My Jamaican Curry Chicken Experience


I’m a born Jamaican, so in my opinion, curry chicken is in my blood. I’ve been making it since I was a teenager but haven’t made it for years because I wanted to make healthier meal choices. A few months ago I decided to make it and I must say, I was rusty lol. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that good either. I’ve made it twice within the last month and decided I wanted to share it on my blog. I did not use a specific recipe for this meal, my mother taught me how to make it so I went based on memory.

Traditionally it’s made with bone in dark meat. But when I made it two weeks ago all I had was boneless chicken thighs. Of course it turned out the same but I missed (and prefer) having the bone-in option. Usually the chicken is cut into pieces, you should get about three pieces of chopped meat out of one chicken thigh. I seasoned with Jamaican curry powder, salt and pepper, all spice, onion and garlic powder, paprika, and all purpose seasoning. I used a healthy dash of each seasoning and I chopped about half an onion and added it in with the seasonings. I usually add thyme and scallion but I didn’t have either. I recommend letting the seasoned meat sit in the fridge over night but I seasoned mine the same day, so it was only in the fridge for about 7hrs. By the way some people might not let there’s sit in the fridge that long but this is how I like to make mine.

Fresh from the fridge to the pot

I use just enough cooking oil to coat the bottom of the pan (I use olive oil), and I let it heat up before I add the chicken. I let each pieces of chicken brown for about 5minutes on each side.

The house smells so good when this gets going.

While the chicken is still browning, I fill the bowl that it was seasoned in with water. After the chicken is browned on each side, I add the water with all the seasonings (onions, thyme, and scallion) to the pot so it can cook some more and absorb more flavor. I also add a bulb of scotch bonnet pepper to the pot. DO NOT break it open! If you’re not familiar with scotch bonnet, it’s INCREDIBLY spicy (most of the heat is in the seeds). I like a bit of spice that’s why I added it but I also like the flavor that it brings to the curry chicken.

Peep the scotch bonnet in the middle. Notice the oil floating at the top? I completely forgot to pour it off before I added the water.
Look at those bubbles. At this point the flavor of the scotch bonnet has settled in.

I think I let it cook for about 20-30 mins before I turned the seasoned water into gravy. I’m not sure how everyone makes their gravy but my mother told me to add flour and water to a cup (tea cup), maybe about half filled, mix it up and pour it in the pot and stir.

The curry gravy

I believe my total cook time after I added the water to the pot was 50mins to an hour. I really tried to pay attention when I was making this because I knew I had to report back to you guys lol. If you want a lot less gravy in the pot, cook it a little longer and the gravy will start to cook down. By the way, I did a taste test periodically because of the scotch bonnet, the dish will get VERY SPICY if it’s kept in too long so it’s important to constantly check. I took it out when it was just the right amount of heat for me. I had this with white rice and it was enough for me to have lunch and dinner for two days. I did not like the way the picture came out but here it is just in case you’re curious.

It was so good the second day

It’s not the healthiest meal in the world but Jamaican food always reminds me of home and it keeps me connected to my Jamaican roots. I’m sure every Caribbean has their own way of making curry chicken but this was a recipe handed down from my mother and I’m assuming from her mother and so on, so I love it. Are there any recipes or traditions that’s been handed down in your family that connects you to your roots? Let’s chat!

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Published by tam33ks

I have a long history with mental illness. Overcoming depression made me realize my own resilience. It also made it clear that I wasn’t taking care of myself. I believe that in order for us to fully engage with ourselves and others we have to make time for self-love through our self-care habits. My goal with this blog is to encourage women in my age group to make time for self-care daily.

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