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Original Jamaican Curry Chicken Recipe: Authentic Caribbean Style Dish

Today, we’re going on a culinary journey to the heart of the Caribbean, focusing on the original Jamaican curry chicken recipe that has captured the taste buds of food lovers worldwide. We’re going to dive deep into the authentic style of making this flavorful dish, with tips and tricks directly from the Jamaican kitchen. Let’s get started!

Understanding Jamaican Food and Curry Recipes

When you think of Jamaican food, your mind probably wanders to jerk chicken, spicy patties, and of course, curry. Jamaican curry recipes are a blend of Indian curries and Caribbean curry traditions with a pinch of African influence. This fusion of flavors gives Jamaican curry its unique, savory taste and intense flavor.

A vibrant plate of traditional Jamaican curry chicken served on a bed of white rice, garnished with fresh herbs.

Choosing the Right Curry Powder

For the best Jamaican curry chicken, choosing the right curry powder is crucial. Jamaican curry powder is a blend of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and hot peppers, different from Indian curry powder. This blend gives the curry dish its golden hue and spicy kick. So, for an authentic Jamaican curry chicken, always opt for Jamaican curry powder.

The Role of Scotch Bonnet Peppers and Spices

Scotch bonnet peppers are a staple in Jamaican recipes. They add a heat level that’s hard to match with any other pepper. For those who can’t handle the spice, bell peppers can be a perfect substitute. Along with these, fresh thyme, black pepper, garlic powder, and all-purpose seasoning are necessary to create the authentic flavor that Jamaican chicken curry is known for.

A selection of vibrant scotch bonnet peppers, a key ingredient in the original Jamaican curry chicken recipe.

Choosing the Best Cut of Chicken

Choosing the best cut of chicken is essential for the perfect curry. Dark meat chicken like skinless chicken thighs are often preferred as they tend to be more flavorful and juicy. However, chicken breast can also be used, especially for those watching their calorie consumption. Regardless of the cut, the chicken pieces should be cut into small pieces for the best results.

Preparing the Chicken for Curry

Preparing the chicken is a crucial step in creating the best Jamaican curry chicken. The chicken pieces should be cleaned with lime juice or lemon juice, then patted dry with a paper towel. After that, the chicken is seasoned with Jamaican curry powder, black pepper, garlic powder, and fresh thyme, then left to marinate in an airtight container for at least a couple of hours, or even better, overnight. This process infuses the chicken with intense flavors and tenderizes the meat.

A set of chicken pieces being prepared for the curry, coated with Jamaican curry powder and fresh thyme.

Cooking the Perfect Jamaican Curry Chicken

When it comes to cooking the curry, a heavy bottom pan is ideal for maintaining medium heat and ensuring the chicken doesn’t burn. The seasoned chicken is first browned in some olive oil to lock in the flavors, then the remaining curry powder and spices are added to the pan with a cup of water. The chicken is then cooked on medium-high heat until it’s tender and the curry sauce thickens.

Accompaniments to the Jamaican Curry Chicken

The original Jamaican curry chicken recipe is typically served with white rice or Jamaican rice and peas. The richness of the curry pairs perfectly with the simplicity of the rice, making for a satisfying meal. For those who want to add a little more flavor, a side of fried plantains or a fresh salad makes a great addition.

Final Thoughts on the Original Jamaican Curry Chicken Recipe

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner cook, making the original Jamaican curry chicken recipe is a culinary adventure worth embarking on. The blend of spices, the heat from the peppers, and the succulent chicken pieces create a dish that’s not just food, but a celebration of Jamaican culture. So next time you’re in the mood for a curry, why not give this authentic Jamaican curry chicken recipe a try?

Learn to Make Authentic Jamaican Curry on YouTube and TikTok

For visual learners, there are numerous YouTube videos and TikTok – make tutorials available that guide you step by step through the process of making the original Jamaican curry chicken recipe. These videos are a great resource for beginners and also provide tips and tricks for those more experienced in the kitchen. So, why not take this culinary journey and bring the flavors of Jamaica into your own kitchen?

A full plate of Jamaican curry chicken served alongside white rice

Authentic Jamaican Curry Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Experience the vibrant and zesty flavors of the Caribbean with this authentic Jamaican curry chicken recipe. This dish is loved by Jamaicans and food enthusiasts all over the world, thanks to its rich blend of herbs, spices, and tender, juicy chicken.


  • 3 lbs of chicken
  • 2 tablespoons of Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of pimento (allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar


  1. In a large bowl, add the chicken pieces, Jamaican curry powder, minced garlic, chopped Scotch bonnet pepper, pimento, salt, and black pepper. Mix well until every piece of chicken is coated with the spices. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours or ideally overnight.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch pot over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces and brown them on all sides. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and thyme. Sauté them for about 5 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.
  4. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet. Add the chicken broth, cubed potatoes, and white vinegar. Stir everything together, then reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the thyme sprigs before serving.
  6. Serve your Jamaican curry chicken hot with white rice, roti, or hardo bread.


This is a spicy dish. Adjust the amount of Scotch bonnet pepper to suit your heat preference. If you can't find Scotch bonnet, you can substitute with habanero peppers.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 680Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 1500mgCarbohydrates: 30gNet Carbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 55g

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