Jamaican Coconut Brown Stew Chicken

Jump to Recipe
Save ItSaved!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken, a spicy dish with chicken legs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper.

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken – A spicy dish with skinless chicken legs and thighs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper.Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

I served this with Jamaican rice and beans (recipe coming tomorrow), and a simple tomato avocado salad, and boy was this delicious!

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken – A spicy dish with skinless chicken legs and thighs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper.

I just love the tropical flavors in Jamaican cuisine, it’s similar to Latin cuisine only a whole lot hotter! The scotch bonnet pepper is commonly used in Jamaican cuisine, but I warn you, it’s spicy!! This small little pepper packs a whole lot more heat than a jalapeño so a little goes a long way. I like spicy foods, but I personally can only tolerate using 1/2 pepper for my taste and wearing gloves when handling the pepper is a must. If you like really spicy food, then add the whole pepper and please, keep them away from the kids and pets!!

I’m a dark meat lover so I chose the legs and thighs, but you can use a whole chicken cut up, or just the breast if you prefer white meat. I recommend using chicken on the bone, because bones give stews flavor and although it would still work with boneless chicken, it won’t be as good. My husband loved this dish, and it will absolutely be going into our dinner rotation. Enjoy!!

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken – A spicy dish with skinless chicken legs and thighs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper.

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken – A spicy dish with skinless chicken legs and thighs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper.

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken – A spicy dish with skinless chicken legs and thighs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper.

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken – A spicy dish with skinless chicken legs and thighs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper.
Print WW Personal Points
5 from 2 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

235 Cals 27.6 Protein 8.5 Carbs 9.3 Fats
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken – A spicy dish with skinless chicken legs and thighs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper.


  • 6 bone-in chicken legs with thighs attached, skin removed (6 thighs, 6 drumsticks)
  • 1 lime or 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 4 medium scallions, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 hot scotch bonnet pepper, seeds + membrane removed, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, for gluten free use GF Tamari
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, canola would be fine too
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp cornstarch, sub tapioca for Keto
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened light coconut milk, I like Thai Kitchen
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


  • Squeeze lime over chicken and rub well.
  • Drain off excess lime juice.
  • Using gloves combine tomato, scallion, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and soy sauce in a large bowl and add to the chicken.
  • Cover and marinate at least one hour.
  • Heat oil in a dutch pot or large saucepan.
  • Shake off the seasonings as you remove each piece of chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade for later.
  • Lightly brown the chicken on medium-high heat.
  • When browned on all sides, pour the marinade over the chicken and add the carrots.
  • Stir and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Mix cornstarch and coconut milk and add to stew, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional 20 minutes or until tender, add salt to taste.


Adapted from Food.com


Serving: 1thigh and drumstick, Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 8.5g, Protein: 27.6g, Fat: 9.3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 371.5mg, Fiber: 1.6g, Sugar: 1.1g
WW Points Plus: 6
Keywords: chicken stew, comfort dish, Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken, jamaican dishes, jamaican stew chicken

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Rate this Recipe:


  1. From another Jamaican: Where’s the browning? You can’t have brown stew chicken without it. Then it’s not Jamaican at all. 

  2. Brown stew chicken without browning sauce? Call it Jamaican chicken if you want but it’s certainly not brown stew chicken

  3. OMG I made this dish tonight and it was HEAVEN!!!! Gina you’re a genius!!! 

  4. I love your recipes! This is my absolute favorite. Tastes and smells delicious! Thank you! 

  5. This was great recipe for someone like me (new to making actual food, not boxed) So much flavor, I served it over a bed of white rice and the stew was soaked into the rice, which was great!

  6. looks good. but like others have mentioned NO coconut milk is in this recipe. Some people use coconut milk in curry chicken i even seen some use coconut milk in stew pork.. but brown stew chicken? NO. You should have said this was inspired by the authentic Jamaican brown stew chicken.. the whole point of it being called brown is because it’s BROWN dark brown. Your chicken is beige.

  7. This is not authentic Jamaican stew chicken. Forget authentic, this is not even close. It irks me when someone use hurry-come-up cooking and call it Jamaican.

  8. I love this recipe and it has became my boyfriend’s favorite dish! It’s also nice knowing we are eating healthier but not skimping on the flavor!

  9. Thank you so much for this recipe. I just tried it today and it was one of the best things I’ve ever cooked. And it was relatively easy. I’m proud that it tasted so delicious, I could definitely cooked this for guests.

  10. Gina I have been using your recipes for a few years, purchased the Fast and Slow cookbook and just wanted to let you know that I have many of your recipes saved as favourites, but always look each week to try a new one. You never disappoint – each one better than the next. The freshness and flavour of all your dishes are amazing. My husband loves hot dishes and this one was a staple from now on. Thank you so much for providing us healthy and so totally yummy recipes !

