Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Recipe - Delishably - Food and Drink
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Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Recipe

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

Discover how to make brown stew chicken the Jamaican way.

Discover how to make brown stew chicken the Jamaican way.

I had no idea that Jamaican food was loved by so many people!

This dish is brown stew chicken, a Jamaican classic that is extremely popular. It is made mostly on Sundays, especially by those living in the countryside.

Some of the ingredients for brown stew chicken.

Some of the ingredients for brown stew chicken.

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 pieces of chicken
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stalk scallion, chopped
  • 1 nice bunch thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite meat spice (mine is the dry jerk spice)
  • 2 pinches of salt (Use less salt if you are hypertensive or omit it altogether.)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar for rinsing the chicken
  • water

Instructions

  1. First, remove skin and rinse the chicken in a bowl with the vinegar and 5 cups of water. Pat dry or drain and return to a dry bowl.
  2. Add scallion, onion, and garlic to the bowl with your favorite spice, salt, soy sauce, and thyme. With clean hands, massage this seasoning into every piece of the chicken until it's all well coated. You can do this the day before cooking and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, but you can also cook it immediately.
  3. In a skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium. Shake off the onion, garlic, and scallion pieces from the chicken and reserve them in the bowl with the marinade.
  4. When the oil is smoking, add each piece of chicken. Brown well on all sides. When all pieces are very brown, add reserved seasoning to the pot and cover, reducing flame to medium/low.
  5. After 5 minutes, add 2 cups of water to the bowl, swirl to pick up the leftover spices, then add this mixture to the chicken and increase the flame to medium again.
  6. Cover and let simmer until the gravy has been reduced to about 2/3 of a cup. Stir and turn the pieces once or twice.

This recipe goes extremely well with rice and peas. See the recipe for Jamaican Rice and Peas here.

Photo Guide

Chopping the vegetables and spices.

Chopping the vegetables and spices.

The completed dish.

The completed dish.

Variations and Additions

Now, there are a few variations to the brown stew chicken that Jamaicans love. Some people like their sauce a bit thickened and will add flour, cornstarch, or ketchup to thicken it.

  • To thicken with flour: After browning all the pieces of chicken, remove them from the pan. Add 1/2 tablespoon flour to the oil and stir. I prefer whole wheat for this because it's less starchy and pasty. Allow the flour to get slightly brown; what you are actually making is a roux. Slowly add water while stirring. Add the chicken pieces and reserved seasoning.
  • To thicken with cornstarch: Follow the recipe as usual. When the sauce is reduced by about 1/3, dissolve 1/2 heaped teaspoon of cornstarch in a little water and stir it into the sauce. Let it cook until thickened to your desired consistency.
  • To thicken with tomato ketchup: When I use this method, I prefer to burn the ketchup in the oil a little to reduce the tangy flavor of the vinegar. I add the ketchup after removing the chicken pieces from the oil. Fry it a little until it's bubbly and starts to get a bit darker. Add the chicken pieces and seasoning, then the water, and stir. Some people add the ketchup after adding the water for the sauce. They would then add a bit of sugar to help balance the flavor.
  • You may also use chopped tomatoes to help thicken the sauce instead of any of the above.

What to Add to the Stew

Additions (choose one):

  • Diced potatoes
  • Sliced carrots
  • String beans
  • Green peas

Comments with links will be moderated and approved by discretion of author. Only external links may be accepted.

Katrena on August 11, 2019:

Mmmm my house smell delightful it even made my 11 yrs old son come out of his room I cant wait to put it over some rice. Thank you Carolee!!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on July 28, 2016:

Hi Natale, I'm glad it turned out well. Thanks fro stopping by :)

Natalie njumesone on May 18, 2016:

cooked this last night.. Hmm just how I remembered when I was a child.. Now with two children of mine own under two.. It's gonna be a regular at our dinner table ... Easy so much so I'm gonna do the fish receive for tomorrow

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 04, 2016:

You are welcome! Thanks for trying my recipe.

