Doro W’et- Spicy Ethiopian Chicken Stew

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I feel like Doro W’et (a.k.a. Doro Wat, Doro Wet, Doro Wett) is the Ethiopia’s Pad Thai equivalent.  And by that I mean that it’s the perfect introduction to Ethiopian food for somebody who might not be the most adventurous eater, but still likes to try new things and new cuisines.  Chicken in a spicy, flavorful broth that has just the slightest hint of red wine… who wouldn’t like that?

I served it atop of injera (recipe to come!), but it would also be excellent atop any type of grain…. rice, millet, quinoa, you name it.  In the past I’ve also served it atop a bed of creamy teff porridge, which was sort of like an Ethiopian version of soft polenta or grits.

Doro W’et- Spicy Ethiopian Chicken Stew

Yield: 6 servings


* 1/4 cup nit’ir qibe (or substitute ghee or oil, divided
* 2 onions, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 1/2-inch piece ginger, minced or grated with a Microplane zester
* 1 Tablespoon berbere
* 1 Tablespoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 2 cloves, whole
* 2 pounds boneless chicken legs, cut into very large chunks
* 15-ounce can chicken broth (roughly 1 3/4 cups)
* 1/4 cup dry red wine
* 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
* salt and pepper
* chopped cilantro, for topping
* ayib, for topping


Heat half of the nit’ir qibe in a very large French skillet (large skillet with walls several inches high) or a Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the remaining nit’ir qibe and the garlic, ginger, berbere, paprika, cardamom, and cloves and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cook for several minutes, until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink.

Add the broth and red wine and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through and the sauce has reduced slightly. Note that the broth will still be a pretty loose liquid and will not thicken like most American sauces.

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Top with chopped cilantro and ayib. Serve with injera or your favorite grain.

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