Brown Stew Chicken

Growing up in a Jamaican household, our everyday meals consisted of many traditional West Indians dishes. A typical breakfast would be ackee and saltfish with green banana, yellow yam, and dumplings. I remember my first time eating grits with breakfast. It was when my husband and I were dating. I had no clue what to do with them. It looked like cornmeal porridge, a late night snack we’d typically have before bed; do you put sugar in them?? You can’t tell me anything about grits now. I’ve mastered them to creamy perfection!

Brown Stew Chicken was a dinner we regularly feasted over. And I’m happy to share this basic recipe with you. I warn you, though – yours will not taste like mine. Why? Because where it calls for *pepper sauce, I use my mom’s homemade scotch bonnet pepper sauce, made fresh with homegrown peppers from her garden. Scotch Bonnet peppers are typical in island cuisine. You have to be very careful with them; they have a heat rating of 100,000-350,000 Scoville units. To put that in perspective, jalepeno peppers are typically 2,500-8,000 units. I can’t cook without it – from soup to jerk sauce to table pepper sauce, scotch bonnet is a staple in our home. If you don’t have my mom’s pepper sauce ;), you can substitute a pepper sauce of your choice.


  • 3 lb chicken pieces
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallion, chopped finely
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup sweet peppers, diced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 tsp pepper sauce*


1. Wash and pat dry chicken.2. Season chicken with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

3. Heat canola oil in frying pan on medium-high heat. Brown chicken by frying a few minutes on each side until dark golden brown in color. Do not crowd the pan; brown the chicken in two batches.

4. Drain and set aside. Pour out and discard excess oil from the pan, leaving enough remaining in the pan to saute vegetables in, about a tablespoon.

5. Add garlic, scallion, onion, sweet peppers, and thyme to the pot.

6. Saute, scaping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the leftover gravy from the browned chicken.
7. Add enough water to the pan in cover the chicken 3/4 ways up. Add pepper sauce. 8. Return chicken to pan.
9. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
10. Gravy will reduce and thicken.
11. Serve with your favorite sides dishes. My family prefers rice and hubby’s cabbage. Be sure to pour the gravy over your food when serving.


15 thoughts on “Brown Stew Chicken

    1. I use fresh thyme – I buy it fresh then freeze it and use it as I need it so that it doesn’t go to waste. You can use dries if that’s what you have access to but the fresh herbs give a more vibrant flavor.


      1. Oh awesome…i didnt evnen know u can freeze herbs! I was thinking i didn’t want to buy lot of that when i am only gonna use it once. Thank u!! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi there! Ur brown stew chicken dish look so yummy! I will definitely try to make this. This is something my family will love! But I have 2 small toddlers and I was wondering will this be too spicy for them to eat? I am Asian so alot of heat doesn’t bother me but just don’t want to feed my 2 youngest too much of the spiciness. And I’ve never cooked with pepper sauce before. Could u give me an example of one? Thank you for sharing ur recipes with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tammy 🙂 Thank you! Let me know how your family likes it. My 1 and 3 year olds love it. Try starting with half a teaspoon of the pepper sauce, taste it when done, then add more to taste or leave it to add more to individual plates as needed. http://Www.Grace has a scotch bonnet pepper sauce I believe you can purchase online if not near a Caribbean market. Many grocery stores carry it in their international aisle as well. When using a small amount of sauce, it adds a distinct flavor, not necessarily heat.


    1. Some people wash their chicken under the faucet, some soak it in a little vinegar or lemon juice and water. But honestly, studies have proven that nothing kills the germs more than just cooking it. Actually running water over raw chicken will cause splatter and cross-contamination. I’m just a little old school though and still prefer to soak in a little water (not running water so no splatter). This is a great meal for just starting out! Let me know how you like it 🙂


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