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Jamaican Chicken Curry

Stewing is a three-step process: Brown the meat, add aromatics, seasonings, and a generous amount of liquid, and then simmer on the top of the stove until the chicken is tender.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Jamaican Chicken Curry

Source: Everyday Food, May 2009


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 bone-in, skinless chicken breast halves (10 to 12 ounces each), halved crosswise
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder (preferably Jamaican)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, brown chicken, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, cumin, curry, thyme, and 1/2 cup water and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Add carrots, coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, and chicken with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peas. Serve curry over rice.

Reviews (29)

  • Hawaiianboo 12 Dec, 2014

    This was very bland. Ugh. I don't even know how to fix it. I am eating it now. Probably wouldn't make it again. I've made this dish before using another recipe but I couldn't find it so I tried this one. I don't know people. If you like bland, then this is for you. I tried to like it.

  • Classy Kassie 30 Aug, 2014

    To say there is nothing Jamaican about this recipe is a bit harsh. I must admit in Jamaica we cook our Curry Chicken a bit more complex and sans the peas and coconut milk in some parts of Jamdung.

    I was raised Jamaican I just made this dish tonight. Ive recently been putting a tip of coconut milk in my dish and i find it gives the chicken more depth and thickness. May I suggest the best curry to use is BetaPak, Chief or Choice (in that order). And add a bit of curry powder to the oil 4 browning

  • abbymarian 22 Sep, 2013

    I loved this recipe! I can't speak to the flavor of the original recipe, because I made some modifications. Similar to some of the other reviewers - I added veggie stock instead of water for more flavor, added a little extra thyme/cumin and used cubed chicken breast instead of bone-in chicken. It was great! I definitely want to try the recipe again with maybe a few other types of veggies.

  • Babadoo 24 Mar, 2013

    I'm really sorry but I find it rather insulting to even suggest that this is jamican chicken curry please remove the "Jamaican" part cos I have never eaten curry like that in my life it looks like watered chicken we season out chicken first then add the other ingredients at the same time no coconut milk is added are you confused with some other curry

  • jujulovesbaking 19 Jan, 2013

    I feel compelled to say that there is nothing Jamaican about this recipe. First of all, Jamaican curried chicken (not chicken curry btw) is extremely yellow, not this pale watered-down color. Not sure if you specifically need Jamaican curry powder, but it does make a difference in taste and color. Also, it's not supposed to be sweet so i'm not sure why coconut milk is included as an ingredient. Same with baby peas.
    Anyway, my intention is not to be negative, just wanted to clarify.

  • micheline1 1 Apr, 2012

    Uninteresting and very disappointing!

  • teachermum 4 Nov, 2011

    Yummy! My 6 yo daughter loves indian/asian food so we tried this recipe and loved it! We will definitely make it again soon.

  • ama888 3 Nov, 2011

    If you're allergic to coconut, you can use soy creamer as a substitute. I do this when something calls for a nut milk. You could add a little agave or sugar to sweeten.

  • Lkrebs 27 Oct, 2011

    This was DELICIOUS. Like, good-enough-to-satisfy-my-craving-for-my-favorite-Thai-restaurant good. That said, I didn't follow the recipe exactly. First, I couldn't find Jamaican curry, so I bought Spice Islands brand "Spicy Curry Powder." I used four tablespoons instead of three and chicken broth instead of water. I also cubed the chicken before browning. Next time I'll use snow peas and red bell peppers rather than the peas - they were too sweet. Next time will be VERY soon!

  • ama888 24 Oct, 2011

    The first time I made this 2 years ago, I thought it was terribly bland. This time around I changed a few things. I purchased Jamaican Curry from Amazon, I used a can of coconut milk that said for cooking. I also added a little bit more cumin and thyme. Instead of water I used vegetable stock. It had SO MUCH flavor this time, it was GREAT! I'm not sure about the chicken being over done. I don't eat chicken, but I tend to over cook it any way so I don't give my husband food poisining.

  • luscious1cakes 23 Oct, 2011

    Well I'm Jamaican and so is my mother, father and grandparents and our Curry Chicken is not done this way. First, you don't have to brown it, second, we season our chicken all at one time. And put it all in the pot - one time! Let is simmer and cook, that's it! Curry chicken is a favorite quick dish. And also fry some sweet plantains on the side. Yum. We make it with white or yellow rice.....

