Caribbean Curry Chicken

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Last Updated on December 25, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Caribbean Curry Chicken

My mom’s homestyle Caribbean Curry Chicken is my #1 most popular recipe. This is the old fashioned stove top method. However, you can easily adapt it to a slow cooker or an Instant Pot and I guarantee it will become a family favorite!

plate of Caribbean Curry Chicken with rice, salad and fried plantain

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So let’s talk curry… Do you say Curry Chicken or Chicken Curry? Many British colonized countries like India and Guyana say Chicken Curry. However, most of the Caribbean usually says Curry Chicken.

It really doesn’t matter what you choose to call it as long as you try this delicious recipe. It is my #1 recipe. On Pinterest, I love to look at the photos of everyone else who has tried this recipe. I feel so proud that it is being made in other family repertoire’s as well as my own!

So what are you going to learn today?

What is Curry?

Curry means different things to different people. For some, it is a cooking method, while others only think of curry as the spice blend used. Even that has a lot of variation from country to country and even region to region within the same country. The curry powder used to make Jamaican Curry Chicken bears little resemblance to the curry powder used in Malaysia.

In fact, that is one of the cookbook ideas I have rolling around in my head. Would you be interested in learning how to cook many different curries from around the world, all packaged nicely in a neat little book? Let me know in the comments if this is a cookbook you would love to own?

Caribbean Curry Powder

Many of you are probably most familiar with Indian curry recipes. Despite the differences in various regional Indian curries, you will still find a distinct flavor difference between Indian and Caribbean curries.

Whole spices are rarely, if ever, used in Caribbean curries. It is usually only ground curry powder and occasionally someone might start it off with some whole cumin seed.

 Caribbean curry powder usually has a higher concentration of sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamom, with a strong cumin flavor.

The two most popular brands of curry powder that Caribbeans use available in the US are Chief & Lalah’s Madras Curry Powder, available at Caribbean markets or on Amazon (see links below).

Just as in India, curries vary from state to state. In the Caribbean, curries vary from island to island. In fact, Trini curry is known for having a lot of sauce. My Mom calls it Curry Soup ????

In the French islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and formerly French Dominica, it is often called Colombo. If you see Chicken Colombo there, it is basically Curry Chicken. There is no relation to Sri Lanka though it has the city name. It is believed curry was introduced to these islands by traders from Bengal so I have no idea how it got its name. Regardless, if you would like to try French Caribbean style Chicken Colombo, you can use this French Caribbean Curry Powder recipe and use the same methodology below.

Caribbean Curry Cooking Methods

In addition to the curry powder, there is two more differences in Caribbean style curries:

  • Green Seasoning
  • Marinate

One of the main tenets of Caribbean cooking is that we marinate everything. Meat is rarely, if ever cooked without marinating first. Most common is marinating overnight, although you can marinate for less if you are stuck for time. With this long marinating time, the food gets a lot of flavor and very little salt is needed.

Green Seasoning is like the English/French Caribbean version of sofrito. Basically a bunch of green things is mixed together and most Caribbean cooking if nothing else is marinated with some green seasoning. You can try my Green Seasoning Recipe here or use the store bought version.

Ingredients -edit

With Caribbean Chicken Curry being marinated in all those ingredients that goes into Green Seasoning, any wonder why it’s my fan favorite recipe!

Curry Chicken LR

Complete the meal like we would in the Caribbean with rice, green salad and Fried Sweet Plantain.

Chix Dinner LR 2

This is not a super spicy curry. This is because hot sauce is always served with our food in the Caribbean. In the Dutch Caribbean, we use sambal. You can try this curry with my Starfruit Sambal Recipe, like I did!

Chix LR 5-2
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Caribbean Curry Chicken

Caribbean Curry Chicken is similar to what you might get in the Dutch Speaking islands or Trinidad.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting Time8 hrs
Course: Chicken Recipes
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken pieces with bone cut into bite size pieces
  • a few sprigs of fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper split in half
  • 6 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons green seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 lb. potato cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley See Notes

Instructions

  • Combine chicken, thyme, Scotch Bonnet pepper, green seasoning and 4 tablespoons of the curry powder.
  • Place in a ziploc bag, seal and shake to coat the chicken well.  Place in refrigerator overnight.
  • Heat oil.  Add chicken pieces and fry for 3-5 minutes until a little browned.  Remove from pot.
  • Add onion, garlic and remaining curry powder.  Fry 1-2 minutes, until onions are softened.
  • Add water and salt and return the chicken pieces to the pot. Make sure you include the Scotch Bonnet from the marination.
  • Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and cook another 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.
  • Add parsley and salt, as needed. Stir to combine.
  • Serve with rice or roti.

Video

Notes

In Trinidad, shadoe beny (culantro/recaito) would be used instead of parsley.
The Scotch Bonnet will continue to infuse into the curry, so if don’t want it to get too spicy, you can remove the pepper after cooking the Caribbean Curry Chicken. This is especially recommended if you have leftovers and the chicken is being saved for the day after.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

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plate of curry chicken, rice, salad with text
plate of curry chicken, rice and salad with text

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Now I know you want to try some more Caribbean food! Check out my collection with over 80 Caribbean Recipes from the Caribbean diaspora!

Thank you for sharing!

About Chef Mireille

CHEF MIREILLE - AUTHOR, RECIPE DEVELOPER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR Global Kitchen Travels
***
Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Mayuri Patel

    5 stars
    Interesting to learn how curries in different parts of the world are prepared. Just like the chicken curry here in Kenya will have a bit of the Indian influence.. but is not too spicy. Though personally I may not want to own the cookbook you have in mind, as I don’t prepare non vegetarian dishes, I would like to gift to someone who does.

  2. Amy Chung

    5 stars
    This look so delicious! The Australian summer just finished so it’s time to gear up the comfort food recipes. This curry would go down so well in my household!

  3. Michelle

    5 stars
    I love all the different flavours in this! And I love your green seasoning, it looks so fresh and I bet it brings a lovely freshness to this curry too! Will definitely have to try this.

  4. Mina Joshi

    4 stars
    I like your easy to follow recipe. Being vegetarian, I often follow chicken recipes using Quorn pieces. Your recipe would work perfectly . I need to google where to find the curry powder.

  5. Manjiri Chitnis

    Mir, what a fabulous post, such a wealth of information there, I loved reading it and watching ur recipe video, I am huge fa of caribbean food and am definitely going to make this curry!

  6. Sula

    5 stars
    Great information here! Curry has always been a bit of a mystery to me, so thank you for your explanation. This chicken dish looks so delicious!

    • Mika

      5 stars
      Very informative and can’t wait to try your Caribbean Chicken Curry. Brilliant idea on a book regarding curries from different countries and regions. Having been in the military and traveled across the Mediterranean and Asia I have broaden my palate. I look forward to a book from you regarding curries. Thank you.

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