Kimberly on April 04, 2016:

I just have to say, this is my first time trying this and it was excellent! Thank you for your contribution to the food world....lol!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on December 29, 2015:

Hi Cori, two and a half cans of coconut milk is too much. Because the coconut milk is so rich, it takes longer to dry out from the rice and will make the rice a bit soggy. One can of milk can go for up to 2 or three pounds of rice. Next time use a can or less.

Cori on December 28, 2015:

I made this and the rice last week. I'm about to make it again minus the rice. It was soooo good. Me and my daughter ate all the left overs. The rice was delicious as well but a little soggy (my fault). I used canned coconut milk and red beans. Was I supposed to add water to loosen the milk? I used about 2 1/2 cans.

Jamie on June 11, 2015:

We LOVE this chicken! I now make it once a week!!!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on May 19, 2013:

Thanks Kevin. I hope you do give it a try to let men know if you like it.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on May 19, 2013:

Thanks Missy Mac, I really hope you like it. Let me know how it turns out.

Kevin Peter from Global Citizen on May 19, 2013:

'Brown Stew Chicken Jamaican Recipe' sounds very great. I felt like having the dish when I saw the pictures you have included in the hub. It looks so yummy! I will soon try making it. You have included the instructions very orderly and in a simple manner. Thanks for this special recipe.

Missy Mac from Illinois on May 18, 2013:

When I saw the word Jamaican Chicken, I was interested. I will try this recipe. This looks delicious and I love trying different dishes.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on May 13, 2013:

Hi Rebecca, Thanks. The photo has lost some of its resolution when I edited to add the text and frame...lol. I do hope you give it a try.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on May 13, 2013:

I would love to try this. I will get motivated by looking at the luscious photos!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 05, 2012:

Thank you Renee21, I really hope you try it.

Tori Leumas on November 05, 2012:

This recipe looks yummy.

DoJamaicaYourWay on August 29, 2012:

Great job Cardisa. Easy to follow and great pictures. I am getting hungry as I am typeing! Thanks for sharing!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 12, 2012:

Hello Kerrie, you can print this recipe and use it is the most popular Sunday dinner in Jamaica. There is also a jerk chicken recipe on my blog along with other Jamaican recipes. caroleeskitchen.blogspot.com

kerrie on August 12, 2012:

hey i really love jamican food and want to know how to make a jamican chicken dinner but don't know the ingredients lol any help please x

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 10, 2012:

Thank you Abeer, have a great day!

Abeer Abu Daya from Al Sharjah, Ash Sh?riqah, United Arab Emirates on August 10, 2012:

I love chicken dishes, and dish looks delicious

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on June 02, 2012:

Rhys, I want to thank you for returning and telling me how your dishes turned out. I am so please and thank you for finding me! Thanks you so much and I do hope you enjoy my other recipes as well.

Rhys on June 02, 2012:

Hi ,

Thanks for the recipe! I cooked it tonight (my first attempt at Jamaican food), and absolutely loved it! I also cooked the rice and peas, which were delicious.

I'm from the UK, where I used to get my chicken and rice fix from a Jamaican mum, but have moved to Sydney now and there is no Jamaican food available anywhere here!!

I'm glad I have found your site and will be trying your other recipes in the weeks to come :) Thanks!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on May 12, 2012:

You are welcome Marinade for Barbecue.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on May 01, 2012:

Hi Sophronia, I do know people who use the sugar but we don't like it at home. I have use the brown sugar to make browning before too...lol Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a wonderful evening.

