James Browne – The Jam Tree

The Jam Tree‘s Executive Head Chef James Browne has kindly sent us the following two recipes: the ever popular Fish Cakes and Jamaican Chicken Curry.

Jamaican Chicken Curry

4 boneless, skinless diced chicken breasts
4 skinless chicken thighs chopped in half
1 large onion
2″ of chopped ginger
1 chopped scotch bonnet
5 table spoons of West Indian curry powder
Few sprigs of thyme
1 bunch spring onion
2 tomatoes
6 cloves of chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon of all spice


The most important thing when making a curry is marinating the meat. I like to marinate chicken for at least 12 hours before cooking as it adds depth of flavour to the overall dish.
In a food processer add half of the curry powder, 1 scotch bonnet chilli, ginger, onion, garlic and all of the thyme and blend until smooth.

When the blended marinate mixture is ready add to the raw chicken and leave to marinate for 12 hours.

Heat a large heavy bottomed pot ready to brown the meat. When the frying pan is hot start adding the chicken a few pieces at a time cooking until golden brown, if you add too much chicken to the pan the chicken will not brown properly. When all the chicken is browned remove from the pot and leave to one side for later use.

In the same pot add remaining raw vegetables – onion, spring onion, ginger, thyme and garlic – cook until translucent.

Now add the curry powder to the pot and cook the curry powder for 4-5 minutes to extract all the flavour from the spices. Add the browned chicken, one chopped tomato, and the allspice to the pan and enough water to cover the chicken,

Once the curry starts to boil turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour 20 minutes. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper, also if you would like the curry a little hotter add a whole scotch bonnet to the curry when simmering but do not pierce the chilli it must remain whole! The flavour of the chilli will come through but not the heat! You can now chop the cooked chilli and add as much as you like……

Serve with steamed basmati rice and mango salsa.

Cooking rice

A lot of people have difficulty cooking rice even some chefs I know! If you follow a couple of simple steps your rice will always be perfect.

1. always wash the starch out of your rice
2. the ratio of one cup of rice to two cups of water should always be used.
3. Never add salt as it makes it harder for the water to penetrate the rice making it less fluffy.
4. As soon as the water boils cover and turn down to a very low setting then leave to cook until all water has evaporated. Remove cover and gently fluff the rice with a fork.

You should now have perfect rice!


Fish Cakes

Serves 4.


500g poached cod
250g lightly sautéed tiger prawns
250g plain mashed potatoes
1 bunch of chopped spring onions.
Salt & pepper

When thoroughly combined divide and shape into 20 balls.

Dip the balls into flour, beaten egg and Japanese breadcrumbs and fry gently until golden brown and cooked through.

Sauce – 1 ltr – made from:

125g plain flour
125g butter
1 litre of milk
4 tbs of fish sauce
2 tbs fish boullion.
Half a bunch of chopped fresh parsley (only put into sauce once it’s cold so as to retain colour)

Serve Fish Cakes with some sauce, blanched, sautéed spring greens and topped with a poached egg.

Leave a Reply