Thursday, May 31, 2012

Brown Stew Chicken

Along with curry chicken, oxtail or curry goat, Brown Stew Chicken is at the top of the list on any Jamaican household dinner plate, any day of the week.

I haven’t met anyone that’s tried it that didn’t ask for more. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and heat, if ofcourse you’re into that J

To cut back on prep time, I always ask my butcher to chop up a whole chicken, in small pieces, or aka curry style… All butchers know what that means.

Once you get the chicken home remove the skin and clean the pieces thoroughly and then wash it again with a bit of fresh lemon juice. (a habit I picked up from my mom as child, the lemon is suppose to take away the raw chicken smell)

The best way to perk this dish up to its full potential is by marinating it overnight, letting all the seasoning come together in perfect brown stew harmony.

A lot of people add tomatoes and potatoes to the mix, (the tomato for sweetness and the potato also act as a starch to thicken the sauce when fully cooked) but I opt out of adding anything else and just enjoy the chicken my way.

If chicken is on the menu for dinner tonight take a chance and make this chicken recipe, serve it with some rice or plantains, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

1 lb whole chicken, chopped up
2 tablespoon chicken seasoning
2 tablespoon total seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
Salt to taste

2 tablespoons browning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks green onion, chopped (escallions)
3 -4 sprigs fresh thyme or 3 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon pimientos or 1 teaspoon allspice, cracked
3 tablespoons ketchup or tomato paste
A piece of scotch bonnet pepper (optional or use 2 teaspoon pepper flakes)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups water

Thickening Sauce
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup water


  1. Season the chicken with minced garlic, paprika, chicken seasoning, black pepper, total seasoning, chopped green onions, onion, thyme, pimentos and browning, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, get in there and make sure the meat is seasoned all over.

  1. If possible place seasoned chicken in refrigerator overnight to marinate.  If not; season, cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. 

  1. Place a small amount of only the chicken in the skillet to lightly brown (just a few pieces at a time, and can be done in 2 batches)

  1. Once the chicken is browned on one side, flip on the other side to brown also (depending on your heat, it should be about 3-4 minutes on each side)  

  1. Once the chicken is brown on both sides, remove to a plate to rest and repeat the process with the rest of the chicken until all the meat is browned.

  1. Do not discard the marinade; it will be used when the chicken is almost done cooking.

  1. Once all the chicken is browned on both sides, add them back to the skillet with any leftover marinade and the rest of your seasoning (scotch bonnet pepper, garlic, green onion, thyme, pimentos) and stir in 1 cup of water.

  1. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes on med high heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

  1. After 15 minutes, add another cup of water and ketchup or tomato paste, cover and let cook.

  1. Add more water (1/4 cup at time) ONLY if necessary so it doesn’t stick, until the chicken is tender.

  1. Now lets’ thicken it up. Turn the heat down to medium-low

  1. Mix ½ cup of cold water with 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour; make sure there are no lumps.

  1. Add mixture to pot stirring while pouring it in.

  1. Sauce should begin to thicken immediately, Cover and let simmer to until the sauce is at your desired thickness.

Serve over rice and enjoy.

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