SophroniaSang on May 01, 2012:

I make a different variation of the brown stew chicken. Well, not that much different. I use brown sugar to attain the color as well as a bit of sweetness. You would think i was diabetic the way i tend to sweeten my foods. sigh.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 24, 2012:

Hi Editorsupremo, love the patois....lol. I am just now realizing how popular Jamaican food is. Thanks for visiting. Have a great day!

editorsupremo from London, England on April 23, 2012:

Cardisa, 'gyal, de worle love Jamaican food!' Brown Stew Chicken is a favourite in my home, especially on a Sunday when I cook the whole West Indian food 'shabang' including, stew chicken, rice and peas and fried plantain wid a lickle side salad! Irie!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 18, 2012:

Welcome to my humble space Yaad Man, I hope you like it and find an empress soon too.

yaad man on April 18, 2012:

look like yu find a winner babes. as a single man i will be trying this.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 16, 2012:

Hello SgBrown, I am honored that you are sharing my recipe, thank you! Thanks for stopping by also and I hope you enjoy.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on April 16, 2012:

This recipe sounds and looks delicious! I have been looking for something different to try with chicken, this is it! Voted up, useful and sharing on my Around the World with Recipes blog. Have a wonderful day! :)

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 15, 2012:

Hey Rochelle, I hope you like it. I am making some today! Have a blessed Sunday.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on April 14, 2012:

This looks like a winner-- (I'm going to print it, since we can't bookmark.) Glad I saw this on Pinterest, I missed it the first time on HP

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 13, 2012:

Hi Thelma, HP took away the bookmarker. Thanks for reading and commenting. I do hope you try it and let me know how you like it.

Have a great day.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on April 13, 2012:

Yummy! I would love to bookmark this but I can not find the bookmark word. Well, I'll just come back again. Voted up and useful. Take care.

cattleboyz from Alberta, Canada on April 05, 2012:

This looks great, I so need to try this soon! Thanks!

http://www.cattleboyz.com/

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 04, 2012:

Hi Eatforcheaper, I hope it goes well this trip. Thanks for visiting my hubspace and leaving a comment. Let me know how it turns out.

eatforcheaper from London on April 04, 2012:

Awesome. I love this dish it's one of my favourites. I'm 1/4 Jamaican and over the years I've been getting into my Caribbean cooking and putting my own style into it. I once made the recipe a few years ago and it went horribly wrong (I think the measurements were out). I will try this and follow your recipe this weekend, thanks :)

William Butler on April 02, 2012:

Thank you very much.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 02, 2012:

Hi William, I do have a recipe for that. Kindly look through my hubs in my profile page, I did one a couple weeks ago. It is "How to make Jamaican Jerk seasoning and sauces". Just click on latest hubs and you will see it in the list.

William Butler on April 02, 2012:

Hi, i was wondering if you have a recipes for the dry jerk you talk about so much ?

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on March 30, 2012:

Thank you Keri, that's great and okay with me. I will check the hub out.

Keri Summers from West of England on March 30, 2012:

Cardisa, I've written a Hub about HubPages and the positive international aspects, and I've mentioned this Hub as an example of some great international culture sharing. I'm linking back to here, I hope this is okay. Thanks!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on March 04, 2012:

Thank you Keri! I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes the internet is great!

Keri Summers from West of England on March 04, 2012:

Cardisa, in a little corner of the County of Wiltshire, South West of England, this evening, there was a little piece of Jamaica, as my husband and I enjoyed Brown Stew Chicken. Don't you just love the internet? Love, KS.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on March 01, 2012:

Hi Will, my handsome cowboy. I hope you like it.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on March 01, 2012:

I have to try this! Whoa!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on March 01, 2012:

Hi Keri, you will love it. Jamaican food is quite tasty. We use a lot of spices and ingredients but the turn out is usually great.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on March 01, 2012:

Hi Shimmering Dawn, thank you so much for your visit. I really hope you enjoy it.

Keri Summers from West of England on March 01, 2012:

I'm going to make this on Sunday! I've been looking for some new flavours to cook with, and it looks like Jamaican is next! Great Hub.

Dawn on February 29, 2012:

Sounds yum! Maybe I should try it soon! Have a blessed day. Peace!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 29, 2012:

Thanks DeBorrah, I hope you try it. It's pretty easy to prepare.

Have a great day.

