Recipe: Trini Stew Chicken

Many a good thing requires we throw our all into it.

Swimming, for example. If we don’t swim with our all, well… we sink.


When it comes to food from Trinidad and Tobago, adding a ton of flavor goes a long way to making unctuous and irresistible stew chicken.

And when I say a “ton of flavor”, I mean, we’re going to throw our all into it.  Just about everything your market (and your herb planter) has to offer goes into stew chicken.

The basis of Stew Chicken is Green Seasoning. We made green seasoning back when we cooked Guyana. There are hundreds (thousands!) of recipes for green seasoning, so I thought it’d be fun to make up a second batch with this recipe.

I used a different mix of herbs and aromatics, like ginger, garlic, tomato, green onion, and thyme. These flavors speak to Trinidad and Tobago’s preferences… and go wonderfully with this chicken.

For this recipe, I used four whole chicken legs, which weighed about 2 lbs total. This sauce is enough to serve with 4 lbs of chicken, so if you have a big crowd or like leftovers, go for it!

Tip: If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can also chop the marinade ingredients. You might need to add water, if you choose this path, to keep things from sticking.

Serves 4-8


For the marinade:

1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp worcheshire sauce
1 tomato
3-4 green onions
a handful of  cilantro, stemmed
a few sprigs thyme, stemmed
a few sprigs parsley, stemmed
5 cloves garlic
1 onion, quartered
1 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
habenero pepper, to taste

For the chicken:

2-4 lbs of chicken (any cut you like, dark meat preferred, I used whole chicken legs)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cups water

Serve with Orange Juice Rice


Let’s go to the Caribbean, friends!

First step? Find a lovely kitchen with a view, perhaps like this:

View of Little Tobago. Photo by Jim F. Bleak

View of Little Tobago. Photo by Jim F. Bleak

Feeling inspired yet?


Next up, Green Seasoning.

Add the ingredients for the Green Seasoning marinade to your blender or food processor… in the order written (liquids first). Be sure to cut things small enough for your machine to handle the pieces. Alternatively, you can just chop the marinade ingredients and forget the blender.

A note on the hot chili peppers: I used about half a habenero (without the seeds), and found the spice level somewhere between mild and medium.


Look how pretty!

Pour the green seasoning over the chicken and marinate at least an hour. Overnight is better.


Now for a fancy trick.

We’re going to use some brown sugar to color the chicken.

All you need to do is heat up the oil and brown sugar in a large pot. Cook until the sugar caramelizes (it will get foamy and may smoke a bit). Quickly add the chicken. Cook until browned on both sides, a few minutes per side.

Pour on the marinade… (right about now the house will start smelling really, really good).

Cover and simmer about an hour, adding water as desired to thin the sauce or make more of it. Personally, I added no extra water, and enjoyed the wonderfully deep and concentrated flavor.

Enjoy with a big heaping of orange juice rice (recipe will be up tomorrow)…

P.S. Happy Fourth of July to all the American readers!

Hope you have a safe and happy holiday.



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  1. Yummmmm

    Happy Birthday to the star of the show…

  2. That looks yum! I am going to try this in the slowcooker!

  3. Happy birthday to Miss Ava, and happy 4th of July to you all! The chicken looks glorious. I’ll definitely try this.

  4. What did you do with the 4 green peppers? Am I missing it?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Those were optional, sorry. I took them out of the recipe because I didn’t end up using them – some people like to add that or even cubed potatoes during simmering time, for added veggie goodness. I felt like it was great just the way it was, though.

  5. Wow that looks awesome!! Happy happy birthday to Ava!!

  6. Sasha Martin says:

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes! She’s having a lovely day. Enjoying steamed cupcakes from Malaysia, actually ;)

  7. Suzanne B says:

    The green sauce is terrific! Have you, or anyone on the site, heard of or have a recipe for salsano/salsana dressing? It’s used in Cuba and the area like we use ketchup…on almost everything! I had a recipe about 10 years ago but lost it in a move. HELP! It’s not salsa, per se, but has similar properties. It gets cooked and has vinegar in it. I’ve checked our specialty stores and no luck. I had about 4 bottles of it 12 years ago but haven’t seen it since.
    Thanks for any ideas!

  8. Barbara says:

    Can I substitute jalepeno for the habenero?

  9. Barbara says:

    I made this for company tonight, along with the orange rice….big hit! FYI…I grilled the chicken and it was super yummy :)
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Joan Mills says:

    Made it for dinner last night. It was terrific, my husband put the cooked marinade over his rice. Called it gravy!
    I have decided that the next time I make it, I will use the food processor to make the green sauce, as mine was less chunky, more like sludge consistency, and I will grill the chicken – and be sure to marinate it overnight! My hubby likes crispy skin….and stewing did not do it as well for him. I have a similar recipe for Jerk Pork Loins from Cooking Light from years ago….this had a more sparkly flavor though!
    ps….I used a whole seeded habanero….but a ripe one….next time I will try the green and some seeds!!!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Oh, that sounds great. The food processor will make a really great texture. :) So glad you all enjoyed it!

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  12. Taheera says:

    I stumbled onto your blog while looking for some Czech recipes. I am from Trinidad and this reminds me of home!!! I absolutely love stewed chicken (made some last week)- and usually leave enough sauce in the meat to put over the rice- yumm!! You did an excellent job of explaining this one… most people tend to have trouble with the burnt sugar :) The only difference (but then that varies from household to household) is the fact that we usually cut the chicken pieces smaller. Thank you for the memories!!


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