Next up on the list for Sky’s 4th Birthday Party is my Jamaican Curry Chicken. This ridiculously tender chicken is bursting with delicious Caribbean flavor emerging from the aromatic spices in the curry powder I use as the base of this dish. It is the perfect choice for a gathering of any kind, as its stew-like properties make it ideal for storing and serving it out of a slow cooker. I also love that it can be made ahead of time and thrown in the freezer, which is a huge plus when you’re preparing for a large party, because you can easily cook it up weeks in advance!
Before we delve into the ingredients, let’s take a moment to talk about curry. Typically, when we think of curry, we associate it with India. However, a few years back, while on a cruise in the Caribbean, I had a delightful surprise. I stumbled upon Jamaican Curry Chicken, and it was absolutely amazing! This discovery happened at a small food shack in one of the ports we visited, which primarily served American staples like burgers, fries, and cheesesteaks. Initially, I was disappointed as I was hoping to indulge in some authentic Caribbean cuisine. But then, as I looked around, I noticed one of the workers enjoying a plate of mouthwatering food that caught my eye. It was exactly what I had been craving! Without hesitation, I asked if they could prepare a similar plate for me, even offering to pay extra. To my delight, they happily obliged, and the dish they served was beyond my expectations—it was simply incredible! I was so impressed that I couldn’t resist taking a picture of it so I could recreate the entire meal (which included Jamaican Curry Chicken served alongside steamed Jasmine rice and broccoli florets, and some fried sweet plantain slices) when I returned home from my cruise. I believe I got the flavor as close to the original as possible now, so I’m super excited to be sharing it with all of you!
Okay, on to the ingredients! To make this dish you are going to need chicken sections (I like to use wings and drumsticks), boneless skinless chicken thighs, Himalayan pink salt, black pepper, curry powder, garlic cloves, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onion, extra virgin olive oil, dried thyme, ketchup, water, and gold potatoes. If you are already familiar with Indian curry, you might notice the primary distinction between Jamaican curry and Indian curry when taking a look at these ingredients. Jamaican Curry is made with curry powder, while Indian curry often features a sauce made with a blend of coconut milk or cream, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and toasted spices.
Begin by cutting each of your chicken thighs into 4-6 pieces and set them aside. Then, add all of your chicken to a large bowl and season it with 2 teaspoons of Himalayan pink salt, black pepper (to taste), and 3 Tablespoons of curry powder. Add in your minced garlic and toss to coat your chicken completely in your spice and garlic mixture. Refrigerate your chicken for 1 hour to allow it to absorb the spices.
When you’re ready to cook your chicken, heat your oil in a large pot or cast iron braiser until it is shimmering. Add in your minced red and green bell peppers and onions and sauté until your onion is translucent and your peppers are tender. Add in 1 teaspoon of your Himalayan pink salt, 3 Tablespoons of your curry powder, your thyme, and ketchup, and stir to combine completely. Pour in 1 cup of your boiling water and bring your sauce to a boil. Gently fold in your chicken and pour in 1 ½ more cups of your boiling water. Stir to cover your chicken completely with your sauce and seasonings. Cover your pot or braiser and bring your stew to a rolling boil.
Once your sauce is boiling, add in your potatoes and your remaining ½ cup of water. Reduce your heat to medium-high, cover, and simmer until your chicken is tender and your sauce thickens; about 30 minutes. Adjust your salt to your liking.
Once your chicken is tender and your sauce has thickened to perfection, your meal is ready to be enjoyed. The delightful aroma will have your senses tingling with anticipation. Serve your chicken hot alongside some steamed Jasmine rice, or choose from a variety of other delicious options such as whipped potatoes, steamed cauliflower rice or vegetables, or fried sweet plantain slices. Any of these options complement the flavors of this dish beautifully.
If you like curry, this dish is bound to become one of your favorites, and it most definitely will have your guests asking for seconds!
Jamaican Curry Chicken
My ridiculously tender Jamaican Curry Chicken is bursting with delicious Caribbean flavor emerging from the aromatic spices in the curry powder I use as the base of this dish. The delightful fragrance of the sauce will have your senses tingling with anticipation!
2 pounds chicken sections (wings and drumsticks)
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
6 Tablespoons curry powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ small red bell pepper, minced
¼ small green bell pepper, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Tablespoon ketchup
3 cups water
2 medium gold potatoes, cut in 6 pieces each
- Cut each chicken thigh into 4-6 pieces; set aside. Add all chicken to large bowl and season with 2 teaspoons of Himalayan pink salt, black pepper, and 3 Tablespoons of curry powder. Add in minced garlic and toss to coat chicken completely in spice and garlic mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow chicken to absorb spices.
- In large pot or cast iron braiser, heat oil until shimmering. Add in minced red and green bell peppers and onions and sauté until onion is translucent and peppers are tender. Add 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, 3 Tablespoons curry powder, thyme, and ketchup; stir to combine completely. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water and bring sauce to a boil. Gently fold in chicken and pour in 1 ½ more cups of boiling water; stir to cover chicken completely with sauce and seasonings. Cover pot or brasier and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add in potatoes and remaining ½ cup of water. Reduce heat to medium-high, cover, and simmer until chicken is tender and sauce thickens; about 30 minutes. Adjust salt to taste.
- Serve hot alongside steamed Jasmine rice, whipped potatoes, steamed cauliflower rice or vegetables, or fried sweet plantain slices.