Categorized |Chicken

Curry stew chicken that will leave your family asking for seconds.

caribbean-curry-stew-chicken1Kieana our eldest daughter is hooked on anything stewed, while Indy our youngest will not touch the stuff. She’s more into curry chicken, but Kieana will only tolerate curry…  no real love there. To try and please or ensure they both eat, I’ve gone back to making a dish that my mom used to make for us when we were kids that was a hit. Curry-stew chicken, a combination of both curry and stewing as the name suggests.

The concept is the same as Stew Chicken, except, we’ll be seasoning the chicken with curry to add that extra level of flavor. For this recipe I suggest you again use a heavy pot for best results (see pot below). Something like a traditional Caribbean pot or one of those cast iron Dutch oven type would be great. You may also use one of those heavy stainless steel ones you can find in department stores in North America with the reinforced (heavy) bottoms.

You’ll need……..

1 (4-5 pounds) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced or crushed
1 teaspoon fresh/bottled ginger – crushed. (use 1/2 if it’s ginger powder)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (one that can withstand high heat)
1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium tomato – chopped
2-3 tablespoon cilantro (or 2 tbs Trinidad green meat seasoning)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 hot pepper (only if you like your food spicy)
1 green onion or chive – chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
1 lime or lemon or 3 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoon curry powder (your favorite)

Preparing the chicken. Cut or ask your butcher to cut the chicken into serving size pieces. In a bowl empty the cut chicken and squeeze the lime or lemon (or vinegar) onto the chicken, then add some water from your tap to cover the pieces of chicken. Now wash each piece individually, removing skin and any fat (we’ll try to keep this a bit healthy). Now rinse with a new batch of water and drain.

Then in the same bowl with the freshly washed chicken you’ll add ALL the ingredients EXCEPT the oil, sugar and cup of water, we’ll be using those to cook the chicken. Here’s what it should look like (remember to mix everything around and let it sit (marinate) in the fridge for about 1hr before cooking.



FYI, you’ve just seasoned the chicken. After about an hour or so marinating, it time to get things moving.

Here’s a pic of the pot I used:


On high heat, add the oil to the pan. Just before the oil starts to smoke, add the brown sugar. TIP – be sure to have the seasoned chicken handy, use a long handle spoon (it will get hot) and oven mitts to hold onto the pot to turn the pieces of chicken to get it evenly coated. It’s important that you keep an eye on things and be ready to act fast. Next tip – it can get a bit smoky with the high heat at this point, so you may want to turn the exhaust fan over your stove on or open a window in the event you have smoke detectors installed.


Move around the sugar in the pot (remember to use a dry spoon with a long handle), until it starts to melt. Now keep a close eye on things here, since you’re looking for the sugar to go a bit foamy, and change color to golden. See pic below. Notice the middle of the picture where the sugar appears a bit darker? That’s the exact color you’re looking for before adding the chicken. (Note – we used less sugar in this recipe than when cooking stew chicken, since we don’t want to over-power the curry aspect of the dish)


At this point you can start adding the pieces of chicken into the pot with the caramelized sugar. Try to be quick, since you don’t want the sugar to go much darker than in the picture above. Be sure to coat every piece of chicken so it “browns” evenly. Now cover the pot and let simmer for about 5 -10 minutes. you’ll notice that the pot will now have some excess water in it.



We’d like to now allow all the juices that developed during cooking (while pot was covered) to cook-down until there is no liquid in the pot, so we need to turn the heat back up to high. The chicken will now start to get even darker. As soon as you can no longer see any liquid in the pot, it’s will be time to add the water.


Now add the cup of water to the bowl that contained the seasoned chicken. Swish it around so you get all the seasoning bits that were left back. Add this water to the pot so you can continue cooking the chicken for another 25 minutes or so. Turn the heat back down to a gentle simmer and let cook until the water thickens up to a nice gravy like consistency (pot closed). To thicken the gravy, remove the lid and turn up the heat if necessary.



Salt – be sure to taste near the end to add extra salt as to your liking.

Sauce – Since we pair this with rice or with roti, we leave a bit of sauce or gravy with it. BTW, this also goes well as a topping for macaroni and cheese.. give it a try!

