Ethiopian-Inspired Spicy Chicken Stew

January  2, 2014
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is discovering new flavors. The first time I tried Ethiopian food, I had doro wat, which is a spicy chicken stew. Doro wat has some kick to it, and there are many different spices that contribute to the deep flavor of this stew, which makes it one of my favorite comfort foods. This is a modified version of doro wat that I scrapped together based on the variations of doro wat that I have had at restaurants and some help from Saveur's recipe: C

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Abbie C is a dinner party-loving biologist.
WHAT: A one-pot chicken dinner different than all the others.
HOW: Make a spice mix, then brown, simmer, and braise -- in that order.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love us a one-pot braised chicken dish, but they're easy to tire of. This one -- with its range of thrumming spices and its hard-boiled eggs, is a breath of fresh air for your weeknight meals. We're making it tonight. —The Editors

  • Serves 4
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 medium yellow onion, grated
  • 2 teaspoons high heat oil (I used grapesseed)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 28 ounces can of whole peeled tomatoes with juices
  • 1 splash dry red wine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 whole chicken legs with skin (2 legs, 2 thighs)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • Salt to taste
In This Recipe
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the spices.
  2. Cut the chicken legs into four pieces (i.e. 2 legs, 2 thighs), and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan with deep sides and brown the chicken on all sides over medium-high until golden. Take the chicken out of the pan and lower heat to medium-low and add the butter, onions, and grated ginger. Cook the onions and ginger for about 5 minutes, but don’t let them brown (a little golden is okay). Add the dry spice mixture and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Add the tomatoes and their juices and break them up using a spoon. Add the garlic and a splash of red wine and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer over low to medium low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the sauce is fairly thick. Add salt to taste.
  5. About 5 minutes before you plan to serve, peel the eggs and add to the stew to heat them through. Doro wat is usually served with injera, which is a spongy Ethiopian flatbread that tastes similar to sourdough bread. This stew is also good with brown rice or even roasted cauliflower (as shown in the photo). I'm not sure I'd recommend serving it with Brussels sprouts (also see photo), which I only did to use up some vegetable odds and ends. I would, however, recommend some collard greens if you'd like something green to go along with it.

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