DeBorrah K Ogans on February 29, 2012:

Cardisa, This sounds tasty and easy! Yummy! Thank You for sharing! Peace & Blessings!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 28, 2012:

Hello PeggyW, thank you so much for stopping by to read the ingredients. I really hope you enjoy this. Have a great day and thank you for sharing.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 28, 2012:

Your mouth-watering picture of this brown stew chicken made me want to read the ingredients. This sounds delicious! Will have to give your recipe a try. Thanks for posting this. Voted up and will tweet so others can also enjoy this.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 28, 2012:

Hello Viking305, thanks for stopping by. I hope you like it too. Stop by and tell me how it turned out. Have a great day.

L M Reid from Ireland on February 28, 2012:

I do love all dished made from chicken I will give your Chicken recipe a go and see if I like it. It does sound and look delicious.

Thanks for SHARING. Up and awesome

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 28, 2012:

Thanks Cooking4love. Have a great day.

cooking4love on February 27, 2012:

Love spicy foods/dishes - thanks for sharing Cardisa

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 27, 2012:

Hi Eddy, it's wonderful seeing you! Let me know how you liked it. Thanks for stopping by.

Eiddwen from Wales on February 27, 2012:

Another for me to Bookmark Cardisa;i will let you know how I got on;take car and have a great day.

Eddy.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 27, 2012:

Just contact me thought the contact link on my profile page under my photo.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 27, 2012:

Hello Cookingrecipes, welcome! I hope you do try is. It's pretty easy to make and tasty too. Thanks for stopping by.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 26, 2012:

Hey Maggie, you are just going to love it! Thanks for stopping by.

Maggie-May on February 26, 2012:

Hi there friend, I know what I'm making next Sunday...thanks for sharing this wonderful looking and sounding delight!!!

MM

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 26, 2012:

Hi Dexter, that would be some restaurant. I know it would do well. Thanks my friend.

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on February 26, 2012:

Cardisa! I think you should open a restaurant there! Or come to the US and open one. I would go into business with you! Great, great hub!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 26, 2012:

Thanks Capedium, I hope you try it. It's really delicious.

Ov Overo from Oklahoma on February 25, 2012:

Yummy.... Make me wanna have super power.. lol!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

I hope you like it! Have a great weekend.

Gypsy48 on February 25, 2012:

I will definitely give this recipe a try. It looks very tasty!(and now I'm hungry )

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

You are welcome :)

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Hi Turtlewoman, yes Jamaicans have fallen in love with soy sauce because it has a nice flavor. Originally we used what we called browning which was basically burnt molasses, but I hate the flavor.

In some cases we use paprika or sometimes the spices will have some coloring (I don't use those).

Thanks for stopping by.

Sushmita from Kolkata, India on February 25, 2012:

Thanks, I will give it a try.

Kim Lam from California on February 25, 2012:

Cardisa this looks very similar to something I've made recently...I didn't know Jamaican dishes can be similar to Vietnamese dishes? (I noticed you used soy sauce)

Well it looks absolutely delicious...now I'm hungry!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Hello Savanahl, Thanks for visiting my hubspace! Jamaican food has become so popular, even I am surprised.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Hi Sen.sush23, you can substitute the jerk spice for your favorite spice. The jerk spice is just my preference. Some people will use Adobo, Mr. Dash or a chicken bouillon or other chicken or meat spice. I hope you like the rice and peas.

savanahl on February 25, 2012:

Wow this looks delicious. I've never had Jamaican food before but this recipe looks easy enough. Thanks for sharing.

Sushmita from Kolkata, India on February 25, 2012:

Cardisa, I have never cooked Jamaican style chicken. I love this recipe, except that I am not sure of the contents of an authentic dry jerk spice. Let me see if you have a recipe here. Meanwhile, I am off to read your pea and rice and then try it tomorrow. Voted up. :)

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Thanks Cclitgirl. I hope you get a chance to make it and like it too!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on February 25, 2012:

Oh man, Cardisa, you've got my mouth watering! I'm bookmarking this hub because I'm so tired of the usual chicken recipes. This hub is AWESOME!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Hi Donna. You can also use olive oil and less even though 4 tablespoons aren't a lot. Thanks for stopping by.

