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Crock Pot Jamaican Spiced Chicken Stew Recipe

by Jeanette on February 25, 2013 · 53 Comments
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Crock Pot Jamaican Spiced Chicken Stew - this is pure comfort food - serve over steamed rice with a green salad on the sideA number of years ago, we had a wonderful babysitter from Jamaica who was exceptionally warm and had the biggest smile on her face. Not only was she patient and loving, but she was also a good cook. In fact, she taught me how to make Jamaican porridge for my father-in-law who had Parkinson’s disease and was on a soft food diet, as well as Jamaican Curry Chicken. She even made me Ackee and Saltfish one day, Jamaica’s national dish.

Like so many cuisines that I have been exposed to, I challenged myself to learn how to cook some of the foods from Jamaica. I’ve made Jerk Chicken and Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken, and recently, tried this Jamaican Spiced Chicken Stew. Although not authentically Jamaican, it has the warm spices that are found in Jamaican cooking. It’s almost a cross between Jamaican Curry Chicken and Jamaican Jerk Chicken, made with spices found in Jamaican cuisine — allspice, thyme, pepper and curry.

Crock Pot Jamaican Spiced Chicken Stew - this is pure comfort food - serve over steamed rice with a green salad on the side

I spotted this Jamaican Chicken Stew recipe on Cooking Light’s site and knew it could easily work in a crock pot for a no-fuss meal during the weekday. Although the recipe called for boneless chicken breast, I opted for bone-in dark chicken parts since they don’t dry out after a long simmer (just remove the skin). I also left out the capers as I just didn’t think they went with the recipe.

Crock Pot Jamaican Spiced Chicken Stew - this is pure comfort food - serve over steamed rice with a green salad on the side

Served over steamed brown rice and a green salad, this was an easy dinner to make and perfect for a cold winter night.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Crock Pot Jamaican Chicken Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This can be served over steamed brown rice alongside a simple tossed green salad.
Recipe type: Crock Pot, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Caribbean inspired
Serves: 8
  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks and thighs on the bone
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1½ cups (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  1. Toss chicken with curry powder, thyme, allspice, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add chicken mixture to skillet and brown on both sides. Add wine and let cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and black beans and mix well. Transfer to crock pot and cook in high for 4-5 hours until tender and meat is falling off the bone. Alternatively, you can continue to cook the chicken on the stove top for about 25-30 minutes until chicken is done.

Slow Cooker Jamaican Spiced Chicken Nutrition Label

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  1. This looks amazing, and after reading the ingredient list, I cannot wait to try this out!!!

  2. I recently had some Jerk Chicken on my trip to Key West that was delicious, but I’ve never tried making it before. Your crock pot version sounds wonderful, as does your babysitter :-)

  3. Love this! My husband is a big fan of Jamaican food. I have to make this for him :)

  4. I seldom buy chicken thighs on the bone, so I’m wondering whether this can be adapted easily for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I’m guessing yes!

    • Lydia – I think this recipe would work fine with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You probably don’t have to cook it as long. I used bone-in chicken because it was less expensive.

  5. Even though the dish itself may not be totally authentic, the spice blend sounds wonderful! So warming and hearty!

  6. I live with the crock pot next to me in the kitchen all the time and I love this recipe. It’s rich, hearty, has simple ingredients and must be so amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe and the nice blog visit, Jeanette!

  7. Jeanette, LOVE all the bold flavors here!

  8. I can just imagine how amazing this smells cooking in the crock pot all day long!

  9. I truly need a crock pot in my life! That looks amazing, Jeanette!

  10. Oh yes, love the sound of this.

  11. OOOH This looks good. I could make this and we’d eat it for a few days. It’s great when it can all be made in one pot too (except for the rice that is). I bet the allspice really jazzes the flavor up!

  12. This was fabulous. Chicken just fell off the bone. Think I will spice it up little more next time but will definitely have this again and again!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      So glad you tried this and liked it Leigh! I personally like things spicier, but usually keep a bottle of hot sauce on the side for myself (the boys think I make everything too spicy ;)).

  13. This was really tasty and enjoyed by us all.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Ali – so glad you tried this recipe and enjoyed it! Thanks for your feedback – I appreciate you coming back to let me know how it turned out.

  14. This turned out really well. I added pineapple and dried cranberries because I like fruit in my curry. They cooked really well and I like using dried fruit in the slow cooker (the cranberries). I actually even added some fresh pineapple on top as I prefer a somewhat sweeter curry. It was quite nice although it may not be authentic.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks for trying this recipe and for sharing your modifications – great idea adding fruit for a different sweeter twist!

  15. Hi Jeanette,
    I am not a leg or thigh person so can the breast and wing be used instead?

    • Latanya, you could use breast and wing instead of dark meat, but I would suggest cooking it for less time as white meat takes less time to cook than dark meat and dries out more easily. Since this is a stew, the meat should still be nice and moist.


