Boneless Brown Stew Chicken is a quick and easy, Whole30 and Paleo version of the classic Caribbean Stew Chicken recipe. This tender, saucy chicken is sauteed in a savory sauce and makes for a delicious dinner entree in just 30 minutes.
Guyanese Brown Stew Chicken
Brown stew chicken, (also known simply as chicken stew if you are Guyanese) is a staple in Caribbean cuisine. I make it often using my Chicken Stew recipe found here but if you have dietary restrictions, this Whole 30 brown stew chicken is a tasty alternative.
To make this recipe Whole30 and Paleo, traditional browning sauce (caramelized brown sugar) is replaced with coconut aminos.
- Guyanese Brown Stew Chicken
- Why You’ll Love This Brown Stew Chicken Recipe
- What is Brown Stew Chicken?
- Ingredients for Brown Stew Chicken
- How to Make Brown Stew Chicken
- Adding additional salt to your dish
- Substitutions & Variations
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Boneless Brown Stew Chicken
Why You’ll Love This Brown Stew Chicken Recipe
- Easy Prep: This recipe is easy to follow and the chicken cooks quickly. Serve it with rice or sides for quick weeknight dinner option.
- Kid Friendly: It’s easier to serve children boneless chicken. I get zero complaints from the kids when I serve this dish up, and that’s a win-win for me!
- Flavorful: Once the chicken cooks, you are left with a stew of chicken thighs sitting in a thick and slightly sweet brown gravy that is undeniably delicious!
What is Brown Stew Chicken?
Brown stew chicken is a flavorful Carribean dish of stewed, marinated chicken, traditionally cooked with aromatics, spices, and browning. Although Jamaican brown stew chicken (marinated with scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, and browning) is very popular, each island has its own version.
This recipe is made Guyanese style and Whole 30 approved.
Ingredients for Brown Stew Chicken
I love searing the chicken on high heat to lock in all of the flavors from the herbs and spices, then I add the coconut amino teriyaki sauce, and some water, cover the pot, and let it cook. If you don’t have the coconut aminos teriyaki sauce, just use more regular coconut aminos.
- Boneless Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes. Brown stew chicken works best with dark meat so if you choose to make this with bone-in chicken, stick to chicken legs or chicken thighs.
- Cooking Oil: Use avocado oil or similar oil to brown the chicken on both sides.
- Coconut Amino Teriyaki Sauce: You can substitute with regular coconut aminos.
- Salt: Added to taste.
- Water: This is the liquid base of the brown stew sauce or gravy.
Brown Stew Chicken Seasoning
- Granulated garlic or garlic powder
- Onion powder or granulated onion
- Parsley flakes
- Tomato paste
- Coconut aminos
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Brown Stew Chicken
Season Boneless Chicken
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs is perfect for this recipe. However, if you only have bone-in, skin on chicken thighs, just follow the steps here to remove the bones and skin. Sometimes I keep the bones for the cooking process (like I did here), but don’t serve them. The bones add a lot of flavor to the dish, but they are not necessary.
For this recipe I am using dried herbs and spices only. I want it to be quick and don’t have extra time for peeling and chopping. But if you want to use green seasoning (a Caribbean staple for seasoning meat) or other fresh herbs, please feel free to do so!
Do not be afraid of overcooking the chicken thighs. Unlike chicken breasts, chicken thighs will not dry out, the fibers will just break down further and it becomes more tender the longer you cook it.
Add Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce
When I first made this dish there was only one coconut aminos teriyaki sauce on the market. It was the coconut secrets teriyaki sauce. The sauce is thick and sweet and doesn’t taste like traditional teriyaki sauce.
It does however taste like Caribbean browning or burnt sugar. That is why I added it to this recipe. However, it is sometimes hard to get so I just double up on the regular coconut aminos.
Don’t use a coconut teriyaki sauce that has sesame oil in the ingredients. It will change the intended flavor of this dish.
Adding additional salt to your dish
All coconut aminos are not created equal and some are a bit saltier than others, so I recommend waiting until the chicken cooks and tasting the dish, then adding more salt if needed. Originally I added salt when I seasoned the chicken but once when using a new brand of coconut aminos, my dish was so salty that I needed to add lots of vegetables to balance out the taste.
