My hubbie and I love all things hot and so I’m always on the lookout for new spicy additions to our weekly menu. After visiting a food festival a few weeks ago and enjoying the most delicious Jamaican brown chicken wrap I decided to give this dish a go for myself by transforming it into a stew.
The result was delicious, my hubbie said this was his favourite new dish I’ve created in a while as not only is it lovely and filling but it has the most delicious deep and warm flavour. If you don’t like things too spicy, you can always use a normal chilli instead of a scotch bonnet in the marinade.
The ingredients list might look lengthy here but most of it will be store cupboard essentials. It’s actually very quick to put together, even quicker if you marinade the chicken the night before.
Make the salsa is optional so feel free to leave it out if you are pushed for time but it really is a delicious addition to this dish, lifting the flavour and bringing an extra freshness to a warming and filling dish.
Jamaican Brown Chicken Stew
Serves 4 = 7sp per serving (Flex)
For the marinade
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 scotch bonnet (or if you don’t like it too hot a normal red chilli), roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tbsp all spice powder
1 tsp each dried thyme, powdered cinnamon and nutmeg
¼ tsp each cayenne pepper and white pepper
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
For the stew (2sp per person including the marinade)
1kg chicken breast, raw
1 tsp olive oil
6 spring onions, finely sliced
1 large white onion, peeled and finely sliced
3 peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
Dash of tobasco
2 bay leaves
½ tbsp. honey
2 tsp cornflour
1 chicken stock cube made with 500ml boiling water
To serve – 5sp per person
200g rice, dried
100g frozen peas
For the salsa – 0sp per person
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 mango, peeled and chopped into small cubes
¼ cucumber, chopped into small chunks
Handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime
For the marinade, pop all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until well combined. Pop the chicken breasts whole into a large bowl, pour over the marinade, coat the chicken well and then leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight if you are prepared enough).
While the chicken is marinating you can prepare the salsa – it’s as easy as popping all the ingredients in a bowl and tossing everything together. Then pop in the fridge until you need it.
To make the stew, take a large frying pan, add the olive oil and bring to the pan to a high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade bowl with some tongs (reserve the rest of the marinade in the bowl) and then add the chicken breast to the pan. Brown on one side for 5 minutes and then turn over and brown for 5 minutes on the other side. You want to let the chicken char nicely as this gives the stew the lovely brown flavour. You might need to do this in batches as all of the chicken won’t fit into the pan in one layer at once.
Once the first batch is browned, remove from the pan and pop to one side on a plate and then repeat until all the chicken is sealed (it doesn’t need to be cooked through at this point).
Next add the spring onion, onion, peppers and garlic to the now empty frying pan, season with salt and pepper and then fry for 6-7 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the tomato puree, tobasco and bay leaves, fry for another minute and then add the chicken stock and honey. Mix the cornflour with a few drops of water to make a paste, add to the sauce with the reserved marinade, stir and then add the chicken breasts back to the pan making sure the sauce covers them.
Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce starts to reduce and thicken and you’ve got a nice brown sauce/gravy consistency.
Pop the rice on to cook while the stew is bubbling away. Five minutes before it’s cooked add the frozen peas.
After 30 minutes, once the chicken is cooked through check for seasoning and add more if required. Remove from the heat at then add the juice of half a lime. You can either serve the chicken breasts whole with the sauce or shred them into the sauce.
Serve the stew onto of a bed of rice and peas and the mango salsa on the side.