Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ethiopian Doro Wat (Spicy Chicken Stew)

I was going to make this dish last Memorial weekend when Elaine and Dan came over for our Ethiopian food fest, but didn't get to it since we already had 3 substantial dishes for dinner (which, btw, didn't happen until midnight due to our karaoke interlude). So, I made it afterwards and I really like how it came out. 

This is the first time I've made Doro Wat. From what I've read, it's supposedly Ethiopia's national dish and I found several versions online. Most call for some combination of bone-in chicken legs and/or thighs, lots of onions, a bit of fresh minced ginger and garlic, tomato paste, and a blend of spices and/or Ethiopian Berbere spice blend (e.g., ground ginger, coriander, cardamom, fenugreek, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne, allspice, turmeric). Also, they typically use a generous amount (up to 2 cups) of Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian spiced clarified butter) to cook the chicken in and sometimes will add a bunch of peeled boiled eggs into the stew before serving. What I ended up doing was omitting the butter using olive oil instead, added ground ginger, cardamom and black pepper along with 4 tbsp. of Berbere, and left out the eggs. I didn't make the traditional Ethiopian bread 'Inera' to go with this dish (it's a spongy crepe-like bread that you tear off and use to pick up your food with in lieu of utensils). Problem was that I bought whole grain Teff instead of Teff flour, which is needed for the recipe. So, served the spicy stew with basmati rice instead. Can't go wrong with rice!

5 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
3 large onions, chopped
6 1/2 cups water
One 6-oz. can tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. freshly minced ginger
4 tbsp. (or more if you like it extra spicy) Berbere seasoning
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste

1. In a large pot, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat; add onions, turn heat down to medium-low, then cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally. After about 20 minutes when the onions start to brown, add 1/2 cup of water. Continue cooking another 30 minutes until onions are golden brown. 

2. Add the tomato paste to the onions. Use a wooden spoon and cook for several minutes until well-incorporated. Add 3 tbsp. of olive oil, the garlic, minced ginger, ground cardamom, ground ginger, black pepper, and Berbere seasoning. Stir well, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. 

3. Add the chicken to the spice-tomato mixture, still well, cover and cook for 1 hour over medium-low to low heat. 

4. Add 6 cups of water, stir, and simmer over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt, to taste. Cook another 5-10 minutes.

5. Serve with Injera bread (if you have it) or steamed basmati rice. As with most stews, tastes even better the next day.

Berbere spice blend, ground cardamom, black pepper, tomato paste. 
I bought the Berbere online through Amazon from The Teeny Tiny Spice Company in Vermont (contains paprika, black pepper, coriander, nutmeg, ginger, Ajwain, allspice, birdseye chili, fenugreek, cardamom, clove, onion, garlic and Himalayan pink salt)

Chopped onion, garlic and ginger.

Saute onions in 1/4 cup olive oil.

5 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs (skin should be removed before using).

After about 20 minutes when onions have started to brown, add 1/2 cup of water. Cook another 3o minutes until well-browned.

Stir in tomato paste and cook for several minutes.

Add 3 tbsp. olive oil, then stir in 4 tbsp. Berbere, minced ginger and garlic, cardamom and ground ginger. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

Add chicken, stir well, cover and cook 1 hour over medium-low heat.

Add 6 cups water and simmer over medium low heat for 20-30 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

Add 1 tbsp. lemon juice. Season with salt to taste. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, then serve.