Today, this recipe is best known as Jamaican 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! If you’re using whole chickens, go to my video to learn How to Cut a Whole Chicken into perfect pieces for this dish.
We Jamaicans like to season our meat before cooking it. In my case, I like to season it the night before, if possible, to give the herbs and spices time to infuse into the meat. If you don’t have time for that, I do suggest that you let the chicken marinate in the seasonings for a 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 old-style by browning it first. That’s because all the stuff left in the pan after you fry the chicken is the magic in the gravy. My secret (that I’m lovingly passing on to you) is to include 2 teaspoons of sugar with the chicken seasonings — it’s such a secret I forgot to mention it in the video … LOL. The sugar burns in the pan and not only adds flavour, but gives the gravy that rich dark colour!
Brown Stew Chicken Ingredients
3lbs Chicken, cut in pieces and skin removed
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
2 tsp Sugar
3 Large cloves garlic, minced
2 stalk escallion (white part only), chopped
Cooking Tip 1: Wash the chicken and make sure to dry it with paper towel to remove any water before seasoning.
1/2 cup Cooking oil (for frying chicken)
1 Large onion, chopped
1/4 each, Red and Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Sprig of thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp Pepper sauce (check out the best hot pepper sauce)
1 Tbsp Tomato ketchup
11/2 to 2 cups Hot water
1 tsp salt (to taste)
Cooking Tip 2: Before frying the chicken remove any pieces of escallion in the seasoning from the chicken or they will burn and make the gravy bitter
1. Season chicken with salt, black pepper, sugar, garlic and scallion (green onion). Marinate the chicken overnight of at least one hour before frying.
2. Remove scallion 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.
3. Remove half the cooking oil in pan and use remaining oil to fry onions and bell peppers until onions are transparent.
4. Add thyme, hot pepper sauce, tomato ketchup and 1 cup of hot water to pan and stir; taste gravy and add 1 tsp of salt, if needed; let simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add chicken to gravy. Add 1/2 to 1 cup 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.
6. 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 spooning the gravy over it and simmering for a few minutes to warm through.
Serve it up with steamed rice and vegetables or salad …, and some Fried Plantains, and you’re good to go!
Video Lesson: Gold Members click below to watch us make this recipe step by step.