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20 January 2021

This Jamaican curry chicken recipe is the ultimate Caribbean comfort food of chicken seasoned with Jamaican curry powder and simmered in creamy curry sauce. It’s so easy to make!

We’re cooking up a wonderfully comforting and spicy curry dish in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends. Care to join me?

Curry is an ideal dish for any spicy food lover. Curries usually incorporate an intriguing mix of locally found ingredients that blend to a flavor powerhouse.

Chili peppers are often highlighted, with varying heat and spice levels, forming a base for a variety of curry pastes and curry seasoning blends. This particular recipe is no different, though today we’re moving away from Thai and Indian cuisine where curries are more common and into the Caribbean region of the world.

We’re talking Jamaican Curry Chicken, my friends! Did you realize the Caribbeans enjoy curry? You’ll find curries in many parts of the world. Jamaican curry flavor profile is different from Indian curries in the overall choice of seasonings.

You’ll find a heavier use of turmeric and other seasonings that form an addictive flavor base, so addictive that I think this just might become one of your favorite new recipes.

Curry Recipes Vary from Cook to Cook. You’ll find variations of Jamaican curries from restaurant to restaurant and from cook to cook, speaking with great passion about whether or not to include certain seasonings, tomato or no tomato, coconut milk or not.

At the end of the day, this is your dish, so you can adjust it to the way you prefer. I’ve included some options in the ingredients, though this is the way I like it. 

Jamaican-style curry chicken very easy to make, and also huge on flavor.

Spicy Jamaican Curry Chicken simmering, ready to serve

Let’s talk about how we make Jamaican Curry Chicken, shall we?

Jamaican Curry Chicken Ingredients

  • Chicken. I usually use either a whole chicken, cut up, or leg and thigh quarters, though you can easily make this with boneless chicken. It’s great with chicken thighs.
  • Jamaican Curry Powder. Try my homemade Jamaican curry powder recipe for outstanding flavor, or use your favorite store bought blend. I use 3 tablespoons of curry powder, though use it to taste.
  • Seasonings. Allspice, adobo seasoning, thyme, and salt and black pepper. You can use your favorite Jamaican staples. General chicken seasoning is popular.
  • Vegetables. Onion, jalapeno peppers and/or Scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, ginger, green onion, potatoes.
  • Liquids. Coconut milk and chicken broth.
  • Extras. Olive oil for cooking, tomato paste and your favorite hot sauce to taste.

Jamaican Curry Chicken in a pan

How to Make Jamaican Curry Chicken – the Recipe Method

Season the Chicken. Cut up the chicken into smaller pieces if you’d like. I love larger pieces for myself. Rub the chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon Jamaican curry powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Seasoning 2 large pieces of chicken with homemade Jamaican Curry powder

Brown the Chicken. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat or medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes to brown all sides, flipping half way through. Remove the chicken and set it aside.

Searing the 2 large pieces of seasoned chicken

Cook the Vegetables. Add the onion and peppers to the pot and stir. Cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add the green onion, ginger, garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant. 

Bloom the Seasonings. Stir in the Jamaican curry powder, allspice, thyme, and adobo seasoning. Cook for 1 minute, stirring, until the seasonings bloom in flavor.

Liquids and Potatoes. Stir in the coconut milk (if using), chicken broth, tomato paste (if using) and potatoes. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper and hot sauce to your personal tastes.

Curry sauce for our Jamaican Curry Chicken

Add the Chicken and Simmer. Nestle the seared chicken back into the pan with the curry sauce and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. It should measure 165 degrees F internal when measured with a meat thermometer.

Simmering chicken and potatoes in a pan to make Jamaican Curry Chicken

Serve! I like to garnish mine with fresh chopped parsley, red pepper flakes and chili slices.

Boom! Done! Jamaican curry chicken is ready to serve! Looks wonderful, doesn’t it? I’m sure your kitchen smells awesome. It usually drives me crazy as it simmers, making me wait for it.

Jamaican Curry Chicken simmering in a pan

I love this curry dish. Nice and spicy to my preference.

