Slightly sweet, smoky, and spicy, this Trini brown stew chicken recipe will have you asking for more.
Oh and you only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish.
Here’s everything from seasoning to stewing the meat.
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What is in this stew chicken recipe
For this brown stew chicken recipe, you’ll need:
- cut-up chicken pieces
- brown sugar
- Caribbean green seasoning including chadon beni, garlic, and thyme
Browning sauce can be substituted for the brown sugar. You can pick up browning sauce on Amazon here.
Optional ingredients include:
- sweet peppers
- fresh herbs like chadon beni, chives, etc
- Worchester sauce
- soy sauce
How to make brown stew chicken from scratch
Clean the chicken
I bought chicken from the poultry shop already cut into small pieces with the bone-in. If you purchased a whole chicken, chop it into small pieces before continuing.
Step 1: Remove unwanted fatty tissue, cartilage and slime from the meat. You can leave skin and bone in if you like.
Step 2: Wash the meat a few times. Mix in a little flour or lime or lemon juice and wash again. This often removes any sliminess or fresh odor from the meat.
Side note, some foreign health officials recommend that you don’t wash the meat. But, here in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean at large, meat is cleaned and washed. Cross-contamination is avoided by cleaning the sink, countertops and hands thoroughly after handling the meat. A little bleach in the sink works well to disinfect everything.
With the meat cleaned and washed, it’s time to season it.
Season and allow to marinate
I make fresh green seasoning from the herbs I grow in my garden. So, I grind washed chadon beni and Spanish thyme leaves with pepper and garlic.
Step 3: Mix the seasoning with the chicken. You can add any of your favorite marinating herbs, spices and sauces at this point. Extra ginger, pepper sauce, Worcester sauce, soy sauce and onions are what I used here.
Step 4: Leave the meat to marinate anywhere from a couple hours to overnight.
Brown the sugar
When the meat is well marinated, it’s time to start cooking.
Step 5: Place a large pot on medium heat and allow to heat up. Add enough oil to coat the base of the pot. If you use a non stick pot, you can use much less oil. For cast iron and similar pots, you’ll want to add a little extra oil to prevent sticking.
Step 6: Add brown sugar. It’ll melt in the oil and start bubbling. Its color change is quick so stay focused on it.
Step 7: Stir continuously. The bubbling sugar will go from a light brown to darker and darker brown. When it becomes almost black in color and begins smoking, it is time to add the seasoned chicken pieces. If you add the chicken too soon, your meat won’t have a dark brown color, but it’ll still taste amazing!
Now, you can skip this step if you use browning (get it here on Amazon). You can mix the browning into the marinade. Or you can add it after adding the chicken to the pot.
Burning of the sugar or browning sauce acts like a coloring and flavoring agent for the stew. It gives the meat that slightly sweet and smoky taste. You can also use roucou instead of browning to color and flavor your meat.
Step 8: Add the seasoned pieces of chicken and stir quickly and continuously. You want to stop the sugar from burning and coat the meat in the browning.
Step 9: Cover the pot and allow the chicken to release its natural juices for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 10: Remove the cover so the liquid can boil off. This can take another 10 to 15 minutes.
Add other ingredients and water
Step 11: Once the liquid has boiled off, it’s time to add water and whatever optional ingredients you like. I prefer adding chunks of carrots and a little ketchup but it is all up to you.
Step 12: Cook until the water thickens up to form a nice stew sauce. This can be another 10 minutes. Serve hot. Note as it cools the stew darkens a bit more.
More chicken recipes
Trini stew chicken recipe
Brown Stew Chicken Trini Style
- 3 lbs chicken pieces
- flour or lime juice for washing the meat
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (chopped)
- 3 tbsp Caribbean green seasoning (chadon beni, garlic, Spanish thyme)
- 2 tbsp ginger
- 1 tbsp Worchester sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 cups water
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Clean and Season
- Clean chicken pieces removing fatty tissue, cartilage and slime.
- Rinse the meat.
- Mix the meat with flour or lime juice.
- Rinse the meat again.
- Add onion, pepper, Caribbean green seasoning, ginger, salt and sauces.
- Cover and set aside to marinate for a few hours to overnight.
- Place a large pot on medium heat.
- Add oil and leave to heat up for 2 minutes.
- Add sugar.
- After a minute, stir the sugar occasionally.
- Stir more often as the sugar melts and bubbles.
- When the sugar turns very dark and smokes, add the marinated chicken pieces.
- Mix to coat the pieces.
- Cover the pot and leave for the meat to spring its own natural liquid.
- Remove the cover after 15 minutes.
- Stir occasionally and allow the liquid to boil off (another 10-15 minutes).
- When the meat is dry, add water and optional ingredients.
- Cook until the sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes).
- Serve hot.