Ethiopian Chicken Doro Wat (Stew)

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“A traditional dish from Ethiopia. There are the usual variations on this theme, normal with any traditional food, but the Berbere spice mix is non-negotiable! Apparently Ethiopian women are only considered ready for marriage when they can make a good Berbere! Make this during a chilly winter weekend! Don't faint at the spice ingredients: it is indeed hot and red, but whatever you don't use for this stew will keep for 6 months in the fridge, and the stew won't make you go up in flames! This is served with the wellknown Injera bread -- a large flat bread which is often used as an edible "plate" as well. Ethiopians would normally tear off a piece of Injera, fold it slightly, and scoop the stew from the bowl with it. This is hard to do unless you're Ethiopian, so rather serve some flat bread separately, and eat with knife and fork! It's a lovely robust stew, and also economical. Prep and cooking time does NOT include time for making the spice mixture and boiling the eggs, which you might want to do beforehand anyway.”
1hr 50mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  2. Heat a large, heavy pan or saucepan.
  3. Add all the spices up to and including the allspice. Roast over a fairly low heat, stirring, to prevent burning.
  4. After a couple of minutes add the rest of the spice ingredients, mix, and roast over very low heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. This makes about 1 cup. When cool, store in a glass jar with a lid.
  6. The DORO WAT:
  7. Make a few cuts in each chicken piece, to allow the sauce to penetrate the chicken flesh.
  8. In a large pot melt the butter and fry the chopped onions and garlic over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Add the 3 tablespoons Berbere spice mixture, stir through, and then add the tomato puree, sugar and salt.
  9. Simmer this over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken piece by piece, and stir well so each piece is covered with the sauce.
  10. Add enough water to get a sauce consistency as for thick soup. Simmer for 30 minutes, but stir now and then.
  11. Add the peeled, hard-boiled eggs (whole). Cover the pot, and let cook over low heat until chicken is tender. The oil tends to rise to the top when the dish is ready.
  12. Traditionally the dish will be cooled down somewhat before serving.
  13. * The stew can be made a day or two ahead. Do taste the sauce: it should not be acidic from the tomato puree, in which case more sugar can be added (canned purees differ in sweetness and some become quite acidic during cooking). Also, adjust the salt to taste.

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