Ethiopian Doro Wat (A Chicken Dish)
By Batsheva Midnight Chef on Instagram
This recipe is my own take on a traditional Ethiopian dish rich with culture. It is less spicy than the authentic variety to make it more palatable for mainstream audiences. This recipe is only a little time consuming, but well worth it. Despite its abject simplicity (chicken and onions! That's it!), it boasts complex flavors and a heady aroma that will lure you in. It is best made with an enamel-coated dutch oven because the self-basting nature of the lid will allow for more consistent results and will keep the dish moist. I recommend using the largest available onions (this will cut prep time significantly) and refrigerating cut onion halves for a few hours before you intend to use them to dull some of the acidity. You can also use a food processor to pulse the onions gently if mincing them by hand sounds too daunting of a task. To make things easier, you can also make the “wat” base, the onion mixture, in advance and simply cook the chicken in it when you are ready. The real secret to the amazing flavors is in the slow-and-steady approach to caramelizing the onions, which can stay in the pot cooking for hours in a traditional Ethiopian household. There really is no shortcut for this part, as the flavors need time to develop as layer upon sumptuous layer of flavor is added to the dish to yield mouthwatering results.
- 6 Cups finely minced red onion
- 1/2 cup + more EVOO, or chicken schmaltz
- 2 tbsp finely minced fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp + more kosher salt
- 2 tbsp India Tree Brand Ethiopian Berbere Spice Blend
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 Pieces of Skinless, Boneless Chicken, Legs and Thighs Separated
- Cubed Vegetables, such as Sweet Potatoes, Carrots or Parsnip (Optional)
- Set a large Dutch oven (or other large, heavy bottom pot) over med heat. When hot, add the onions. Stir well and cover the pot. Cook onions for about 15-20 mins, until their color has darkened and they become translucent, occasionally stirring and checking during this time to make sure the onions aren't sticking to the bottom or scorching. If they begin to stick, simply stir them very well and proceed to the next step.
- Lower the heat to med low. Add the 1/2 cup EVOO and stir well. Cook for 20 mins, occasionally stirring. *As cooking is not a hands-on process, feel free to adjust the temperature as necessary.
- Add the garlic, ginger and salt. Stir well. Cover and cook 20 mins, occasionally stirring.
- Add the Ethiopian Berbere, pepper and cinnamon. Stir well to incorporate. Cover and cook an additional 35-40 mins until onions have sweetened, flavors have combined nicely and the onions have taken on a deep, reddish hue, all the while stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Arrange the chicken pieces in the Dutch oven and the veggies, if desired (Alternatively, you can place everything in a large roasting pan fitted with a proper lid). Arrange some of the onions on top of the chicken. Bake for 1.5-2 hours until chicken is tender and falling off the bone and vegetables are cooked through.
- Crafted Kosher