    • Linda – you can cook this on the stove top (in a covered pot) for about 30 minutes or if you want to bake it in the oven, I would put it in a covered pot and bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes.

  17. Hi! I think I’m going to try this tonight! I have drumsticks thawing right now… 2 questions. Do you take the skin off prior to cooking? and if I don’t have black beans, do you think chickpeas would work? :) Thanks!!

    • Grace, I left the skin on, but you could take it off too, and I think chickpeas would be a great substitute for black beans. I love all beans!

  18. I’m cooking this as we speak and my house smells AMAZING! I pinned this months ago. If you don’t mind, I am going to post this on my blog with a DIRECT link to you! Thanks Jeanette!

    • Sheree, so glad you tried this recipe and are enjoying it. I’ve had great feedback on this recipe, and it’s super easy which makes it even better. Thanks for the link love!

  19. I made this yesterday evening for dinner and my husband is eating the leftovers now raving about how AMAZING it is as we speak!! Haha thank you Jeanette! Hopefully it makes him forget about alll the money I spent last week. ;o) Oh, I also added fresh cut up pineapples and some dried cranberries to add a little sweetness to the spice! LOVED IT!!

    • Zakiya – so glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe. Love your addition of pineapple and dried cranberries for some tropical sweetness.

  20. Good afternoon, this recipe looks great. Trying it tonight. Do you use canned black beans?

  21. This recipe was absolutely amazing! My husband said that he felt like he was eating at a 5 star restaurant. What do recommend as the best way to reheat leftovers?

    • Megan – so glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe! It’s a favorite of mine too and my friends who have tried it. I would gently simmer it on the stove, adding some water or broth as needed to keep it from drying out.

  22. Jeannette,

    I know you said you can use canned or dry beans but wouldn’t that affect cooking time? What do YOU use? :-) My plan is to put this on in the morning before work and let is slow cook on low until about 7 pm.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Hi Candace, I mean cooked dry beans or canned beans (which are already cooked). I make dry beans about once every other week so I usually have some that I can use in stews and soups, but canned beans (rinsed well and drained) would work too.

  23. Is this recipe good for someone that’s on a diet?

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Jerae, for lower fat, use boneless chicken breasts in this recipe. This is a healthy recipe when served with whole grains and vegetables along with it.

  24. stephanie says:

    Can you tell me what brand of wine you used? I have no experience at all with wine, i don’t drink or cook with it s i am unsure what to buy

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Stephanie, I just use whatever red wine we might have – sometimes I buy the mini box wine and keep it in my refrigerator for cooking. You don’t want to buy cooking wine because it is often very high in sodium. Instead of wine, you can also use chicken broth.

  25. Hi Jeanette Thanks for answering my first question so fast. I have one more question. Instead of tomatoes is there something you can suggest to sub that for like maybe canned corn or anything?

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Jerae – you can leave out the tomatoes – the taste will be different but I’m sure it will still be very flavorful. Perhaps add some red bell pepper for color and corn would be nice too.

  26. This was very delicious, the chicken really became tender so it made for a nice comfort food over rice. Everyone loved it and it was a very easy meal on a weeknight. Thank you!

  27. I just made this tonight and it was a hit!! I left out the red pepper flakes since my kids can’t eat too spicy and I added celery seed and smoked paprika and it was delicious!

    • Stephanie, so glad this worked out so well for you and your family! Love the addition of celery seed and smoked paprika – sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing your cooking experience with us!

  28. i dont have red wine is there a substitute?

  29. This recipe is right up my alley. Just made it tonight and added a splash of soy sauce. Doubled the recipe and cooked it stovetop. Omg, it’s fantastic!!! Thanks for sharing your fusion recipe. Superb! Served it with coconut rice from Melissa d’arabian. This one is a keeper!! Next time I think I’ll cook the chicken first and set it aside before sautéing the onions to make it crisper.

  30. I LOVE this recipe and it was a huge hit at the church pot lunch I took it to. I used chicken breasts on the bone b/c they were on sale but otherwise followed the ingredient list… the spice combo is spot on (I was so leary about the allspice and tempted to cut the amount but took the plunge AND so glad I did! Yum!) Thank you for the BEST chicken recipe ever!

  31. I made this one a little while ago, and my husband and I both really enjoyed it! I’m in the process of making a list of meals to stock our freezer with before our first baby arrives, and this one caught my eye when I was flipping through my recipes– do you think this one would freeze well, either after cooking or before putting the chicken/beans/tomatoes together to throw in my crock pot later? Thanks!

    • Becky, so glad you like this recipe. Beans tend to get mushy and fall apart when frozen, so I would either cook it without the beans and freeze it (add the beans when you’re ready to reheat), or freeze everything before cooking. Best wishes for your first baby! Such exciting times for you and your family!

  32. What if you don’t have black beans, can I substitute with a different bean?

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