Brown Stew Chicken
Popular in many Caribbean households, this chicken dish gets its deep rich color from store-bought browning sauce, like Grace, which is made from a combination of concentrated vegetables, seasonings and caramelized sugar. The browning sauce is used in the marinade, where it’s bolstered by brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and warm spices. The chicken is braised and cooked low with sweet vegetables, like carrots and onions, and yields a thick gravy that’s just as delicious spooned over rice or paired with cabbage.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2tablespoons browning sauce, such as Grace
- 2tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
- 1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1teaspoon chile powder
- 1teaspoon allspice powder
- 1teaspoon garlic powder
- 4whole bone-in, skinless chicken legs (about 3 pounds)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2whole scallions, halved crosswise
- 4fresh thyme sprigs
- 2tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1medium onion, sliced
- 4garlic cloves, minced
- 1tablespoon tomato paste
- 3Roma tomatoes, washed and quartered
- 3medium carrots, sliced 1/2-inch thick on a bias
- 1quart chicken stock, plus more as needed
- 3dried bay leaves
- Rice, roti or naan, for serving
Step 1Make the marinade: Add all marinade ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Step 2Prepare the chicken: Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken, scallions and thyme in the bowl with the marinade and mix to combine. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. (Any longer will change the texture of the chicken.) Remove chicken from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before starting to cook.
Step 3Heat a shallow Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add sliced onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic to pan, cook for 30 seconds or until tender, stirring to keep the garlic from scorching. Using a pair of tongs or spoon, remove onions and garlic from the pan. Place in a medium bowl and set aside.
Step 4If needed, add more oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add chicken to the pan, letting the excess marinade drip back into the bowl, and reserving the scallions and thyme sprigs. Working in batches, sear chicken on both sides until dark brown, adjusting the heat if necessary to avoid burning the marinade, about 3 to 4 minutes total. Discard excess marinade.
Step 5Return onions to pan. Add tomato paste and stir. Place quartered tomatoes and sliced carrots in the pan. Slowly pour in chicken stock to nearly cover. (Add more as needed.) Using your spatula, scrape off the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add bay leaves and the reserved thyme and scallions from the marinade.
Step 6Bring to a rolling simmer. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove thyme stems and bay leaf, and discard. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with rice, roti or naan bread.