How To Make Jamaican Curry Chicken

In my teen years curry chicken was a staple. We had a family friend that was born and raised in Jamaica and he knew how to throw down in the kitchen. At one of my birthday party’s he came over and made curry chicken (or as he would like to call it stewed chicken) for my mother and I to enjoy for the week. Well by the end of the party the pot was empty and all that was left was the gravy. My hungry drunken friends kept sneaking into the kitchen and stealing the wings out the pot. He didn’t even get mad though because he enjoyed feeding others. He was a chef by nature and trade. 

I was watching the food network channel at 2am the other night and they were showcasing a Jamaican restaurant that had curried goat. Oh my gosh I wanted it so badly. I started looking up the nearest Jamaican restaurants near me, but was dismayed when I found out the closest one was over two hours away. I live in a cultural desert. 🌵I decided I was just going to make it myself the next day as I’ve seen it being cooked a million times. I quickly shut my eyes and fell fast to sleep knowing I was going to eat good the next day.

I woke up the next morning and called my mom for the recipe. She started rambling off what goes into the meal, “a bit of onions, some oil, add your pototatoes”, I had to stop her because this list wasn’t going to make the perfect chicken curry. I needed exact measurements if I was going to duplicate the meal I enjoyed during my childhood. “Sorry mom, but I need exact measurements and exact cooking times”. My mom said she didn’t know how to do it like that and she just always went with how it looked and felt. 😒 Okayyyyy mom. 

So I hit up the next best resource. Google. 

Side note anytime I ask my sister how to do anything she refers me to google. Ask her about it. 

Okay, so I found a recipe on google that had some legit pictures and pretty good ratings. You know the recipe is good if there’s more than one picture on the site.  

Here’s the link

As I was going through the ingredients I realized I didn’t have a lot of the vegetables. I figured screw it, I don’t even like vegetables that much and my husband is going to pick around them anyways. Okay, so moving away from that hurdle I realized I didn’t have the right oil or the right seasonings. 😑 I’m the worst. Who doesn’t prepare for a meal before actually being hands deep in chicken trying to make it? 

So all of a sudden a beautiful floating image of my mother appeared in the kitchen and she repeated back what she said earlier to me that day. “Just go with the feel and the look M”.  Good looks mom, I guess I’ll do just that. 

I decided to loosely follow the recipe and go with what I know. I mean I’ve seen this done before, I can do this, right?!

Okay so here’s what happened….

I lined a pan to season my chicken. You can see all my seasonings in the picture, but if you don’t know what one is feel free to ask in the comments.

Next, I added all the seasonings on to chicken legs. It was what I had in my freezer and I prefer to use up things in my kitchen before I go out to buy more.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands in there and really rub those legs. If your hands aren’t stained yellow afterwards you probably weren’t aggressive enough.

Oh very very very important. Please make sure you get the right curry powder at the store. I tried to make this once three years ago and mistakenly bought Indian curry powder thinking it would still work. Make sure the container says Jamaican. The one on the right is the WRONG one. Save yourself the trouble and search for the right kind.

After that I lightly browned the chicken in oil. I over crowded my pan so I had to do some maneuvering of switching between two pans.

Here’s the chicken with a bit of an oil tan on it.

As you can see when you reach this style you’ll be happy that you really worked the seasoning on. It would’ve sucked to reach this part and have it all fall off. Also if you notice this picture has less legs than the first one. I started moving the browned pieces to my second pot that had the water going (see recipe).

I covered and allowed the chicken to cook in the water as the recipe called for. 

The chicken started to fall off the bone and was the delicious warm yellow color. My house smelled amazing.

 Oh, make sure you move all laundry and close your bedroom doors or else you’ll smell like curry for weeks. 

As the chicken is resting cook down the remaining liquid to get a gravy. 

I didn’t add any vegetables of potatoes in the beginning of the recipe as it called for. The potatoes I did have were frozen and I wanted to add it to the gravy last to ensure it didn’t disintegrate in the high heat. 

I’m a huge fan of frozen veggies. I feel like it’s fast and easy and I can make a meal for my family super quick so I always have them on hand. I decided to pull them out at this point and throw them into the pot. 

The sour cream flavor made the gravy even better. 

With curry chicken you need some sort of rice so I pulled out my frozen rice too.

The rice only takes less than 5 minutes to make and always comes out perfect.

Here’s the meal all put together. 

Can you tell which plate is my husbands? Okay, so I know it looks super sloppy and it’s not a picture from Martha Stewart, but it’s good. Like finger licking good. So good I had to get my husband to stop eating it so he’d have leftovers for the next day (which we also fought over). 

Try out the recipe and let me know what you think. Remember, if you don’t have the item sub it for something else. 



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