This Crock Pot Jamaican Spiced Chicken Stew is delicious served with rice and a simple green salad, and is light enough to be served all year round.
(This post has been updated since its original publish date in February 2013)
When my youngest son was a baby, we had a wonderful Jamaican babysitter. She 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 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.
Although this recipe is cooked in a slow cooker, the key to deeper flavors is to brown the chicken on the stovetop first. A slight reduction of red wine adds another layer of flavor.
Then, everything is placed in a slow cooker, including chopped tomatoes and cooked black beans.
All you need is some steamed rice and a simple green salad to go along with this Slow Cooker Jamaican Chicken Stew to make a complete comforting meal. For busy nights, I keep this stew warm in the slow cooker, and the rice warm in the rice cooker. The other night, my husband and I had to run to a meeting, so this was the perfect way for the kids to serve themselves dinner when they were hungry.
For fun, here is the original photo I took of this recipe three years ago. I remember taking this picture using artificial indoor lighting because it was already dark out. The updated photos in this post were all taken using natural lighting and don’t look as washed out as this old photo. It’s fun rephotographing some of my old posts and seeing the difference.
- 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
- Toss chicken with curry powder, thyme, allspice, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt.
- 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.