This Jamaican curry chicken recipe features tender chicken simmered in a unique Caribbean coconut curry with potatoes and sautéed veggies. Wake up your taste buds with this one-pot meal.
Jamaican Curry Chicken
If you’ve been looking for a relatively simple one-pot exotic meal that will help you get out of your day-to-day culinary norm, it’s time to try this Jamaican curry chicken. Chicken breasts are seared to a golden crisp and cooked low and slow with sautéed bell peppers and onions in a curry sauce that is absolutely brimming with the warm flavors of Jamaica. It’s a slightly spicy dish, but the creaminess of the coconut milk breaks that spice up beautifully.
This is the perfect entree to satisfy those of you looking for something just a little different to have for dinner tonight. Get your apron on and transport your senses to the tropical Caribbean.
Why You’ll Love This Curry Recipe
I mean, what’s not to love about a flavor-packed all-in-one meal? I would argue nothing. This dish is sure to win the hearts and taste buds of you and yours. Here are some of my favorite things about it.
- Packed with flavor. The spice blend that defines this curry dish is so unique and flavorful. Allspice, mustard seed, turmeric, curry, and more. Plus, the kick of spice from the jalapeno in the curry will keep you on your toes just the right amount. Delicious.
- It’s a full meal. Protein from the chicken, carbs from the potatoes, and veggies! This recipe loads all of the components for a complete meal into one dish.
- One-pot wonder. Aside from a little bowl to whisk your spice blend together, this recipe only requires one pan. Cleanup is a breeze.
- Unique. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t come across too much Jamaican food here in the US. This recipe is pretty quick and easy to throw together and will transport you straight to Caribbean beaches.
How to Make DIY Jamaican Curry Powder
You can find Jamaican curry powder in stores but I decided to make my own for this recipe. Simply whisk together the following ingredients and use them to make the sauce for this flavorful curry dish.
- 1 part cayenne – 1 started with 1/4 teaspoon but you can scale this recipe up as much as you’d like for later use.
- 2 parts ground black pepper
- 4 parts allspice
- 4 parts ground mustard
- 8 parts garlic powder
- 8 parts ground turmeric
- 16 parts curry powder
How to Make Jamaican Curry Chicken
Our flavorful Jamaican curry chicken recipe is surprisingly simple to make. Here’s a simplified rundown of how to do it. For more detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Sear the chicken and veggies. Season the chicken with salt and sear in olive oil for 2 minutes on either side. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, saute the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and fresh ginger in butter.
- Make the curry. Add the spice mix to the pan and sauté for a minute or two before stirring in the coconut milk, chicken stock, white wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Stir in the chicken and potatoes. Simmer covered for 30 to 40 minutes.
Tips for Success
Here come some of my top tips and tricks for achieving one of the best curries I’ve ever experienced. Follow them closely to set yourself up for success.
- Dry your chicken. If you want to get a nice sear on your chicken, take an extra moment to pat it dry with a paper towel before placing it in the hot pan. Removing excess moisture will allow the chicken to brown more effectively.
- Don’t crowd the pan. When searing the chicken, don’t crowd the pan as this will drop the temperature of the pre-heated surface, and the chicken won’t sear properly. Instead, it will release its moisture, leaving the meat tough and dry. To prevent this, sear the chicken in batches if you need to.
- Toast your spices. A step in this recipe directs you to toast your spices before adding the liquid ingredients to the curry. Don’t skip this step. It might seem trivial, but it really helps to wake up the flavors in the spice mix.
- Low and slow. Turn the heat to low once you bring the curry to its initial boil. Add the chicken and potatoes and simmer for 30-40 minutes. The low temperature and longer cook time will allow the meat to break down and soak in the flavorful sauce. The result will be a tender, delicious Jamaican curry chicken.
Jamaican curry chicken is a full meal in and of itself, but I love serving it with some veggies and/or a starchy side to soak up the delicious sauce. Here are some of my favorites.
- Rice. Serve this curry with simple Jasmine rice or something more flavorful. Try my Jollof Rice, Jeera Rice, or this Almond Brown Rice Pilaf. Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice would be yummy too.
- Plantains. Plantains are very prevalent in Jamaican cuisine. They are prepared in a variety of ways. Fried, mashed, baked, in chip form. The list goes on. Do some experimenting and find out which is your favorite.
- Slaw. Coleslaw is another common side served in Jamaica. You can find traditional recipes with a quick Google search, but my Cilantro Vinaigrette Coleslaw or this classic Coleslaw Recipe will also work.
- Salad. I have been loving this Green Goddess Salad but Jamaicans use a lot of cucumbers in their salads so I wanted to point you toward this Cabbage Cucumber Salad, my Radish Cucumber Tomato Salad, and this Creamy Cucumber Salad.
Is Jamaican Curry Chicken Spicy?
It is a little spicy. 🌶️ That said, if you want a milder version, you are welcome to leave out the jalapeno and/or the cayenne pepper in the spice blend. Conversely, if you would like a spicier curry, feel free to up the amount of cayenne pepper, include the jalapeno seeds in the recipe, and/or add another whole or half a jalapeno. You could even use a spicier pepper, such as a scotch bonnet, if you’d like.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
- Refrigerator. Allow the curry to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Seal the container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To reheat, place the desired portion in an appropriately sized saucepan and heat over medium heat until warmed through.
- Freezer. Once the curry has cooled to room temperature, seal it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before following the above reheating instructions.
More Chicken Dinner Ideas
Chicken is one of the most versatile (and popular) proteins, and I love experimenting with chicken dishes from around the world. Here are some favorites from my kitchen to yours.
- Chicken Skewers with Macedonian Taratur Sauce
- Szechuan Chicken
- Chicken Bulgogi
- Beer Battered Fried Chicken
- Chicken Puttanesca
- King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Jamaican Curry Chicken
- 4 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half, crosswise
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 (15-ounces) can full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 medium russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes
- Whisk together the curry powder, turmeric, garlic powder, allspice, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
- Season the chicken with the sea salt.
- Sear the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and sear for 2 minutes on one side. Flip the chicken and sear for 2 minutes on the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Cook the vegetables. Add the butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and fresh ginger. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the bell pepper has softened, about 3 minutes.
- Toast the spices. Add the spice mix to the pan and stir. Cook for 1 ½ minutes, stirring constantly.
- Finish the sauce. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, white wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Finish the chicken. Add the chicken and potatoes to the pan. Stir to coat in the sauce. Cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Chicken: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs. If using chicken thighs, you don’t have to cut them in half. If you want your chicken to get a nice sear in the pan, take an extra second to pat it dry with a paper towel before you put it in the hot pan.
- Don’t crowd the pan. Putting too many chicken pieces in the pan will lower the temperature of the pan, and the chicken won’t get that nice brown color. So, if the pan isn’t big enough, cook the chicken in batches.
- Don’t skip toasting your spices – it really brings out the flavors.
- Cook it low and slow. After the curry comes to a boil, turn the heat down low. Add the chicken and potatoes and let it all simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Cooking it at a low temperature for a longer time lets the meat break down and soak up all the tasty sauce.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.