Slow Cooker Chicken Curry – lip-smacking creamy curry chicken in a perfect blend of homemade Jamaican curry powder and other spices. Make it a one-pot meal by throwing in vegetables for a hearty and irresistibly delicious chicken dinner!
I’ve never met a person who would rate this chicken recipe badly. In fact, I’ve had a couple of friends who would ask me to bring this dish during potlucks. I don’t mind though coz this curried chicken is so easy to prep and slow-cooked to bring out the flavors.
It is a great family (or friends) weeknight dinner infused with wonderful flavors from the chicken meat to vegetables down to its sauce. If you’re looking for an easy chicken dinner with a Caribbean flair, look no further, coz this is going to be a new favorite in your house.
What is the Difference Between Jamaican Curry and Regular Curry?
Curry is not a single spice but a unique blend of spices. And probably you’ve heard the infamous Indian Curry. Now you ask what’s the difference between that curry and this Jamaican Curry Chicken recipe.
It all boils down to the curry powder being used.
The primary visible difference between the two is Jamaican Curry powder is somewhat brighter yellow as it is typically heavier on the turmeric. On the other hand, Madras curry powder and other Indian curry powders have a more red tint in its color due to chili pepper. Furthermore, Jamaican curry powder always include spices like allspice (or pimentos) and added with a scotch bonnet as typical to the Jamaican flavor profile, while the Indian curry powder used red pepper to add kick into any dish.
Is Jamaican Chicken Curry Spicy?
Even with the notable spiciness of curry dishes, this Jamaican Chicken Curry has a fruitier and milder spiciness in it compared to the Indian’s version.
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry Ingredients
Picture this, chicken thighs slowly cooked in spices like coriander, cardamom, cumin, ginger, fenugreek, turmeric, and cayenne pepper are combined with onions, garlic, and coconut milk to create a vibrant, subtle yet strong curry flavor profile.
The coconut milk not only adds richness and a lovely aroma, but it helps to mellow out the curry spice, so it’s not too overpowering. Good enough for EVERYONE!
Before you come running down to your kitchen to gather all the ingredients, here’s an overview of what you’ll be needing for this chicken recipe.
- chicken thighs – you can use boneless chicken thighs (see FAQ below)
- curry spice or powder – check my Homemade Curry Powder HERE
- salt and pepper – or use chicken seasoning of your choice; check out my Poultry Seasoning HERE
- canola or cooking oil
- onion, garlic, and thyme
- coconut milk – I use full-fat canned coconut milk but you can use coconut milk in carton for a lower calorie
- chicken broth or water – go with the low-sodium broth
- bay leaf – for that added irresistible sweet aroma
- tomato paste – you may use fresh tomatoes OR leave it out completely and cut back on the water to 1/4 cup
- scotch bonnet pepper – you may leave it out if you can’t really find it and for those heat seekers feel free to leave the seed on
- potatoes, carrots and green beans – feel free to take it to switch out potatoes and veggies to suit your needs.
- chicken bouillon (optional)
Can You Use Boneless Chicken Thighs?
Yes, you can. You might have to cook it in less time than stated, depending on the thickness of the thighs or until the internal temperature of chicken reads 165°F. For chicken tenderloin or breast, adjust cooking time to 2 -3 hours on high as it’ll cook faster.
More Recipes Using Curry Powder
Love that drool-worthy sensational curry flavor? Try these other recipes on the blog.
Other Easy Jamaican Recipes to Explore
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- Jamaican Pigeon Peas and Rice
- Jamaican Curry Goat
- Jamaican Festivals
- Ackee and Saltfish
How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
Season chicken with, salt, pepper and curry spice and set aside. In a large skillet or non stick pan, heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add the chicken and brown on both sides about 4-5 minutes until chicken is brown. Remove chicken and set aside. Drain oil and leave about 2 tablespoons. Add onions, followed by minced garlic, thyme, paprika, curry powder, stir for about 5 minutes, for the flavors to blossom. You may add scotch bonnet now or add it towards the last 45 minutes when adding the vegetables
Add coconut milk, water, bay leaf, and tomato paste; continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Salt I used about 1 teaspoon and ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon (adjust to taste).
Place in slow cooker insert, and then add chicken thighs. Gently throw in potatoes. About 45 minutes or an hour before chicken is ready to throw in vegetables, continue cooking until chicken and vegetables are ready. Remove adjust for salt if necessary and serve.
This recipe was first published in January 2016 and has been updated with new photos and write up.
Slow Cooker Jamaican Curry Chicken
- 3 - 3 ½ pound chicken thighs (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon or more curry spice/powder
- Salt and pepper to taste (or use chicken seasoning)
- ¼ cup or more canola or cooking oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- ½-1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 -2 Tablespoons Curry spice/powder
- 1- cup coconut milk
- ½ cup chicken broth or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- 1- pound potatoes or more peeled cut in medium pieces
- 1- pound carrots and green beans (more or less)
- 1- teaspoon chicken bouillon optional
- Salt to taste
- Season chicken with, salt, pepper and curry spice and set aside
- In a large skillet or non stick pan, heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add the chicken and brown on both sides about 4-5 minutes until chicken is brown.
- Remove chicken and set aside. Drain oil and leave about 2 tablespoons
- Add onions, followed by minced garlic, thyme, paprika, curry powder, stir for about 5 minutes, for the flavors to blossom. You may add scotch bonnet now or add it towards the last 45 minutes when adding the vegetables
- Add coconut milk, water , bay leaf ,and tomato paste; continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Salt I used about 1 teaspoon and ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon (adjust to taste)
- Place in slow cooker insert, and then add chicken thighs. Gently throw in potatoes.
- About 45 minutes or an hour before chicken is ready throw in vegetables, continue cooking until chicken and vegetables are ready.
- Remove adjust for salt if necessary and serve
Tips & Notes:
- Don’t want to use a crockpot? Just add all the remaining ingredients, cover and cook for about 40 minutes or more and you are all set. Or check out this Jamaican Curry chicken here.
- Since I don’t like my veggies too mushy, I always add it towards the last hour or less before the timer goes off. You decide. Feel free take it switch out potatoes and veggies to suit your needs.
- You may remove chicken skin if skin has visible fat to prevent curry from being too oily.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.