Jamaica Independence Day is celebrated on August 6th annually. This day became a national celebration in 1962 when Jamaica became independent with full dominion status in the Commonwealth, under a constitution that retained the British monarch as head of state. The first elected Prime Minister was Alexander Bustamante. To celebrate, let’s enjoy this authentic Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken recipe from Jamaican Foods and Recipes.
If you love chicken you will love this authentic Jamaican brown stew chicken recipe. The chicken is lightly fried, then braised down in a nice savoury sauce, which you can pour over your rice or whatever you are serving with this chicken dish. Packed with flavour from traditional spices, this mouthwatering dish will be a favourite with the whole family.
See also: Raise a Glass to National Prosecco Day
Just like Jamaican curry chicken, the chicken is de-skinned, washed with lime and chopped into small pieces, seasoned and cooked down in a tasty sauce.
Your brown stew chicken will taste bitter if you have added too much of the browning sauce to the chicken. The browning sauce is made from caramelised sugar, and too much makes whatever you are cooking taste bitter.
If instead, you used brown sugar to brown the chicken and the stew tasted bitter, it is because you burnt the sugar for too long before adding the chicken.
Follow the recipe below, and you won’t have a problem getting your Jamaican stew chicken tasting great.
- Whole Chicken: Use the whole chicken when making brown stew chicken, which means the chicken back and breast is in the finished dish. As the chicken is cooked for more than 30 minutes, the breast may be a little chewy for some. If you don’t want this, use chicken pieces. Also, skin-less chicken works better for this dish.
- Powder seasoning: Use chicken, poultry or all-purpose seasoning.
- Jamaican flavour: Scallion, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper add that “Jamaican” flavour to the dish. If you use fresh or dry thyme, it doesn’t matter as you will still get the Jamaican flavour.
- Bell pepper, onion, tomato, garlic: The traditional vegetables are included in the sauce. These are cooked really soft so you can barely see them when the stew is finished.
- Pimento (allspice), ginger, and chicken stock/broth.
In a nutshell, brown stew chicken is made by browning chicken pieces, then braising them in a savoury sauce with vegetables thickened with ketchup.
- Remove skin: After washing the chicken with lime and vinegar, remove the skin. This dish is best with skin-less chicken.
- Season well: Season with salt, chicken seasoning, scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, scallion, thyme, pimento, and browning sauce.
- Marinate: For maximum flavour, leave to marinate for at least an hour.
- Prepare to cook: Once you are ready to cook, separate the marinade from the chicken but do not worry about trying to get this perfect. Just separate the bigger pieces of onion, scallion, thyme etc.
- Brown chicken: In a large pot that has a lid, heat enough oil over medium-high heat. In batches, cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, until nice and golden.
- Prepare the sauce: Add water, bell pepper, tomato, chicken stock, salt, ketchup and the marinade you separated earlier. Once the liquid is hot and starts boiling, add the chicken.
- Let it simmer: Cover the pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Chicken basically goes with anything, whether it is fried or brown stew. What you serve brown stew chicken with depends on the day you are serving it. If having it for Sunday dinner, you might serve it with rice and peas. Any other day serve it with any other rice dish.