Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew)

Ethiopian Chicken Stew

Our latest Family Dinner was inspired by Ethiopian cuisine. We all love it but don’t get to have it as often as we’d like. So, I decided to tackle a whole meal centering around Doro Wat. This national dish of Ethiopia, Doro Wat is a spicy chicken stew made with berbere spice. This Doro Wat recipe was perfect for our family. It had just enough kick.

My quest for the perfect Ethiopian dinner at home started a day in advance. The sour flatbread, injera is eaten with the meal. 1 day is actually still a short amount of time. Traditional injera can take up to 3 days to bubble and turn sour. In a traditional Ethiopian restaurant you would use the injera to eat your food. Yes, no utensils needed.

Of course, dinner wasn’t perfect. At the restaurant, Berbere Spice is made on site. It’s a mixture of cumin, ginger, cardamom, cloves, coriander and so many other spices including dried hot peppers. I purchased a pre-made mix which doesn’t really allow an adjustment of spice. But that’s life. Perfectly, imperfect.

I must be honest the berbere spice is spicy. So spicy we made a separate chicken dish for the kids. Some of the other dishes also used berbere spice but I created a cumin, ginger, cloves and coriander mixture so that everyone (the kids) could eat it also. I spent half of the day cooking. The heat intensifies the flavor.

It was well worth it. Everyone enjoyed dinner. Though next time I probably will use the pressure cooker.

Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew)

Makes 6 – 8 servings

  • 3 pounds chicken thighs (lemon and salt)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 2 large red onions finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 4 tablespoons Berbere Spice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • splash white wine
  • 6 boiled eggs

Tools: bowl, spatula, dutch oven (heavy botton pot)


Place chicken in a bowl with water lemon and salt for about 30 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a dutch oven over medium heat.

Add onions and sauté for 30 minutes until onions become translucent.

Stir, then add ginger and garlic. Sauté for another 15 minutes.

Add berbere spice, salt and remaining butter.

Stir onion and spice mixture every couple of minutes.

Allow mixture to cook for 45 minutes.

Add chicken and coat with spice mixture.

Add chicken stock and a splash of white wine.

Cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes.

Add boiled eggs and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Ethiopian chicken stew

Grab your injera and use your hands.


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