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closeup of brown stew chicken with rice and peas in speckled bowl

The Best Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: Caribbean


There’s nothing like authentic Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken at all. Incredibly flavorful stewed chicken pieces that are braised to perfection until fall-off-the-bone tender in heaps of aromatics and spices. An insanely scrumptious chicken dinner with a taste of flavor-forward ingredients all over, you’ll love this Caribbean favorite!


  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced or 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jamaican ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 89 chicken pieces, I use a mix of legs & boneless/skinless thighs
  • 3 teaspoons browning sauce, I use Grace brand
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 46 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, left whole- do not cut!
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth


  1. Prep & marinate chicken: In a large bowl or gallon-sized ziplock bag, add in the onion, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, brown sugar, paprika, allspice, ginger, and salt/pepper- to taste. Use your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) or a utensil to stir the ingredients together. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and then add the chicken pieces and browning sauce. Use your hands to massage all the aromatics and spices into the chicken, massaging very well to ensure the chicken pieces are nicely coated.
  2. Cover the bowl with a lid/plastic wrap or seal ziplock bag and transfer to refrigerator to allow flavors to marinate for at least 2 hours or- more preferably, overnight (for the best results!). If marinating overnight, just be sure to go back and stir/massage the chicken at least once. This will ensure even flavor marination throughout.
  3. Brown chicken pieces: Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade mixture, shaking off excess onion/bell pepper/scallion bits- but do not discard the marinade, set aside. Set the chicken aside on a medium baking sheet or large plate/platter.
  4. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, dutch oven/braiser; heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, gently swirl the pot around to evenly coat the bottom. Add a few chicken pieces into the pot, working in batches, careful not to overcrowd. Sear the chicken on all sides until a deep brown crust appears, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the browned chicken onto a clean, medium baking sheet or large plate/platter and repeat the process until all the chicken pieces are browned- adding a slick more of oil in between batches, only as needed. Then set the browned chicken aside and reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Add the flavor agents & assemble the stew: Add all the reserved marinade mixture into the same pot and use a wooden utensil to sauté until lightly tender, scraping up any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pot, about 2-3 minutes. Then add all browned chicken pieces back into pot, nestling them right on top of the marinade mixture, along with any residual juices that have collected. Add the carrots, tomato sauce, fresh thyme, bay leaves, scotch bonnet pepper, and chicken stock. Gently stir everything together until well combined.
  6. Stew the chicken: Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the chicken to stew for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, covered- until the chicken pieces are meltingly tender and falling off the bone.
  7. Adjust stew gravy, if needed: Discard the herb stems, bay leaves, and scotch bonnet pepper from the pot. If you’d like to thicken the stew liquid in the pot, place over medium-high heat. Cook, gently stirring, for a bit until the liquid reaches your desired consistency. Afterwards, taste and adjust with more salt/pepper, as desired.
  8. Serve this brown stew chicken immediately. I love serving this brown stew chicken in shallow bowls alongside some rice and peas (and plantains, too!) with extra stew gravy poured right over it all. Enjoy!


  1. For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning.

Keywords: brown stew chicken, jamaican brown stew chicken, jamaican food, caribbean food, stew chicken, one pot meal, one pan meal, chicken dinner