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*
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.