Jamaican-inspired chicken in brown gravy

    1 hour 50 min

    Hearty, spicy comfort food. This Jamaican-inspired dish goes great with rice, plantain or potatoes. Jamaican food is characterised by its use of chillies, thyme and cinnamon. This recipe showcases two of those.


    Gisborne-Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
    31 people made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, cubed
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 3 teaspoons dried)
    • 1 onion, cubed
    • 2 spring onions, chopped
    • 1 spicy chilli, such as Scotch bonnet, chopped
    • 1 mild chilli, cubed
    • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 2cm piece root ginger, grated
    • 1 (400g) tin whole plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
    • 3 tablespoons plain flour
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • oil for frying
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 450ml water
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon browning
    • 1 small sweet potato, cubed
    • 2 carrots, cut in bite sized pieces

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:1hr marinating  ›  Ready in:1hr50min 

    1. Wash the chicken with a splash of lime juice. Place in a plastic bag or bowl with the remainder of the lime juice. Add salt, pepper, thyme, onion, spring onion, chillies, garlic, ginger and tomatoes. Mix well and leave to marinate for 1 to 6 hours. (If you are doing in the bowl I strongly suggest you use gloves if using the Scotch bonnet, or oiling your hands with vegetable oil. If not, then thoroughly washing your hands after. I prefer the bag so I do not get so much hot chilli on my hands.)
    2. Mix the flour with the 4 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
    3. Remove chicken from marinade. Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat, and brown the chicken. Remove chicken, set aside and drain excess oil from pan.
    4. Melt the butter in the pan and add all contents of the marinade. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
    5. Add the 450ml of water, soy sauce, cinnamon and browning and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sweet potato and carrots, and simmer till just tender, about 10 minutes.
    6. Stir the flour-water mixture in to the stew then add the chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, till thickened.

    To serve

    For that traditional edge try it with rice and beans and / or fried plantains. Or have on its own as a one pot dinner.

    Cook's notes

    This is a hot dish but by playing with the spice quantities you can make it to suit any palate. Also feel free to swap round the vegetables with what is fresh in your garden or supermarket. You can also use 2 regular potatoes instead of the sweet potato.
    I find it easier to keep ginger fresh by freezing the roots when we purchase them. Grating is a great way to remove from the frozen the portion you need. You will find the inner portion goes on the inside of the grater and the skin falls to the front, so these are easily separated.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    Husband really liked this dish so I have recorded it here. I used 2 bird pepper chilis and one green chilli peper. http://missvickie.com/howto/spices/peppers/peppersdict.html  -  27 Aug 2012


    I made it with 4 legs and 4 thighs chicken pieces. It takes longer to cook but it was delicious. Lots of flavour being cooked on the bone. I left the chicken pieces in to cook with the vegetables and gravy. I substituted sweet potatoes for regular baby potatoes. I didnt have scotch bonnet so I used two bird eye peppers. I also used pimento seeds about 5. I will definitely make it again  -  01 Mar 2018


    This recipe did not work for me, I followed every detail and it turned out badly. I wouldn't recommend this recipe, I didn't even want to show it to my boyfriend.  -  09 Jun 2014