Take your taste buds to the Caribbean with this slow cooker twist on authentic Jamaican curry chicken. Filled with so much flavor thanks to the scotch bonnet red peppers, curry powder and spices, you'll love this curry dish. With a moderate spice level, see the recipe post for tips on how to make it spicier or adapt to a lower heat tolerance.
The next time you need a vacation from your regular dinner rotation, give this Jamaican curry chicken recipe a try.
Filled with warming spices, comforting potatoes and tender chicken, this particular recipe is slow cooking and fuss-free.
While a more authentic version of this Jamaican recipe involves marinating the chicken in advance and browning it before adding the vegetables, I wanted to figure out how to achieve the best results for the least amount of effort.
And I have to say, I am quite pleased with the results!
If you don't count the cooking time (which is entirely hands off!), this recipe takes just 20 minutes to make (as do these Egg Roll Bowls).
Prepare it, go about your day and come back to a delicious dish when supper time rolls around. The only thing you'll have to do is quickly dice the cooked chicken.
So if you've been craving a trip to Jamaica or just some Jamaican food, hopefully this dinner can help!
- Chicken-I usually use boneless, skinless chicken thighs as they turn out the most tender but boneless, skinless chicken breasts would work as well.
- Potatoes- I like to use Yukon gold potatoes as they hold their shape well in the slow cooker but any potato can be used. Or if you'd like to use something else, check out this Potato Substitutes post for ideas.
- Garlic- If you would like to use garlic powder, you need 1 and ½ teaspoons.
- Red Bell Pepper
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper- These spicy chili peppers are what is typically found in Jamaican cuisine. Be sure to remove the seeds and membranes.
- On the Scoville scale, they are 12-14 times hotter than a jalapeno, similar to a habanero pepper.
- If you can't find scotch bonnet peppers, you can try using a habanero pepper or a jalapeño and adding ¼ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.
- Ginger- I like to use fresh minced ginger for best flavor but a teaspoon of ground can also be used.
- Curry Powder- The specific blend of spices in Jamaican curry powder differs a bit from the blend found in Indian curries. If you would like to make your own Jamaican curry powder blend for authentic flavor, check out this recipe. I typically make this recipe with the curry powder blend that I find at the grocery store and then add turmeric and allspice to try to resemble the flavors.
- Turmeric and Allspice- I add extra turmeric and allspice to more closely duplicate the flavors in a Jamaican curry blend. If you are using a Jamaican Curry Powder, you can omit these.
- Fine Sea Salt- Kosher salt or table salt will work as well- adjust to taste.
- Water- Chicken broth can also be used or see the "Make it Your Own" section below for a coconut milk recipe to make it creamy.
1. Mix. In the bottom of a large slow cooker or crockpot, mix together the water, ginger, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, allspice and sea salt. Stir in the vegetables and finally, add the chicken and submerge in the sauce.
2. Slow Cook. Cook the Jamaican curry on high for 2-3 hours or low heat for 4-5 hours until the chicken is cooked through to 165 F.
3. Cut Chicken. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and dice it into bite sized pieces or shred. Add the chicken pieces back into the crock pot and stir to incorporate.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Store leftover slow cooker Jamaican chicken curry in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: This can also be frozen for up to 3 months. The texture of the potatoes may be altered slightly but it is still delicious.
To Reheat: Rewarm in the microwave until heated through.
Make it Your Own
Make it Creamy- Some versions of Jamaican chicken curry use coconut milk for a creamier curry. If you would like to do that, you can reduce the water to ½ cup and add a 14-oz (400 mL) can of full-fat coconut milk at the same time as the water (like in this Crockpot Yellow Thai Chicken Curry recipe).
Add More Vegetables- While carrots and potatoes are typical, you can definitely change up or add different vegetables! Some ideas:
- Green Beans
Adjust the Spice Level- If you want it spicier, try making it with two scotch bonnet peppers or adding ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. For a less spicy version, use a jalapeno pepper.
Serve this slow cooker chicken curry topped with:
- Fresh herbs such as sliced green onions or chopped cilantro
- Toasted chopped nuts
- Hot sauce
- Coconut Rice, white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice
- Jamaican Rice and Beans
- Sautéed Spinach and Carrots
- Some crusty bread for soaking up any extra curry sauce
- A simple green salad
- Crispy Baked Sweet Plantains
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Slow Cooker Jamaican Chicken Curry
- 5 Qt (or larger) Slow Cooker
- 1 and ½ lbs chicken thighs
- 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper finely diced, (seeds and membranes removed if sensitive to spice)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- ¼ cup curry powder
- 2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 and ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 and ½ lbs potatoes cut into cubed
- 3 large carrots sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
- 1 and ½ cups water
- In the bottom of a 5 quart (5L) or larger slow cooker, mix together the water, ginger, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, allspice and fine sea salt. Stir in the vegetables. Place the chicken in the center of the sauce and push down to submerge in the sauce.
- Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 4-5 hours until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Once cool enough to handle, dice into bite sized pieces or shred and then add back to the slow cooker.
- Stir and serve.