Jamaican “Brown Stew Chicken” is an “all-time” favorite. It is also known as Fricassee Chicken and refers to the chicken being browned and simmered in a richly flavored or spicy sauce. The recipe is believed to have evolved from the British settlers who came to Jamaica. They were famous for stewing almost anything. Brown stew chicken is one of the most popular chicken recipes in Jamaica. It is prevalent at most local food outlets and in Jamaican homes. Even though it is a regular Sunday dish for many, some Jamaicans will have this dish almost anytime. Brown stew chicken dish is often served with rice and peas, white rice, or any other staple of choice.
My brown stew chicken differs from the others. To make mine, you will need the following:
- 2-3 lbs. chicken, (leg quarter with backbone).
- One medium size onion, (chopped)
- Three sprig thyme
- Two stalks scallion, (Greek onion) chopped
- Two cloves garlic
- One small scotch bonnet pepper,
- One teaspoon black pepper
- One tablespoon browning, (molasses).
- One tablespoon all-purpose seasoning, (chicken seasoning will do)
- One small bell pepper
- One medium size carrot
- One teaspoon kitchen bouquet
- One tablespoon barbeque sauce
Remove skin and excess fat from chicken. Then cut into small pieces. Wash chicken thoroughly in water diluted with lemon juice and white vinegar. Pat chicken dry with paper towels to remove any excess water. Season chicken with ingredients mentioned above. Place chicken in your refrigerator and allow it to marinate overnight or at least one hour before frying. Heat cooking oil in a large saucepan. Separate chicken from seasoning. Fry the chicken on each side until reasonably brown. When you have done frying chicken, add one cup boiling water to the pan and stir. Add marinated seasoning. Add more seasoning if necessary. Bring the pan to a boil and cover. Simmer chicken on medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until it is tender, and the gravy has thickened. Add more salt if necessary. Serve hot as desired. This goes well with rice dishes. Cooking tips: Do not use the same oil for the sauce if you suspect that it may have a bitter taste from repeatedly fried chicken sediments. Do not serve with scallion or thyme.