  • c6430hp 5 Oct, 2011

    One mo' thing... For some zing, I added a couple of dashes of crushed red pepper to the spice stage of the recipe. Next time, I might serve the dish over Jasmine or Basmati rice. I would think either would add just a little bit more sweetness/exotica to the dish. I mean why not? You only live once and if you do it right -- once is enough!

  • c6430hp 5 Oct, 2011

    Very easy to make. Great Sunday supper. Start cooking 'round 5 o'clock and it's on the table by 6:15. I agree with the other two reviewers: the chicken was a little overdone, but not enough to be a buzz kill. I also found that I needed to add just a little more water at various stages. Lastly, for a little bit more color and dimension, I added two cubed Roma tomatoes during the last five minutes (just to let them warm-through) and a few, whole, fresh Basil leaves. Tasty, tasty!

  • scastle 21 Sep, 2011

    This was kind of disappointing. I think it would be better if done in a crock pot to enhance the flavors. Cutting the chicken into smaller pieces would also make the dish better. The chicken was way over cooked following the directions and it made it difficult to eat when finished. Putting it back in the pot with 3-5 minutes left would probably prevent the chicken from over cooking.

  • liz_alchemist 29 Apr, 2011

    I really liked this dish! I love anything that makes chicken not taste like chicken! I served over brown rice, and the flavors were very rich. Make sure to use fresh spices: curry powder can go stale after 6 months.

    My chicken seemed a little overdone (it was 165 degrees after stewing) so I might wait until 5 minutes before the dish is done to add the chicken back in.

  • liz_alchemist 29 Apr, 2011

    Yum! I love dishes that make chicken not taste like chicken! This was very simple, but packed a lot of flavor. I especially loved the coconut milk, which softened the dish and added a cool flavor. My chicken seemed a little overdone, so I might delay putting th back into the curry next time. Also, I ate this over brown rice, and it was delicious.

  • Kelly2121 16 Mar, 2011

    horrible! It took me over an hour to make this dish and was so BLAND!!! I couldn't even eat it after all my hard work! I don't know if its because i used regular Curry Powder instead of Jamaican, but nevertheless this was horrible. NEXT!

  • YoYoGal 31 Jan, 2011

    This is a hearty, flavorful recipe! I also add baby carrots and potatoes to the recipe.

  • Eneeray 24 Jan, 2011

    Family LOVED this. I added more water though and simmered for 3 hours. Added the peas and carrots near the end removing the lid to reduce. at the very end added some flour water to thicken a bit. Also needed more salt but a wonderful guide to get started. Would work in a crock pot too.

  • mbech5 16 Oct, 2010

    I have made this recipe many times. My family LOVES it! I have substituted half and half for the coconut milk. It adds a creaminess and tastes great!

  • FranRyan 25 May, 2010

    This recipe is really good if you like curry. I used mild Jamaican curry.

  • icewindancer 28 Mar, 2010

    We love this recipe. But I'd advise using boneless chicken breasts.

    @beating_im_not: If you are allergic to coconut milk and peanuts try milk (preferably whole milk) sweetened with a very little brown sugar. It won't taste like coconut milk, naturally, but it is an accurate substitute.

  • arrunner 24 Nov, 2009

    We have peanut allergies so substituting peanut butter would not work for us.

  • DoctorMelba 23 Nov, 2009

    Any suggestions for halving the chicken breasts (do I just crunch right through the bone)? Could I substitute boneless chicken breasts in lieu?

  • benandbeckplus2 28 May, 2009

    This is such a great recipe! If you are scared of trying curry, this one is a basic simple one. My family ate it up SO fast!

  • corknut 29 Apr, 2009

    Where can I find Jamaican curry powder?

  • cthegirl 28 Apr, 2009

    You could add peanut butter thinned with chicken stock for a coconut milk substitute. It would add similar sweetness

  • redsprettygirl 28 Apr, 2009

    I do not think that regular milk would work... The best alternative is condensed/evaporated milk in a can. Coconut milk is often used for it's sweetness and consistency in recipes and condensed milk has a similar consistency and is usually sweet as well, making it a great alternative!! Hope this helps ya!!

  • betting_im_not 24 Apr, 2009

    Can I substitute anything else for the Coconut Milk? I'm allergic, but this recipe looks delicious. Do you think I can just use regular milk?

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