This Deeply flavorful, rich and down right addictive Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken starts with chicken that has been intensely marinated in a variety of aromatic spices then braised down in the best savory liquids resulting in the most comforting Caribbean style stew you can imagine!!
I’d like to have it been said that my personal diet does not strictly consist of all things sugar, thank you very much. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t shy away from a slice of leftover pie for breakfast but I’m also a sucker for all things savory.
Some of the best recipes I adore originate from the Caribbean: the spice blends jampack all of the food with layers of flavor. Having spent time in a ton of places in the Caribbean including Jamaica (I’ve visited Ocho Rios!), I was able to taste firsthand the incredible food they have to offer. Jamaica residents have come from around the globe, bringing with them the cooking techniques, flavors, spices and recipes of their homelands and blending them with the bountiful harvest of this tropical island. The result is some of the most flavorful cuisine in the Caribbean.
Perks & Highlights
Cuisine Inspiration: Jamaican/Caribbean
Primary Cooking Method: Stewing
Dietary Info: High Protein, Gluten-Free (ensure soy sauce used is gluten-free if necessary)
Key Flavor: Savory with a balance of sweet, spicy, and umami undertones
Skill Level: Intermediate
Deeply Flavorful: Marinating the chicken ensures deep penetration of flavors, making every bite richly satisfying.
Hearty and Wholesome: Packed with protein and infused with a medley of spices and veggies, this stew is not just tasty but also a well-rounded meal.
Perfect for Any Weather: Comforting in the cold, yet light enough for warmer months, brown stew chicken is a year-round favorite.
Meal Prep Friendly: This dish tastes even better the next day, making it perfect for leftovers or meal prepping for the week ahead.
Family Recipe: Rooted in tradition, this recipe isn’t just about food, but also about bringing family together and creating memories over shared meals.
This Brown Stew Chicken recipe isn’t just a dish, it’s a cultural experience. Each spoonful transports you to the sun-soaked shores of Jamaica, where food is made with warmth, soul, and a little bit of island magic.
What is Brown Stew Chicken?
Brown Stew Chicken is a classic Jamaican stew made with chicken, vegetables and a heavy amount of aromatic spices. The end result is tender chicken, flavorful and rich brown stew gravy and a wonderfully scented kitchen.
One of my dear friends and brothers, Lazarus Lynch, recently released an amazing cookbook called “Son of a Southern Chef”. We met a few years while filming Unique Sweets on Cooking Channel, and he has been my lil bro ever since. He is such a special and unique soul that always makes me happy whenever I spend time with him. He can also cook his booty off!
In the book he utilizes his childhood experiences to recreate recipes that are not only delicious but also take us for a trip down to the Caribbean and back. Today, I’m gonna walk you through his recipe for Brown Stew Chicken that doubles as one of my favorite comfort foods.
How to Make Brown Stew Chicken Recipe
The most important piece of this recipe is marinating your chicken so that the spices truly penetrate. Combine your onions, scallions, garlic, brown sugar, browning sauce, thyme, paprika, ginger, chili powder, one teaspoon salt and half a teaspoon of pepper in a gallon-size plastic storage bag.
Add in the chicken and massage it, fulling coating your meat and then allowing it to refrigerate for at least two hours (overnight if possible).
Note: For this recipe, Laz recommends using boneless skinless chicken however I used whatever chicken was in the fridge and it still turned out amazing!
When your chicken is close to being done marinating, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and heat your oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Lay your chicken on the baking sheet, pat off excess marinade from your chicken and allow to sit for ten minutes. This allows the chicken to come closer to room temperature and avoid the chicken from seizing when it hits the hot oil. That means dry chicken people.
Fry your chicken in batches until all sides are a deep golden brown on all sides, it should take about ten minutes. Once your chicken is done add in the rest of your ingredients along with the reserved marinade.
The stew should cook with the lid on for about forty-five minutes. Be sure that the sauce has reduced by half and then season to taste.
What is Browning Sauce? How to Make Browning Sauce?
Browning sauce is a Caribbean sauce made with the following:
- Cane sugar
It is a sauce that many Caribbean inspired dishes calls for. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor, and it adds a gorgeous dark color to sauce, meats and stews according to my bro Laz.
The brand suggested for this recipe is the Grace brand which is labeled as “Browning”. No need to make your own unless you have time but if you want, combine the ingredients above and make your own for some extra homemade goodness.
What are Substitutes for Browning Sauce in Recipes?
If you cannot find Grace above and you must have a substitute, use the brand Kitchen Bouquet. However, do not confuse browning sauce with Worcestershire sauce. That is not an acceptable sub for this recipe.
What to Serve with Brown Stew Chicken
Brown Stew Chicken is best served over rice and peas, which I also just posted today from Laz because you need both for a wonderful Jamaican style meal. They are like two “peas” in a pod.
Also serving with fried plantains is wonderful as well and maybe a slice of my Pineapple Rum Cake. When all is said and done, you’re left with a comforting plate of Caribbean flavors that will transport you to an island vacation with every bite.
More Amazing Comforting Recipes
- Smothered Pork Chops Recipe
- Smothered Chicken Recipe
- Southern Collard Greens Recipe
- Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Curry Chicken
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- Fried Plantains
- Jamaican Rice and Peas
Brown Stew Chicken
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 bunch of scallions chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp browning sauce
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme chopped
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken pieces
- 3 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1/2 cup ripe tomato chopped
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 3 dried bay leaves
- Rice and Peas recipe found here
- In a gallon-size plastic storage bag, combine onions, scallions, garlic, brown sugar, browning sauce, thyme, paprika, ginger, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and massage the marinade into the chicken, tossing well to evenly coat. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 hrs or overnight.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and lay them on the baking sheet. Pat off excess marinade with paper towels. Set aside for about 10 minutes. Reserve marinade.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Working in batches if needed, add the chicken to the hot oil and fry, turning it occasionally, until deep golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total.
- Once all chicken pieces are golden brown, stir in the stock, reserved marinade, carrots, tomatoes, ketchup, allspice and bay leaves.
- Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the chicken is very tender and the sauce has reduced by half, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves.
- Serve the chicken with rice and peas recipe which you can find HERE