  11. I never comment on blogs, but I had to say how delicious this was and all the recipes I’ve tried from here have been. It’s been a big help in my starting to lose weight. I thought I hated cauliflower until I tried the cauliflower rice recipe, and it’s been a life feel saver for a reformed carb bringer. So, thanks again!

  12. I made this the other night and my boyfriend loved it !! He keeps requesting that I make it again. Also, for the side I made the Jamaican red beans & rice. Both were fantastic!!

  13. No coconut milk in Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken (just like there is no coconut milk in say, Jambalaya) but it would not be terrible if you added it. 😉

  14. Do I have to use cornstarch?

  15. love your recipes, but this is not Jamaican brown stew chicken. that is my favorite dish, and this is not it.

    • Please post your Jamaican brown stew chicken recipe so we all can critique… and also include nutritional info..

  16. This was really good! So flavorful! I used red meat the first time around, but serving it on the bone was a bit messy. Based on other user assurances on retaining flavor, I think I'll use chicken breast next time. Great recipe!

  17. Big up this recipe its close enough to our real brown stew…but this is the skinny duh lol…loving ure recipes….u shud try ackee and saltfish!!!

  18. Big up this recipe its close enough to our real brown stew…but this is the skinny duh lol…loving ure recipes….u shud try ackee and saltfish!!!

  19. Hi Gina, your stew recipes are absolutely amazing! Bursting with amazing flavors, and the silkyness of the coconut milk….Just perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. I wonder if you can use it with a sugar free coconut milk? Not in the can but the carton next to the SF almond milk? hhhuuummm. =)

  21. Gina, what a great recipe! Next time I would add the whole pepper but that's because my family likes hot. This is a keeper.

  22. Gina – This recipe was great. I made a few modifications, but I would have never tried this recipe if it was not listed on this site. It is a winner. Thank you for your site!

  23. I just came across your site last week, and so far I have tried two recipes. They were both amazing! I made this tonight and it was so simple and delicious. Thanks so much for the great recipes I look forward to trying lots more of them 🙂

  24. OMG This is amazing. The authentic rustic chicken flavour you can only get when you cook with the bones. I used chicken breasts on the bone and then pulled the chicken off at the end. It was so succulent. Thanks so much for all the hard work and experimenting you must do to get these recipes so right – everyone I've made has been delicious.

  25. Just had this tonight along with the jamaican Red Beans and Rice and it was delicious! I've never had the authentic version, but I really enjoy your version. I'm so excited that you have reinvented some dishes to be gluten free. I have tried some of your recipes and so far loving every one of them! Thank you!

  26. I've made a couple of recipes so far from your site, and this is by far my favorite!

  27. Hi made this tonight, and it was amazing! I made the red beans and rice along with this dish, and the combination was stellar. It was time consuming, but worth it. I will definitely be making this for guests. Gina, you somehow manage to create healthy, low cal recipes that are full of flavor. I have done weight watchers and tried their recipes and other "skinny" sites, but your recipes by far are the best. You make people realize that you don't have to skimp out on flavor and a variety of cuisines to lose weight and be healthy. Thank you!

  28. I made this for supper, only I used boneless thighs since the man won't eat bones. It came out DELICIOUS! Especially with the coconut rice. It took me quite a while to make, but worth it. It may become our special occasion meal, for when we want to impress someone or just have time on our hands.

  29. Hi Gina
    Can"t wait to try this…My question is about the coconut milk I found unsweetened coconut milk by Thai Kitchen but not light and unsweetened. Is there a difference? Will it change the nutrition info?

  30. Hi Gina,

    If I can't find the scotch bonnet pepper, should I use 1 or 2 habaneros (I like spicy food)? Btw, I love your website and have made a few of your recipes, and they have all been amazing! You have amazing ideas for healthy low-cal food that is still packed with flavor!

  31. This is NOT Jamaican brown stew chicken, that recipe calls for brown sugar and soy sauce among other ingredients and definitely does not use coconut milk. Please correct this recipe title.

    • Love this recipe and I don't care what it is called. Thank you for all of your recipes.

    • I just visited this recipe to make it yet again, and I don't care what it's called, either. How arrogant to tell someone what to do with their own personal blog, especially one that is free and benefits so many people. Get a more productive hobby — hey, I know, how 'bout you start a blog and post your totally authentic and flawless recipe for Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken?! ~Koko

  32. My family, including my very picky teenager, loved this meal… it's definitely on my list of Skinnytaste favorites. I used boneless chicken breasts and the dish was still plenty flavorful. As with every recipe I try, I doubled the garlic (we're garlic addicts), and next time around, I'll use two habeneros instead of one (I couldn't find scotch bonnets).

