Jamaican Curry Chicken

This saucy, satisfying one-pot main is heady with allspice and rich with coconut milk.

  • Serves


  • Prep

    4 hours

  • Cook

    55 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on January 24, 2024

Bathed in a rich coconut sauce fragrant with allspice and ginger, Jamaican curry chicken is a popular breakfast at Kingston cafes. Jamaican curry powder can be found at Caribbean groceries and online; we recommend using a mild one in this recipe as the Scotch bonnet packs a punch.

Featured in “Good Morning Jamaica,” by Betsy Andrews.

Buy the SAVEUR Selects Enameled Cast Iron 6-Quart Oval Roaster here.


  • 4 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1½-in. pieces
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder, preferably Jamaican, divided
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 chayote squash, cut into ½-in. cubes
  • One 1-in. piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-in. cubes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, slit in half lengthwise
  • Steamed white rice, for serving


Step 1

To a large bowl, add the chicken, lime juice, and 1 tablespoon of the curry powder and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4–12 hours. 

Step 2

To a large pot set over medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, transfer half of the chicken to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate, then repeat with the remaining chicken. 

Step 3

To the empty pot, add the allspice, garlic, scallions, thyme, carrots, chayote, ginger, and potato and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, chile, and reserved chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken shreds easily when pierced with a fork and the sauce is thickened, about 40 minutes. Serve over rice.  

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