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Brown Stewed Chicken – World Class Caribbean Cuisine

Caribbean brown stewed chicken
brown stewed chicken

Brown Stewed Chicken

From my experience chicken is either roasted (UK Sunday lunch), fried (KFC) or maybe wings, or steamed, grilled, or boiled. Go to a Chinese restaurant and they may offer, stir fried or steamed. Going out to the Caribbean many years ago and meeting this amazing dish was a revelation. My pictures do not do this justice, the taste is amazing.

When I first went to the Caribbean I was amazed by the above Sunday lunch I was given. This was was very rich and filling. Chicken, macaroni pie, rice, water cress, and red beans cooked with onions and peppers. But what amazed me was this dark brown stewed chicken which was the best chicken I ever tasted. It was amazing. I tried many ways to duplicate it but just could not get that taste. Then one day a cook showed me the Caribbean secret that comes all the way from Africa, sugar stew. I was stunned. It seemed simple, add a tbs of brown sugar to oil in a pot and then fry up the chicken (or pork or beef) in it and the caramelised sugar just enhances the dish beyond what you would imagine. But of course it was not that simple. The other key ingredient here was seasonings. Not the Western way a bit of salt and pepper, but an intense marinade made with local ingredients. The name changes, in Trinidad its just stew chicken, in Jamaica its brown stew, but the dish is unique and one of the Caribbean greatest culinary achievements

Goes really well with our Trinidad recipe Scotch Bonnet hot sauce Buy Here

Caribbean brown stewed chicken

Brown Stewed Chicken

The beating heart of the Caribbean, every mother cooks this, if you have never tasted this it will amaze you. There is nothing bland about this seasoned chicken recipe using methods imported from Africa to the Caribbean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 4
Calories 332 kcal



  • 1 small chicken Chop up a small chicken into serving size pieces, remove skin where practical, separate thigh and drumstick, wing parts and chop breast into 3, and back into 3-4 pieces. put in bowl with
  • 1 tsp dark soy
  • 1 tbsp soy
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 1 inch chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped mix together and leave to marinade for at least 2 hrs or overnight
  • 1 tsp Ooft! Scotch Bonnet sauce


  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok medium heat with a good heaped dessert spoon of brown sugar. The sugar will get foamy as it melts. Ensure the sugar is caramelised, but do not let it burn, as it will taste bitter.
    Throw in chicken parts and stir swiftly to coat. Let simmer on high heat for a few minutes until the sauce generated is bubbling, and then lower heat to moderate and cover.
    After about 8-10 minutes add about a cup or so of water (usually I boil water and swirl it round in the seasoning bowl to get all the left over seasoning).
    Let it simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. At this point the chicken should be brown.
    Taste and adjust (check salt, add a tsp of dark soy and 1 tbsp of ketchup). Cook for another 5/10 minutes, stirring often.
    If there is too much liquid let it boil down a bit, but you do need sauce with the chicken. The sauce should be brown and syrupy and coat the chicken when stirred. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Serve with white rice, macaroni pie, mash or even pasta and a side salad. 
Keyword brown stewed chicken, Caribbean Chicken, stewed chicken