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • The Chicken. You can easily make this recipe with any cut of chicken, either bone-in or boneless. Today I used chicken leg and thigh quarters, but it’s great with a whole chicken for a larger group, chicken breasts, chicken thighs or any combination. Many Jamaican Curry Chicken dishes I’ve seen cut up the chicken into smaller pieces, bones and all, though I love the larger pieces. To your preference!
  • The Peppers. I use jalapeno peppers for this recipe for a touch of everyday heat, but they aren’t very spicy for some people. If you’re looking for more authentic Caribbean flavor with some wonderful heat, use either Scotch Bonnet peppers or habanero peppers. Both can reach to over 350,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale, making them 70 times hotter than the average jalapeno. Perfect! Use them sparingly. Use bell peppers for a milder version.
  • Seasoning. There are many variations of seasonings for Jamaican curries. I use Jamaican curry powder with adobo seasoning, allspice and thyme. Other popular options are sazon seasoning, general chicken seasoning, fresh herbs and others. Some recipes call for Jamaican “every day” or “all-purpose” seasoning. Great if you have access to it!
  • Variations. You can update this recipe to include any and all of your favorite ingredients. Consider the following:
    • Other Meats. Try this recipe with lamb, pork, beef, fish, shellfish. So good!
    • Go Vegetarian. Make this a vegetarian dish and focus on chickpeas and more potatoes.
    • Other Vegetables. I make mine with potato, but you can easily include other root vegetables like carrot, rutabaga or celery root. Toss in green beans, corn or more peppers to round it out.
  • Serving. I alternate serving my Jamaican chicken curry with either steamed white rice or noodles. Rice will absorb all that wonderful curry sauce. Brown rice is good, too. For the noodles, I love either wheat noodles or rice noodles.

A spoonful of Jamaican Curry Chicken curry sauce

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this outstanding Jamaican chicken curry recipe. Super tasty! Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!

Cookbook Recommendation

If you’d like to learn more about Jamaican cooking, check out the following books, which I have found to be educational and informative:

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Other Jamaican Recipes You Might Enjoy

Mike scooping a piece of Jamaican Curry Chicken to serve

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Mike scooping a piece of Jamaican Curry Chicken to serve
Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Jamaican Curry Chicken Recipe

This Jamaican curry chicken recipe is the ultimate Caribbean comfort food of chicken seasoned with Jamaican curry powder and simmered in creamy curry sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaican
Keyword: chicken, curry, one pot, spicy
Servings: 8
Calories: 420kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • 3 pound chicken cut up to your preference (I used leg and thigh quarters today)
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican curry powder or more to taste
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

FOR THE CURRY

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped (add in a chopped Scotch Bonnet pepper for wonderful heat and flavor!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 14 ounce can coconut milk (optional - use only chicken broth as an alternative)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2-3 ounces tomato paste (optional - I prefer it)
  • 1 pound yellow potatoes diced (peel if desired)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste

Instructions

  • Cut up the chicken as much as you prefer. Rub the chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon Jamaican curry powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes to brown all sides, flipping half way through. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  • Add the onion and peppers to the pot and stir. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add the green onion, garlic and ginger and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Stir in the Jamaican curry powder, allspice, thyme, and adobo seasoning. Cook for 1 minute, stirring, until the seasonings bloom in flavor.
  • Stir in the coconut milk (if using), chicken broth, tomato paste (if using) and potatoes. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper and hot sauce to your personal tastes.
  • Nestle the seared chicken back into the pan with the curry sauce and reduce the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and cooked through. It should measure 165 degrees F internal when measured with a meat thermometer.
  • Serve! I like to garnish mine with fresh chopped parsley, red pepper flakes and chili slices.

Notes

The Chicken. You can easily make this recipe with any cut of chicken, either bone-in or boneless. Today I used chicken leg and thigh quarters, but it’s great with a whole chicken for a larger group, chicken breasts, chicken thighs or any combination. Most Jamaican Curry Chicken dishes I've seen cut up the chicken more, though I love the larger pieces that I can pull right off the bone to enjoy. To your preference!
The Seasonings. There are many variations of seasonings for Jamaican curries. I use Jamaican curry powder with adobo seasoning, allspice and thyme. Other popular options are sazon seasoning, general chicken seasoning, fresh herbs and others. Some recipes call for Jamaican "every day" or "all-purpose" seasoning. Great if you have access to it!

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 515mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 576IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 3mg