Caribbean cuisine and hot peppers go hand-in-hand, and that’s especially true with anything Jamaican and scotch bonnet peppers. It’s a pairing made in heaven. Think of this spicy Jamaican curry chicken recipe as tropical comfort food. It has a rich flavor, a spicy sweetness, and enough chicken and potatoes to fill you up just the way you want comfort food to do.
Warning: This spicy Jamaican curry chicken is no-joke spicy if you make it following this recipe. Scotch bonnets are the same heat as habanero peppers. You can opt to cut down on the chili peppers in the dish, or you could even cut them out completely. But, of course, you know what we’d say: where would be the fun in that? You could swap in a chili pepper with a more pedestrian level of heat (like jalapeño peppers). It certainly lowers the spiciness, but scotch bonnets have that tropical fruity sweetness that’s hard to match lower on the pepper scale. The bright, grassy taste of jalapeños won’t be an authentic Jamaican curry flavor match.
If you love the exotic fire of Jamaican jerk seasoning, definitely also try our Jamaican jerk wings. They’ll liven up any gathering. Or, if you just want something to use as a dipper, make some of this Jamaican jerk sauce. It’s perfect with chicken wings, chicken tenders, and vegetable crudites.
Spicy Jamaican Curry Chicken
- 2 teaspoons thyme about 8 sprigs if fresh
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 bunch scallions diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 piece ginger around 1 inch long
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers
- 4 pounds chicken thighs and legs with skin and bones
- 4 cups chicken stock fresh preferred, but can be bullion
- 1 pound yellow potatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 cup curry powder
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Water as needed
- Salt and pepper
- Rice for serving
For The Marinade
- Blend the scallions, onions, thyme, garlic, ginger, and one Scotch bonnet in a food processor or with a hand-held blender. Throw in a little water or oil if it needs a little liquid during the pulsing. Blend until the ingredients are fully combined.
Marinade the Chicken
- Cut up the chicken into large pieces and marinade with the sauce for at least an hour. Overnight is preferable.
Cooking the Curry
- In a braiser (or another high-walled pan), toast the curry and cumin over low heat until it becomes aromatic.
- Add the marinaded chicken (plus any additional marinade) and potatoes into the pan and mix with the curry and cumin. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Pour the chicken stock over the chicken and potatoes until the chicken is covered. Top it with a little water if necessary to reach this point.
- Cover the braiser and bring the stock to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes.
- Uncover and stir in the other chopped Scotch bonnet pepper (this is optional – only if you want it real spicy).
- Pour in about 1/2 to 1 cup of additional water to loosen the ingredients, and cook uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the liquid in the pan is of a gravy thickness.
- Serve with rice.