Jamaican brown stew chicken

There is this Jamaican food stand that cooks authentic Jamaican food near us. The meat is cooked on a barbecue to give it that real smokey flavour. Whenever we are nearby, we cannot help but grab some jerk chicken, brown stewed chicken or goat curry. As it is a popular stand, we get whatever food is left because there isn't always a choice. Even though we can make it from home, this stand is really good. If you have a stand near you, then fantastic, but here you will learn how to make Jamaican food from home. 

Real Jamaican brown stew chicken originated in Jamaica. Whilst it is slightly less famous than jerk chicken, it is eaten regularly. Typically, it is eaten as a main course throughout the English speaking Caribbean islands.

The term brown stewed refers to how most ingredients are individually browned, from the onions, meat, garlic and peppers. The browning of the chicken typically comes from cooking it with brown sugar, and although this recipe doesn't have it for health reasons, you can add it if you want to. Browning is another popular Jamaican ingredient made from burnt brown sugar that helps to achieve the brown colour. This recipe serves 4-6 people.

The stewed chicken is juicy, tender, and smokey from being cooked on a real fire. Cook the meat on the bone for extra flavour. I like to sprinkle chilli flakes and brown sugar to garnish.

The Caribbean spices combined with the touch of chilli adds a lot of flavour but not too much spice. You can swap out the red pepper for colourful carrots and potatoes if you want to. Chunks of potato taste amazing, similar to the potato you get in saag aloo. You can have this perfect winter warming meal as a lunch or dinner. Serve with Jamaican coleslaw and rice with peas for the best combo. But feel free to have it with other combinations like; chips and corn on the cob or mashed potato and vegetables. 


  • chicken legs, thighs breast (16 pieces)
  • Lemon juice (1)
  • Salt (1/2 tsp)
  • All-purpose seasoning (2 tbsp)
  • Black pepper (1/2 tsp)
  • Chicken seasoning (2 tsp)
  • Vegetable oil (400ml) 
  • Spring onions (3)
  • Onions (2)
  • Scotch bonnet chilli (1) 
  • Garlic clove (1)
  • Red pepper (1/2)
  • Green pepper (1/2)
  • Knob of butter 


Remove the chicken skin from the pieces of meat, then rub lemon juice all over the chicken to remove traces of the skin. Place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle over the salt, all-purpose seasoning, black pepper and chicken seasoning.

Rub the seasonings into the meat to give it a good flavour, then place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes or if you have time overnight for a better flavour. Heat oil in a large casserole dish 

Remove the chicken from the seasoning and reserve some for later. Gently fry 8 pieces of chicken on each side until browned (will take about 5 minutes.)

Remove the chicken and discard most of the oil. Return the chicken to the pot and add the reserved seasoning, the deseeded chilli, peppers, garlic, onions, and spring onions. Pour in 450ml of water, the butter, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid has become a gravy, then serve with rice and peas. 

Frequently asked questions 

Is brown stewed chicken healthy? 

Jamaican brown stewed chicken is not the healthiest food you could eat, but it can be eaten as part of a healthy balanced diet. The reason being is because consuming lots of meat means that you are eating lots of fat, frying the meat in oil only adds more fat to it. 

Healthy ingredients such as chilli, peppers, garlic, and onions can provide some health benefits. We would say that if you are going to be eating brown stewed chicken, you should make sure to serve it with a salad. 


Featured products

handcrafted antares panpipes from Peru
Antares Bamboo Pan Pipes
Sale price£15.00
quena andean flute with colourful case
Quena Andean Flute
Sale price£60.00
coconut thumb piano kalimba
Kuta Thumb Piano Kalimba (7 note)
Sale priceFrom £15.00