    I found your website in December and it was love at first site. Thank you for bringing variety back to our family dinners! As an added benefit, I've lost 13 pounds in the process — woo hoo! ~ Koko

  33. I loved this! 🙂

  34. My whole family LOVED this recipe! I used my parents as guinea pigs since my husband was out of town. My Mom kept saying "Put more gravy on mine" – she loved it! Our 3 teenage boys also enjoyed it…the 17 yr old made a point to tell his Dad what a good dinner he missed 😉

  35. This looks great!!!! Could you do this in the crockpot? Could I use chicken breast?

  36. So tasty – had this for Valentine's Day dinner tonight. 🙂 Mixed in a teaspoon of curry powder just before adding the light coconut milk. I really liked the addition of the curry power. Thanks for a great recipe.

  37. This was dinner tonight, it was a real hit!! I didn't add the hot pepper until after taking out portions for the kids. I made this stove-top, on a "sure-simmer" setting, close to crock-pot style, for about 3 hrs. This will definitely make it into the dinner rotation often, it will be fun to play and tweak the recipe. Although it doesn't need it! Thanks!

  38. Had this for dinner last night… It was amazing!

  39. Had this for dinner last night. Used jalepeno instead of a bonnet pepper b/c couldn't find it. Do think it changed the taste a bit, found it missed a bit of spiced, possibly should have used 2 ! Also to make it easier to pull of chicken skin, use a paper towel it works really well.
    Thanks for all the wonderful recepies !

  40. Just finished our dinner of this and the rice & beans. Delicious! I only used 1/3 of the pepper because I was scared, I could have used more, it really wasn't spicy at all. A pleasant level of spice, though. I only marinated it for an hour and it was still great. My husband liked it too. Thanks Gina!

    Oh, and now you can find pepper plants of habanero-type peppers without the heat but with the same fruity flavor. I hope to grow some again this summer!

  41. I made this following the recipe exactly, except I used boneless chicken thighs and I doubled the garlic. It was excellent and very flavorful! I made it with the Jamaican Rice and Beans and that was great too. Will definitely make this dish again. Sooo good!

  42. Just located a Caribbean market in my area. Time to go pick up a few scotch bonnet peppers!

  43. Made this tonight without the bonnett pepper. Used an orange and a red bell pepper. I prepared it in the morning, and marinated it all day, made the stew after work tonight. Turned out oh so yummy. Thanks!

  44. Can this be made with a crockpot? If so how long should I cook it for? Thanks, it looks good!

  45. This looks amazing! I really love all the creative recipes you come up with!

  46. miaaam, thank you for this delicious recipe

  47. I found the peppers in a nearby market that sells carribean food but if you don't have that luxury, use habañero chile OR Serrano chilies (use twice as many) OR jalapeno peppers (use twice as many)

    If you don't like spicy food, use a bell pepper, although it will change the flavor of the dish a bit.

    The chicken stays on the bone, just eat it with a knife and fork.

    Colored Whisk- Home Goods!

    Jennifer, so surprised you found this bland! Perhaps changing the pepper effected the outcome of the dish, we all loved it!

  48. Wow that looks so good! You have such great recipes.

  49. Love all your recipes!!! This looks delicious and I've added it and your Jamaican rice to my to-make list. However, I have to have one of those rainbow whisks! Where did you get yours??? :O)

  50. correction! 6 points per chicken serving. Sorry.

  51. I just finished a plate of this, with the Jamaican Rice. I followed your recipe exactly, except I used a jalepeno instead of the scotch bonnet, b/c I was afraid of the heat for the kiddos. The scotch bonnet must pack A LOT of flavor, b/c this dish was quite bland, considering all the divine, flavorful ingredients. Next time I would probably quadruple the garlic and use the pepper you suggested. Also, there's just not a lot of meat on one leg (thigh drumstick combo), and after a 5 point serving of chicken, plus the 5 point serving of rice, I was left still hungry. The rice is delish. I cook from your site at least 3 times a week…I love it! Thanks.

  52. Gina – where can i get scotch bonnet peppers? can't wait to try this

  53. I am so making this ASAP! Thank you again, Gina! You have some of the most delicious, WW inspired recipes!! I talk about this link all the time at WW!

  54. This looks SO similar to dishes that my husband and I ate in St. Lucia. I can't wait to try this and {hopefully} relive that wonderful trip!

  55. Very cool dish! I'm going to try this one.

  56. Hey Gina, I am in love with your blog and look forward to it everyday! I've never cooked with hot peppers before because I'm not a big fan of extremely spicy food, however I do like a little kick. Would a jalapeno do the job? Or can you suggest something more mild than a scotch bonnet or habanero?