It was still a delicious dish, but I don’t want you to have this experience. So to play it safe add the salt towards the end, if needed.
I love to garnish the brown stew chicken with a little dusting of parsley flakes and cayenne pepper for a little heat!
Substitutions & Variations
- Browning. If you don’t have coconut aminos and are not on Whole30 or following a Paleo diet you may use 1 teaspoon of browning and 1 tablespoon of sugar as a substitute.
- Another Alternative to Coconut Aminos. You may also substitute the coconut aminos in this recipe for 1 tablespoon of cassareep (if you are on Whole30 or a paleo diet, you will need to ensure that your cassareep is 100% with no added sugar).
- Fresh Herbs. You can substitute the dried herbs for fresh herbs, this is traditionally how brown stew is cooked. Use 1 diced onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 2 large tomatoes and about 1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley instead of the dried seasoning, if you like.
- Add Veggies. You may also add about 1 lb of diced potatoes and a carrot or two to this dish.
- Large Bowl: Use this to season and contain the raw chicken.
- Large Skillet/Wok: To cook the brown stew chicken. I am using a wok type pan, that conducts high heat well and delivers great results every time.
Store leftover brown stew chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, warm it on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water to add moisture to the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Brown stew chicken and chicken stew are flavored differently. The main components of traditional brown stew chicken are browning, bell peppers, and scotch bonnet peppers. Chicken stew may include browning but is seasoned with dried herbs and seasoning.
Most brown stew sauce recipes are made with browning. However, this recipe uses coconut amino teriyaki sauce and water for a paleo-friendly version of the traditional Caribbean dish.
Brown stew chicken isn’t very spicy. It has more of a rich, savory taste. You can add peppers if you’d like a spicy dish.
Boneless Brown Stew Chicken
- Large Bowl
- Skillet or Wok
- 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoon of avocado oil or similar oil for cooking
- 1/4 cup of coconut amino teriyaki sauce (can substitute with regular coconut aminos)
- Salt to taste
- About 2 cups of water
To season the chicken:
- 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon of onion powder or granulated onion
- 1/2 tablespoon of parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
- 1/4 cup of coconut aminos
- Pinch of cayenne pepper optional
- In a large bowl, combine chicken and all of the seasonings and mix together well, then set aside.
- Then add a large skillet, wok or large pot to high heat and bring up to temperature.
- Next, add the oil and bring up to temperature.
- When the oil is hot add the seasoned chicken and sauté for about 10 minutes, constantly turning, ensuring that the chicken gets a good sear on all sides.
- Then add 1 cup of water and cover and let cook on high heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the water cooks down. After 5 minutes you can uncover the pan to allow the water to cook down faster.
- Once the water cooks down, add the teriyaki sauce or another 1/4 cup of coconut aminos if you don't have the coconut teriyaki sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Taste the dish and add salt, up to 3/4 teaspoons if needed.
- Then add another cup of water, cover and continue to cook until chicken is completely cooked and tender and liquids cook down to form a gravy.
- When the chicken cooks and the sauce is to your liking, remove from the heat and serve with your favorite sides.
- You may garnish with a dusting of parsley flakes and cayenne pepper for some additional heat!
- If you don’t have coconut aminos and are not on Whole30 or following a Paleo diet you may use 1 teaspoon of browning and 1 tablespoon of sugar as a substitute.
- You may also substitute the coconut aminos in this recipe for 1 tablespoon of cassareep (if you are on Whole30 or a paleo diet, you will need to ensure that your cassareep is 100% with no added sugar).
- You can substitute the dried herbs for fresh herbs, this is traditionally how brown stew is cooked. Use 1 diced onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 2 large tomatoes and about 1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley instead of the dried seasoning, if you like.
- You may also add about 1 lb of diced potatoes and a carrot or two to this dish.
- Do not be afraid of over cooking the chicken thighs. Unlike Chicken breasts, chicken thighs will not dry out, the fibers will just break down further and it becomes more tender the longer you cook it.
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.