Doro Wat (Spicy Chicken Stew)

[adapted from recipes found (1) on the Saveur website, (2) in The Soul of a New Cuisine, but Marcus Samuelsson, (3) on, and (4) in The Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors by Jeff Smith]

4 chicken leg quarters, skinned and separated into drumsticks and thighs (or 4 drumsticks and 4 thighs 🙂
juice of one lime (or lemon)
Kosher salt, to taste
4 Tbs Ethiopian Spiced Butter, or unsalted butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 Tbs. berberé (Ethiopian Spice Mix)
1-1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled, left whole
Injera (Ethiopian Bread)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Wash and skin the chicken. Place in glass (or other non-reactive) bowl and squeeze the lime juice over the chicken. Sprinkle with a little salt. Mix to coat, cover the bowl, and leave to marinate while you start everything else (30-60 minutes). Stir to mix occasionally.

Heat butter in dutch oven or large oven-safe skillet with cover. Add onions and cook slowly over low heat until the onions are deeply carmelized, 15-25 minutes. Do not brown or burn. The more careful you are with this step, the darker, deeper, and richer your final product will be.

Add garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes, stirring to keep the garlic from burning. Add the cardamom, black pepper, and berberé. Stir and cook until the onions take on the color of the spices and the spices release their aroma.
Add chicken broth and turn up the heat. Stir to combine.

Once the broth is hot, nestle the chicken pieces into the sauce. Bring the whole thing to a good simmer.

Cover and place the whole thing into the preheated oven. Cook until the chicken is done, about 40 minutes, stirring/turning the chicken pieces occasionally.

Once the chicken is done, return the pot to the stovetop and remove the lid. Over medium high heat cook until the liquid is reduced and thickened (5-10 minutes).

Turn off the heat. Add the peeled eggs; stir to warm through. Taste and season with more berberé and salt if necessary. Serve with Injera.

For my first attempt at Ethiopian cooking, I bought pre-mixed berberé and used unsalted butter and vegetable oil rather than making my own Ethiopian Spiced Butter. Next time around I will try my hand at both of those from the many recipes I found.

All of the recipes I found cook this entire dish on the stovetop, simmering for approximately 40 minutes. I needed my burners for the other dishes and knew that simmering in the oven would work just fine and avoid burning.


Copyright © 2010, Lucinda DeWitt


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