Questions? Leave me a comment below and I’ll try my best to help you as best as I can.

Maybe you have a different version of this recipe? Feel free to submit your recipes.

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268 Responses to “Curry stew chicken that will leave your family asking for seconds.”

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Chris,

    How do you alter this recipe for diabetics? Will the same results be achieved using a sugar substitute?

  2. Michelle Wiltshire says:

    On work we would call this “dougla chicken”. I made your Vegetarian gluten free pelau today and it was spot on. Chris, you give meaning to the movie Ratatouille “Anyone can cook”. Thank you.

  3. james singhan says:

    Hi. try this and tell me the difference .when the oil is hot throw in i tea spoon whole jeera,let it get brown,add the cut-up onion,let it get light brown, add maranated chicken, let it fry for 5 minutes, add curry powder,add salt to taste let it cook down so the massala catch at the bottom,throw in waterto cover chicken,cook for about 10 minutes take fire off,add1table spoon garam massala mix and caver ,eat when ready. tell me what you think.

  4. Sherina says:

    my mom would make this for us growing up as well, however she made her’s slightly different. Instead of seasoning the chicken with the curry powder, she would, in a small bowl mix the curry with a little water, creating a not so thick paste. Then when the sugar caramelizes, she would add add this paste to the sugar. Watch out as it may splatter a little. Allow the curry to cook in the sugar till the water has evaporated, then continue with your recipe. However, during the last five minutes of cooking, she would sprinkle a little freshly cut shadon beni. You should try this variation and see what you think :)

  5. Arlene Parris says:

    Hi chris could you give the price of the cookbook in U.S money.Thank You

  6. Rosetta Bedeau says:

    Thanks Chris for these recipes, I have gotten so fed up of cooking the
    Same Things repeatedly and now that I have discovered your website it
    It will be very motivating for me to try out the menus

  7. Verona Vandenberg says:

    Because of the Malayan influence on our food in South Africa, we love curries. Thanks for the lovely Curry Stew Chicken recipe, I am definitely going to try it. I am new in Barbados, only arrived here beginning of August and I am in love with the food here. The Creole guide to dining in Barbados led me to your website (researched the different foods!) When I return to South African in January, I am going to cook Barbados food!

  8. Millicent says:

    Thank you Chris! i have never done this, i will definitely try this one.

  9. Nerissa B says:


    Thank you for making these recipes so simple… Now i’m finally learning to make my favorite west indian foods…

  10. Pamela says:

    Chris, you make cooking for dummies so simple, it is as easy as pie!!! The dishes taste absolutely wonderful. Thanks Chris.

  11. Joseph says:

    Chris i have done curry chicken but never added sugar..i am going to try this recipe. Thanks

  12. Sterling S Mohammed says:

    A variation I learnt from liming with Farmers in Rio Claro,Trinidad. I don’t know if it significantly changes the final taste but it is different.After burning the sugar,add the Curry which has been presoaked in water.Stir the Burnt sugar and curry mixture and allow to fry until the whole mass is a deep brown color and has a plasticky kinda consistency.Then throw in the meat and stir to cover.CurryStewing adds this wonderful taste to any meat.

  13. Roxanne says:

    I am really glad that I came across your website Chris.
    So much great Caribbean dishes in one package is a dream come true.
    I am hooked already.

  14. Delacey says:

    Chris I think you are fab, I just love your recipes, and have enjoyed sharing them with family and friends, you have reignited my love for cooking, and have presented me with a vast array of new recipes to try. Thank you so much and keep them coming.

  15. alicia says:

    Just joined your web site tell you mom thanks for the recipes and thanks to you for cooking them on youtube. Do you have a recipe for curry mango

    • Helen Khan says:

      I absolutely love curry stew. Growing up in the country side (Rio Claro) we had a lot of Friday or Saturday nights cooking on a fire side outside. I’ve had it with all types of meat. It is great if you have a common or what we would say a yard fowl and dumplings. Mouth watering. The only thing different with your recipe is that we never used ketchup in it. I’m just not a ketchup person. Man, you real season that meat up with some good fresh seasonings and hot pepper and you’re good to go. I still cook curry stew and its a fav for my kids.


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