brown the chicken on both sides (remove from pan), add the marinade, and stock to deglaze the pan. Add the veggies and peppers, and return the chicken pieces to cook until they become tender.
Leftover Storage Instructions
If you have leftover brown stew chicken, store it in an airtight container, and store it in the fridge. It will last for about 3-5 days. Make this stew ahead, and it will keep well in the fridge. You can also store it in the freezer for up to six months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat the stew on the stove-top on medium-high heat when ready to eat it. You can also use the microwave to warm it thoroughly.
Where can I buy browning sauce?
Although I used my homemade browning sauce, you can also buy it in some stores or online. I love the homemade version because it is cheaper, easy to make, and healthier, with no additives or preservatives. With brown sugar, salt, and water, you will make a perfect condiment for your brown stew chicken recipe, pot roast, or Jamaican Oxtails.
Why does my Caribbean brown stew chicken taste bitter?
If your stew is bitter, you must have used too much browning sauce. If it is too much, it will overpower the stew’s taste and make it bitter.
Is brown stew chicken spicy?
Yes, this brown stew chicken recipe version is mildly spicy because of the scotch bonnet. Feel free to adjust the spiciness by reducing the scotch bonnet. You can also add hot sauce to increase the spiciness.
How to Serve Easy Caribbean Brown Stew Chicken
This versatile, hearty, and flavorsome dish tastes great when served with: Jamaican rice and peas, west African coconut rice, Rice and beans, instant pot brown rice, fried plantain, roasted green beans, dumplings, breakfast potatoes, and crispy French fries.
Other Delicious Stew Recipes:
- Nigerian Beef Stew
- Ethiopian Chicken stew
- Nigerian Chicken Stew
- Catfish Stew
- Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, and Eggplant stew
- Hearty Salmon Stew
- Spinach Stew
- Turkey Stew
Brown Stew Chicken
For the Chicken:
- 8 to 10 Chicken pieces
- 2 teaspoons browning sauce
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt & black pepper or add to taste
- 1 yellow onion medium size [chopped]
- 1 bell pepper large size [chopped]
- 4 scallions chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons oil plus more as needed
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 carrots medium size [chopped]
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
- Hot sauce if desired
- Wash the chicken very well with water and lime juice if desired. Pat dry with a paper towel
- Season the chicken: Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the browning sauce, paprika, ginger, allspice, bouillon powder, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to massage the spices on the chicken, making sure all the chicken pieces are well coated.
- Add the veggies and herbs: onion, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf.
- Marinate; Mix well, cover with a tight-fitting lid or a plastic cover and leave the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat; remove the chicken pieces one at a time from the marinade mixture, shaking off the excess vegetables and herbs on the chicken, but leaving the marinade behind. Place the chicken in the skillet. You can work in batches so as not to crowd the chicken.
- Brown the chicken on both sides until a deep brown crust appears, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the browned chicken and set aside.
- Add all the reserved marinade mixture to the same skillet. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly tender.
- Add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan, then stir in the carrots, tomato sauce, hot sauce, and scotch bonnet.
- Simmer until tender: Return the chicken pieces to the skillet and any collected residual juices. Cover the pot and cook on medium-low for 30 to 45 minutes or until the chicken pieces become fall-off bone tender. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve over white rice or rice and peas with plantains. Don't forget to discard the scotch bonnet, bay leaves, and thyme stem.