    Thanks Gina, keep cooking!

  57. Gina-Any suggestion on peper subsititution if I want to feed to whole family (toddler included)?

  58. This recipe looks divine. I will definetly be making it!!
    Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  59. Oh yummy! I have some chicken drums and thighs in the fridge and I just found a way to make them. Thanks!

  60. This looks good…minus the pepper!! 😉 Could this be made in a slow cooker instead of on the stovetop??

  61. Super yum! This looks wonderful! I love the flavors in this dish!

  62. I've used almond milk as a substitute for coconut milk before. Doesn't taste coconutty enough for me, but gives a similar sweetness.

    I'd like to try this, but without the pepper. I've got little kids, and so I've got to dial down most meals. Do you think that removing the heat altogether would remove too much of the soul of the dish?

  63. I shared this with a friend and she asked about the bones. When do you de-bone the chicken or is it served with the bones. Isn't that a bit messy??? Also, can this be done in the crockpot?

  64. This looks good, but it's not authentic Jamaican style brown stew chicken. My husband is Jamaican and makes brown stew chicken all the time. For one thing, brown stew chicken has NO cocouut milk in it. It also has a little ketchup and browning sauce. The chicken comes out looking dark brown and not pale like in your photo. Maybe it's actually a latin style chicken recipe?

    • Little late on this, but if you google different recipes BY Jamaican people, it does have coconut milk in it. And even if it didn't, recipes are relative anyway.

    • I agree with both. I think any recipe can vary. Traditional Jamaican stew chicken, however, does not use coconut milk as an ingredient. Ketchup and browning gives the chicken it's name as brown stew chicken. And you don't need to cut up the scotch bonnet peppa – you could simple put it in the pot whole and allow it to burst. The moment it bursts, take it out! You'll be left with a mildly spicy recipe. The longer you leave the pepper, the hotter it will be.

    • You're right. Fricasse or Brown Stewed Chicken as it's called does not have coconut milk in it.

    • You're right. Fricasse or Brown Stewed Chicken as it's called does not have coconut milk in it.

    • Yes, though it looks tasty, this is not a traditional brown stew chicken. For a traditional recipe check out www.CookLikeAJamaican.com where a cutiepie Jamaican grandma shares her delish recipes

    • While this does look like a very tasty dish, this is NOT Jamaican brown-stew chicken…and no, coconut milk is not used in the cooking of brown stew chicken.

  65. This looks full of flavor!! Love it!

  66. I cannot wait to try this! I love anything made with coconut milk. I'm wimpy though, so will probably use much less of the pepper or a milder substitute.

  67. This looks amazing, one question though, I am allergic to coconut, what do you think is the best substitute for coconut milk? Thanks for all your great recipes!

  68. This is my kinda food! Gina I cook your food ALL the time. My fiance, family and friends even asks now.. 'Is this a SkinnyTaste recipe?'. I post pictures of the dinners so gratefully cooked from your website on my blog. Hope you could check it out sometime?

  69. This looks amazing! Love it!

  70. I love the variety of flavors!

  71. This looks so good! I love cooking with habaneros/scotch bonnets, and grew habaneros on my balcony last year. (What's the real difference between them, anyway?)

    gaelowyn, you can use a habanero as a substitute. Otherwise probably any hot chile pepper can be used to add heat, but scotch bonnets and habaneros have a great fruity flavor along with the heat!

  72. I love chicken thighs the most myself. I always use them in place of chicken breasts in any recipe I can(ie not your rollatini!). stays jucier and more tender in my opinion. this looks great. Wonder if I can find that pepper around here, any ideas of a substitute?

    and, by the way.. the pollo en potacchio converts to chicken jambalaya pretty easily.. I just added cayenne and tobasco, rice and turkey smoked sausage. simmered together till rice done. yum!

  73. I love your rainbow whisk!

  74. It's a wonderful dish. Comfort food and ethnic at the same time. My kind of meal!

  75. This looks amazing! I love the fresh flavors and all the vegetables in this one.

  76. Looks delicious!! Can't wait to try!

    • Just so everybody knows and is correctly informed, Kosher salt is not required for this recipe. Kosher salt is not required for *any* recipe – unless you are Jewish.

      Kosher salt is simply table salt that has been ritualistically blessed by a Rabbi. Kosher salt is no different than standard table salt, sodium chloride – except kosher salt costs more!

      If you want your salt blessed, do it yourself and save some money.

      I hope this helps.

    • That's an incorrect statement with some slightly anti-semitic undertones. Please review the link below for difference between table salt, kosher salt and sea salt. 🙂


    • I don't think it has anti-semitic undertones. He/She just sounds like a complete moron.