Updated: Jul 7
This is a classic Jamaican stew made with chicken, aromatic spices, and vegetables which creates a boast worthy taste! It's one you'll want to add in your rotation of meals for sure!
This picture is not just about the absolutely yummy stew chicken, but about the pot used to cook it! This type of pot is called a "Dutch Pot" or "Dutchie". It's a staple in the Jamaican culinary culture, and found in many kitchens whether living in Jamaica or abroad. It is a thick iron cooking pot, with a tight heavy lid; and some believe the secret behind great-tasting authentic Jamaican dishes. I feel it is also important to note that these kinds of pots are extremely loud, and some use them as noisemakers during times of celebration! It also means there's no sneaking into the pot, without everyone in the house knowing! But enough of the pot, let's talk chicken...!
What is Brown Stew Chicken?
It is an extremely warm and comforting Caribbean Stew, where the chicken has been marinated in aromatic spices, braised down, an complimented with a delicious savoury gravy. The major key, and ingredient in this dish is the Browning. It is a natural food colouring sourced from a blend of caramel, vegetable concentrates and seasonings, commonly used in Caribbean households. This sauce is what's used to deepen the flavour and colour of this dish.
Recipe Tips and Notes
Marinate your Chicken - combine all the ingredients for the marinade, and ensure you massage it well into your chicken so the flavours can meld together and penetrate.
Braise your Chicken - before allowing your chicken to slowly simmer in the liquids, you want to braise all sides of your meat until browned, it creates a lovely texture on the outside while ensuring the inside remain moist and tender.
Make it a Meal - add in pieces of potatoes and carrots to turn this dish into a one-pot meal.
Pairs well with, Rice & Peas, Fried Plantain, Steam Veggies, Ground Provision i.e. Yams and Potatoes
Now let's get Cooking!
Here's what you need...
1 Whole Chicken chopped into small pieces
1 Medium Onion chopped
3 Cloves Garlic minced
1 Stalk Scallion
1 -2 Sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp Browning
1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Paprika
½ tsp Pimento Seeds crushed (Allspice)
2 tsp Packed Dark Brown Sugar
3 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
½ Medium Red Bell Pepper julienned
½ Medium Green or Yellow Bell Pepper julienned
1 tbsp Ketchup
1 tbsp Soya Sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp Salt or to taste
2 tbsp Cooking Oil
Prepare chicken and cut into smaller pieces.
In a large mixing bowl or plastic storage bag, combine chicken, onions, scallions, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, browning, brown sugar, all spice (pimento), paprika, salt, black pepper, and scotch bonnet. Season chicken, and allow to marinate overnight.
Over medium high heat, heat oil in a large dutch oven or skillet. Remove chicken from marinade (leaving larger pieces like bay leaves, thyme etc. in the mixing bowl), braise each side until browned approx. 5 - 6 min. Reserve marinade.
Once chicken pieces are browned on all sides, stir in the stock and reserved marinade. Cover pot and bring all the ingredients to a boil, approx. 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove the lid, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer. Adding in bell peppers, ketchup and soya sauce if needed.
Cover and cook until the chicken is very tender and the sauce has reduced by half, about 30 - 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Remove bay leaves, scotch bonnet pepper, scallion stalks, and thyme sprigs.
Serve hot & enjoy!
a. If you realize your sauce has not thicken up; in a small bowl combine a mixture of 1tbsp cornstarch, 1tbsp water and add to pot.