Jamaican Chicken Curry

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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  • 1 pound chicken cut into one-inch cubes (I used half a whole chicken cut into serving size pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 Scotch bonnet pepper or habanero peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup water (or coconut milk for a creamier curry)
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • White rice, cooked, for serving


Remove the skin from the chicken and cut it into 1½-inch to 2-inch pieces. Wash and place the chicken and skin in a bowl. Marinate the chicken with curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Marinating the chicken is optional. If possible, marinate it overnight or for 2–4 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onions until translucent. Add Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers and sauté until peppers become soft. Add ginger garlic paste and garlic and sauté until ginger is lightly roasted. Add tomato and turmeric and cook for a minute or two. Add chicken and cook until chicken is lightly browned. Add potatoes and give it a good stir.

Add water, mix, cover, and cook until chicken and potatoes are cooked.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

Adapted from a recipe from The Daily Meal, 2015