Jamaican Chicken And Sweet Potato Curry Recipe

Mention Jamaican cuisine, and jerk chicken is likely one of the first dishes that will come to mind. However there are a wealth of vibrant dishes and flavorful foods to explore, and where better to start your voyage of discovery than with this delicious Jamaican chicken and sweet potato curry recipe developed by Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye.

This delicious curry combines the taste of seared chicken thighs with the complexity and warmth of Jamaican spices, the sweetness of sweet potatoes, and, if you are brave enough, the fiery kick of a Scotch bonnet chili pepper. The best accompaniments to serve alongside this great dish are those that will absorb all the delicious flavors and juices of the curry. Rice is a simple pairing that allows this sweet and spiced curry to take main stage but if you want to fully embrace this Caribbean dish, Jamaican rice and peas is the perfect accompaniment. 

Whatever you decide to serve it with, this tasty Jamaican chicken and sweet potato curry recipe is guaranteed to be a treat and really lends itself to a big gathering of friends and family.

Gather the ingredients for this Jamaican chicken and sweet potato curry

To make this Jamaican chicken and sweet potato curry, first you will need to gather the ingredients. You will need chicken thighs (on the bone with the skin still on), coconut oil, an onion, garlic, fresh grated ginger, a cinnamon stick, bay leaves, allspice, Jamaican curry powder, dried thyme, brown sugar, chicken stock, a Scotch bonnet chili pepper, sweet potatoes, a lime, and salt and pepper to taste.

For this recipe it is important that you use Jamaican curry powder rather than generic curry powder to ensure you get the right blend of spices. If you're a bit daunted by the fearsome reputation of the scotch bonnet, you can omit it from the recipe to make an altogether milder curry.

Brown the chicken

The first step to making this recipe is to brown the chicken thighs. Using a deep, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, heat up the coconut oil and then add in the chicken pieces. Allow the chicken to sit as undisturbed as possible while searing it, and once it is browned remove it from the pan and place it to one side.

This step is absolutely crucial to give this curry a delicious meaty chicken flavor. Searing the meat gives the skin a delicious golden crust because of something called the Maillard reaction. Searing chicken can have its pitfalls, however, with the most common mistake being moving the chicken around too much while it's frying, which prevents the crust from forming. Trust the process and let the heat do its job.

Start the curry

With the chicken browned and set to one side, it's time to start the curry base. Using the same pan to make the most of the delicious chicken flavor, fry the onion until it softens and then add the spices. Adding the spices before the liquid ingredients allows them to cook in the oils of the pan, releasing their flavors which is known as blooming. This helps to develop and intensify the taste and fragrance of the spices, giving the curry a more sophisticated blend of flavors.

Finish the curry

Now it's time to bring everything together. Return the browned chicken thighs to the pan along with the chicken stock, and let everything stew together to finish the process of cooking the chicken. Last up, throw in the sweet potatoes and leave the whole pan to simmer until it is cooked through.

Depending how much time you have, you could consider leaving the chicken thighs stewing for longer before adding the sweet potatoes. Thighs have more connective tissue than other cuts of chicken, which over a prolonged cooking time dissolves into gelatin, adding more and more juicy chicken flavor to the dish.

When you're ready to eat, serve up the curry with your chosen accompaniment and enjoy. Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container and consume them within three days. As with any chicken recipe, ensure it is fully reheated before eating any leftovers.

Jamaican Chicken And Sweet Potato Curry Recipe
4.9 from 19 ratings
Learn how to cook this savory Caribbean dish with Jamaican curry powder and a spicy Scotch bonnet chili pepper.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Chicken sweet potato Jamaican curry
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, for frying
  • 1 ½ lbs chicken thighs, skin on bone in
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chili
  • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 lime
  1. Heat up a deep, heavy bottomed saucepan with a lid to a medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Add the coconut oil to the pan and then the chicken thighs. Place them skin-side down and allow them to sit and cook for a few minutes until the skin is golden and crisp. Turn the thighs over and cook them for a few minutes more, then transfer them to a plate and place to one side.
  3. Turn the heat down to a medium temperature, and then add the sliced onion to the pan. Fry the onion in the residual oil for 5 minutes until it is beginning to soften.
  4. Add the minced garlic, the grated ginger, the cinnamon stick, the bay leaves, and the allspice to the pan. Fry for 2 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add the Jamaican curry powder, the dried thyme, and the brown sugar to the saucepan and cook everything for another minute, then return the chicken thighs to the pan.
  6. Add the chicken stock and the scotch bonnet, and then place a lid on the pan and allow the curry to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid from the pan and add the diced sweet potatoes. Allow the curry to continue to simmer gently with the lid off until the sweet potatoes are cooked through. This should take around 15 minutes.
  8. Take the pan off the heat. Squeeze the lime and add the juice to the curry, then serve.
Calories per Serving 640
Total Fat 38.3 g
Saturated Fat 14.1 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 173.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 38.6 g
Dietary Fiber 6.0 g
Total Sugars 14.8 g
Sodium 1,224.6 mg
Protein 35.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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