Brown Stew Chicken is an inherent Jamaican classic. In this dish, seasoned chicken is first browned for flavour before being added to sautéed onions and garlic, and being stewed with carrots and sweet peppers. The flavour quartet of pimento berries, thyme, spring onion and scotch bonnet pepper, so quintessential of Jamaican cuisine, is what sets this dish apart from other chicken stews.

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Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Recipe

Serves: 4-6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 3 hours to overnight
Cooking Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 kg skinless chicken portions (legs or thighs or a mix of the two)
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp all purpose seasoning
  • 1 tbsp chicken seasoning
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 spring onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 sweet pepper deseeded and sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp scotch bonnet pepper sauce
  • 3 pimento berries
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Place the chicken portions in a large bowl. Add the garlic powder, all purpose seasoning, chicken seasoning, salt, pepper and thyme and mix well. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but overnight would be better.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan using a high heat. Scrape the thyme from the chicken portions, but put the thyme aside for later. Fry the chicken in batches for around 3 minutes on each side until they are a nice deep brown colour. Place the browned off pieces in a plate and set aside whilst you brown of the next batch. I use my trusty 28 cm Anolon Sauté Pan for this as it has a big enough area to brown the chicken in larger batches and it is also deep enough to hold the gravy that this dish will produce. Click here for more details on the pan.
  3. Once all the chicken has been browned add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, don’t worry about any brown crust that has formed on the bottom of the pan from the frying, just scrape this and mix it into the oil. On a medium heat sauté the onions and spring onions until they are translucent.
  4. Add the garlic, sweet peppers, carrots, scotch bonnet sauce, pimento berries and thyme from the marinade and stir well before adding the chicken back to the pan.
  5. Add the water and the butter. Cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes until the gravy has reduced.


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