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Jamaican Chicken Curry with Rum and "Love Apples" (tomatoes--caramelized in brown sugar!)

Jamaican Chicken Curry with Rum and "Love Apples"

Closely adapted from Diana Henry; read through the entire recipe before starting and notice that the recipe does require marinating time.
Course Entree
Cuisine Caribbean
Author TheSpicedLife


For the marinating chicken:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken parts--I prefer a mix of half dark and half white
  • 1 T curry powder plus more later (see below)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice plus more later (see below)

For the curry:

  • 2-3 T virgin coconut oil, plus more later
  • salt to taste
  • 1+ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 scant lb potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 t ground allspice
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T heaping ginger paste or 1-inch piece minced
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 scallions chopped, green parts separated from white/light green parts
  • 4-6 thyme sprigs plus more for later (see below)
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk

For the tomatoes:

  • 1 T virgin coconut oil
  • 24 oz cherry or grape tomatoes (larger ones sliced in half)
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 3 T rum (I used a good golden rum--my second choice would be spiced before white)
  • juice of half lime plus more to taste
  • 1 T brown sugar if needed
  • leaves from 2 thyme sprigs


  1. Place the chicken in a sealable plastic bag. Whisk together the lime juice and the 1 tablespoon of curry powder, and then pour into the plastic bag. Massage the curry lime juice into the chicken, and then seal the bag and place it in a bowl in the refrigerator. Let chill and marinate overnight.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Pat the chicken pieces dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the coconut oil to the pot--when it is melted and shimmering, brown the chicken in batches. Set aside.
  3. Add the butternut squash and potatoes into the hot Dutch oven. Sprinkle with salt, let fry undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, then toss, salt and repeat. Do this 3 times.
  4. Sprinkle the allspice, 1 tablespoon curry powder, garlic and ginger into the Dutch oven. Toss. Add the bell pepper and white and light scallion parts and toss again. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the lime zest, 4-6 thyme sprigs (use less for longer sprigs, more for shorter) and the coconut milk. Toss in the browned chicken, along with any accumulated juices, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cover the pot. While the chicken is braising, prepare the love apples.
  6. In a separate nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. When it is melted and shimmering, add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes and let juices evaporate. Then add the brown sugar and let the tomatoes caramelize in the sugar for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. When the chicken has cooked through, probably about 15-20 minutes, add the caramelized tomatoes to the stew. Then add the rum and the juice of half a lime. Taste for more salt or lime juice. Add the 1 tablespoon brown sugar if needed.
  8. Serve sprinkled with thyme leaves and the green parts of the scallions.