Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken


This brown stew chicken is delicious served over steamed rice with green peas, garnished with fresh thyme. I've wanted to make this for a while since I love braised or stewed chicken recipes, especially ones with similar ingredients as jerk chicken. While I might make a few adjustments next time, this came out amazingly well.

Prep Time:
40 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs


For the Marinade:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup sliced green onions, white and green parts separated, divided

  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon minced habanero pepper

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 8 (5 ounce) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

For the Rest:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 1 pinch kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • cup ketchup

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 cup sliced carrot

  • 1 cup quartered baby bell peppers


  1. Whisk together garlic, white parts of green onions, brown sugar, thyme, habanero, vinegar, ginger, salt, pepper, paprika, and allspice in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Make 2 cuts, about 1-inch apart, into the skin side of each thigh, perpendicular to the bone, cutting all the way down to the bone. Add chicken thighs to marinade; mix until evenly coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate, at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. If possible, flip thighs several times while marinating.

  3. Remove chicken from marinade. Scrape off any chunks of marinade from chicken into the bowl and reserve for later.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the chicken all over, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to the marinade bowl; set aside.

  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt; cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon brown sugar and cook until onions are dark brown and caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes more.

  6. Add chicken broth, ketchup, and bay leaves to the pan; bring to a boil. Add carrots, bell peppers, browned chicken thighs, and reserved marinade.

  7. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender and no longer pink in the center and sauce has reduced and thickened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Skim excess fat that floats to the top; baste chicken occasionally with sauce.

  8. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in green parts of green onions.

    close up view of Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken in a bowl with rice, vegetables and herbs
    Chef John

Chef's Notes:

If you prefer a less sweet flavor profile, use only 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in the marinade. You can get away with marinating the chicken for only 4 hours, but longer is better.

You can use diced tomatoes instead of ketchup, and any seasonal vegetables that you like.

If the chicken finishes cooking before the sauce reduces, remove the thighs and keep them warm while the sauce continues to simmer. If the sauce reduces and thickens before the chicken cooks, add a splash of water and continue to cook until chicken is done.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

343 Calories
20g Fat
14g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 343
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 1319mg 57%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 7mg 36%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 381mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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