Donna Cosmato from USA on February 25, 2012:

This sounds great, and I'm on the lookout right now for different ways to fix chicken for my hubby, who has just become a "statistic" - a heart patient! Thanks for the tip on omitting the salt:) Voted up.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Alastar, being Lacto-Vegan is a good lifestyle change because you will still be getting the necessary nutrients from dairy. Not eating meat is not a problem for me as I often go long periods without it. The man in my house can't seem to go more than a couple days without meat so I have to make it. Thanks for sharing my friend and thanks for the compliment.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Hi Gordon, that must be rum punch you are talking about or pimento rum. The truth is, I had no idea that people loved Jamaican food so much and I personally have been taking it for granted.

I have to thank my fiancé because without him around I would probably be making some fancy dishes from Europe. He insist on having his Jamaican food and I cannot make anything else for him.

Thanks for stopping by Gordon.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Hey Miss Exotic, I am keeping both comments. thanks for making the 600!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Hi Curiad, it is delicious and am sure you will love it! Thanks for stopping by.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 25, 2012:

Hey Linda, can you imagine Holle's recipes and mine in the same place. We would make a whole lot of dough...lol...lol excuse the pun.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on February 25, 2012:

Cardisa your the Jamaican Jewel of so many things and now I add recipes to the list. I kid you not when I say your brown stew chicken recipe is enough to make me want eat chicken again! Lacto-vegan in the making here in case you're wondering. However, I do know many a folk that eat the chicken and so will post this scrumptious one to the FB and vote up!

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 24, 2012:

Hi, Cardisa

This sounds absolutely delicious and I really hope you will continue with more Jamaican recipes.

My first experience of Jamaican food was when I first lived in London and my ex wanted to go to the Notting Hill Carnival. I initially said that there was no way I was going, come Hell or high water, as it was just a riot - so she said fine, she would go on her own...

Emotional blackmail in a sense but of course I went with her - and I loved it! I tried proper Jamaican jerk chicken for the first time and it was amazing. I also tried a particular spiced rum drink that I wish I could remember the name of but can't. I was assured by a lovely old Grandma lady that it was pure Jamaican and I remember my ex and I drinking it with the lady in what turned out to be her front garden!

Look forward to more of your recipes!

Gordon

ExoticHippieQueen on February 24, 2012:

I don't know what's happening to my comments. Everything is on a delay tonight. Your recipe looks excellent and pretty simple to put together. I'm planning on trying it this weekend. Voted up and awesome!

ExoticHippieQueen on February 24, 2012:

This recipe not only looks delicious but does not seem difficult to put together. Hey, I think I'm #600! Voted up and awesome!

Curiad on February 24, 2012:

This sounds excellent, I have to try this!

Voted Up

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on February 24, 2012:

I'll be a regular customer at yours and Habee's restaurant!!! Great photos and easy to follow recipe. Well done!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 24, 2012:

Hi Kelly, it's pretty easy once you have the ingredients. I am sure you are going to love it. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 24, 2012:

Holle, I do believe we would make a lot of money! I think that Jamaican food is influenced by Southern and Cajun cuisine. Thanks for stopping by.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on February 24, 2012:

That sounds and looks delicious! I can get all those ingredients - I'll let you know how it goes over here - don't see how I can miss! Thanks:)

Holle Abee from Georgia on February 24, 2012:

OMG! I have a belly full of ribs, and this brown stew chicken still has my mouth watering! The two of us need to open a restaurant! With your Jamaican recipes and my southern cooking, we'd have a hit. Voted up.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 24, 2012:

Hey Jackie, how have you been?

Thanks for reading and commenting so fast. I really hope you try this. Omit the salt. I only added the salt because most Jamaicans don't like to cook without it but I usually omit the salt since the soy is kinda salty. I know you are going to love it.