Best Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken is known for its rich, dark brown color and the irresistible aroma that fills the kitchen as it cooks. The key to its distinctive flavor lies in the marinade, which infuses the chicken with a tantalizing blend of spices and herbs.

Best Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

How To Make:

To begin, chicken pieces are marinated in a mixture of Jamaican spices, including allspice, thyme, garlic, ginger, and scotch bonnet peppers. This combination creates a complex and robust flavor profile that is both spicy and aromatic. The chicken is left to marinate for at least an hour, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.
Once marinated, the chicken is seared to develop a deep, caramelized crust. This step not only adds color and texture but also helps to seal in the flavors and juices.
Next, a medley of colorful vegetables, such as onions, bell peppers, and carrots, is sautéed until tender. These aromatic vegetables provide a sweet and savory base for the stew, adding depth and complexity to the dish.
The seared chicken is then returned to the pot, along with the sautéed vegetables, and simmered in a flavorful broth. This broth is typically made with a combination of chicken stock, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and sometimes a splash of vinegar or citrus juice. The chicken is slowly cooked in the simmering liquid, allowing it to become tender and infused with the delicious flavors of the stew.
As the stew cooks, the flavors meld together, creating a rich and hearty sauce that coats the chicken and vegetables. The result is a succulent and aromatic dish that is perfect for serving with fluffy white rice or traditional Jamaican staples like rice and peas.
Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less scotch bonnet peppers, or you can experiment with different vegetables to add your own twist to the recipe. Some variations even incorporate ingredients like coconut milk or brown sugar for a touch of sweetness.

Tips and Variations:

Best Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

1. Adjust the spice level: The level of spiciness in the dish can be adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer milder flavors, reduce the number of scotch bonnet peppers or remove the seeds and membranes before adding them to the marinade. For an extra kick, add more peppers or even include a few dashes of hot sauce.
2. Marinate overnight: For even more flavor, marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the spices and flavors to penetrate the meat and results in a more tender and flavorful dish.
3. Browning the chicken: Take the time to properly brown the chicken pieces before simmering them in the stew. This step helps to develop a rich caramelized crust, adding depth and flavor to the dish.
4. Add Jamaican curry powder: For a twist on the traditional recipe, you can incorporate Jamaican curry powder into the marinade or the stew. This will infuse the dish with additional layers of aromatic and earthy flavors.
5. Use bone-in chicken: Using bone-in chicken pieces, such as drumsticks or thighs, adds extra flavor to the stew. The bones contribute to a richer broth and the meat becomes tender and juicy during the cooking process.
6. Include traditional Jamaican vegetables: Along with onions, bell peppers, and carrots, consider adding other traditional Jamaican vegetables to the stew, such as chocho (chayote squash), yams, or pumpkin. These vegetables will add authenticity and unique flavors to the dish.
7. Experiment with herbs and spices: While thyme is a staple herb in Jamaican cooking, you can experiment with other herbs and spices to customize the flavors. Adding a pinch of ground cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg can add depth and warmth to the stew.
8. Add coconut milk: For a creamy and slightly sweet twist, you can incorporate coconut milk into the stew. It adds a rich texture and a subtle tropical flavor that complements the spices well.
9. Serve with traditional accompaniments: Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken is traditionally served with rice and peas, which is a combination of rice and kidney beans cooked in coconut milk. You can also serve it with plain rice, steamed vegetables, or Jamaican-style dumplings (known as "dumplings" or "spinners").
10. Garnish with fresh herbs: Just before serving, sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley or cilantro over the stew to add a burst of freshness and color.


  • - 2 pounds chicken pieces (bone-in and skin-on, such as thighs or drumsticks)
  • - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • - 1 onion, sliced
  • - 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • - 2 carrots, sliced
  • - 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • - 2 scotch bonnet peppers, minced (adjust to your spice preference)
  • - 2 tablespoons Jamaican allspice (pimento) or a mixture of ground allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon
  • - 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • - 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • - 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • - 1 cup chicken broth
  • - Salt and pepper, to taste
  • - Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Best Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken


1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces, minced garlic, minced scotch bonnet peppers, Jamaican allspice, dried thyme, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well to ensure the chicken is coated evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off, and add them to the pot. Reserve the marinade for later use.
3. Brown the chicken on all sides until golden and crispy, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pot. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
4. In the same pot, add the sliced onions, bell peppers, and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened.
5. Return the browned chicken to the pot with the vegetables. Pour in the reserved marinade and chicken broth. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
7. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
8. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and transfer it to a serving platter. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro.
9. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the sauce for a few more minutes until it thickens slightly.
10. Pour the sauce over the chicken or serve it on the side. This flavorful sauce can be drizzled over rice or used for dipping.
11. Serve the Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken hot with your choice of sides, such as rice and peas, steamed vegetables, or Jamaican-style dumplings.