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Jamaican brown stew chicken

By BaxterStorey 06 Oct 2023

´╗┐Recipe submitted by Denise, a Specialist Knit Technician at Central Saint Martins for Black History Month ­čąś

Denise's story: "´╗┐It was one of my favourite dishes my mother cooked when I was growing up. She didn't use ready made browning sauce in her stew but instead used to brown sugar in the oil before adding the chicken, which always gave off a distinct aroma. If I smell it now it always immediately takes me back to my childhood."

´╗┐Prep time: ´╗┐15 mins

´╗┐Cooking time: ´╗┐50 mins

´╗┐Serves: ´╗┐3´╗┐


  • ´╗┐770g chicken
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 spring onions (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • ´╗┐1/4 green bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1/4 red bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 small tomato (diced)
  • 1/4 Scotch bonnet pepper (seeds removed & finely chopped)
  • 4g grated ginger
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 5 Pimento berries (allspice)
  • 1.5 tbsp all-purpose/chicken seasoning (salt free)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp browning sauce
  • ´╗┐2 tbsp ketchup (optional)
  • Chicken stock cube
  • 3-4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 355ml water´╗┐


  1. ´╗┐Dissect and clean the chicken (remove the skin & fat) and wash it in water with vinegar and lime/lemon juice. Drain as much excess water from the chicken as possible, dry and chop into small pieces.
  2. Season the chicken with the chicken/all-purpose ´╗┐seasoning, salt and browning sauce. Add the onion, garlic, spring onion, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, pimento berries and ginger (or use half a tbsp of green seasoning - see tips below). Rub all of the ingredients into the chicken and evenly coat. ´╗┐Top tip: ´╗┐for maximum flavour, leave to marinate for at least an hour.
  3. Separate the onion, thyme, spring onion, garlic and pimento from the chicken. This may take too much time so don't try to separate every piece. If you are using green seasoning instead, you can bypass this step. 
  4. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown on all sides. Turn the heat down if needed so the chicken cooks before all sides are brown.
  5. Pour away the oil, leaving a tbsp in the pot. Add the water, onion, spring onions, garlic, thyme, pimento, scotch bonnet pepper (the ingredients you separated earlier), bell pepper, tomato, salt, chicken stock cube and ketchup. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. At this point, taste the sauce to see if it's flavoured to your liking. 
  6. ´╗┐Cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes. 
  7. Serve! ´╗┐

´╗┐Top tips...

  • ´╗┐Use more ´╗┐Scotch bonnet if you like your food spicy. 
  • Consider using less all-purpose/chicken seasoning if yours isn't salt-free.
  • The use of ketchup is to thicken the brown stew sauce and add a hint of sweetness. If you prefer not to use ketchup, use a small amount of cornstarch to help thicken the sauce and a small amount of brown sugar or honey for the sweetness.
  • If you want to avoid the step of separating the onion, spring onion, garlic, thyme etc. from the chicken after you marinate it, use a blended green seasoning. However, you will still need chopped onion, garlic etc. when making the brown stew sauce.
  • Instead of water, you could use chicken broth; this way, you don't have to use the chicken stock cube. Jamaicans usually use ´╗┐Maggi stock cubes. 


Find more delicious recipes at @ualcatering

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