Brown Stew

Total time 40 Min

This recipe is Mama Fay’s most popular recipe online! Here she explains how to make this dish with flawless results.

Today this dish is known as Brown Stew Chicken, but in my time it was called Fricasseed Chicken. Either way, it’s the same thing – chicken browned and simmered in a richly flavoured gravy. Here I show you how easy it is to make Brown Stew Chicken at home!

We Jamaicans like to season our meat before cooking it. In my case, I like to season it the night before to give the herbs and spices time to infuse into the meat. If you don’t have time for that, I suggest that you let the seasoned chicken marinate for at least one hour before frying.

Though you can bake the chicken in the oven instead of browning it on the stove, I don’t think you get the same depth of flavour, so I prefer to do it the old-style way by browning it in a frying pan first. That’s because all the stuff left in the pan is what makes the gravy magic so delicious. My secret (that I’m lovingly passing on to you) is to add two teaspoons of sugar to the chicken when seasoning it – it’s such a secret I forgot to mention it in my video … LOL. The sugar burns in the pan and not only adds flavour, but gives the gravy that rich dark colour! – Mama Fay

Brown Stew Chicken Recipe

Cook Like A Jamaican
This recipe is Mama Fay’s most popular recipe online! Here she explains how to make this dish with flawless results.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 4


  • 3 lbs (1.3 kg)  Chicken, cut in pieces and skin removed
  • Cooking Tip: Rinse the chicken and make sure to dry it with a paper towel to remove any water before seasoning it.

Season Chicken:

  • 2 tsp 10 mL Salt
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) Black pepper
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Sugar
  • 3 Large cloves garlic, chopped large
  • 2 stalks escallion or green onion (white part only), chopped large

Gravy Ingredients

  • ½ Cup (125 mL) Cooking oil (for frying chicken)
  • 1 1 Large onion chopped
  • ¼  each  Red and Green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 Sprig of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Hot Pepper sauce (check out the best hot pepper sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp 1 Tbsp (15 mL)  Tomato ketchup
  • 1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 mL) Hot water
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Salt (to taste)
  • Cooking Tip: Before frying the chicken remove all pieces of garlic and escallion in the seasoning before frying the chicken or they will burn and make the gravy bitter


  • Season chicken with salt, black pepper, sugar, garlic and escallion (green onion). Marinate the chicken overnight or for at least one hour before frying.
  • Remove escallion and garlic from chicken and, on High heat, fry the chicken in cooking oil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Remove chicken from pan.
  • Remove half the remaining cooking oil from the pan then fry chopped onion and bell peppers until onions are transparent.
  • Add thyme, hot pepper sauce, tomato ketchup and 1 cup of hot water to pan and stir; taste gravy and add 1 tsp (5 mL) of salt, if needed; let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken to gravy. Add ½ (125 mL) to 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water and turn heat to Low and cover pan. Simmer chicken for 30 minutes or until it is tender and the gravy has thickened.
  • **If the gravy is still watery after 30 minutes, remove the chicken and let the gravy simmer on Medium until it thickens. Then put the chicken back in the pan, spoon the gravy over it and simmer for a few minutes to warm through.


Serving Suggestion: Serve chicken with steamed rice and vegetables or a green salad, and fried plantains.
Keyword chicken, stew

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Rated 5.0 out of 5
April 28, 2024

Lovely recipe! Was so delicious and very moist, would make again