Doro Wat (Ethiopian-Style Spicy Chicken)
Doro wat is a popular chicken dish in Ethiopia, and for Ethiopian Jews like Meskerem Gebreyohannes, it is also a fine centerpiece for a holiday like Hanukkah. Mrs. Gebreyohannes makes her doro wat with a Berbere spice mix imported from Ethiopia, but for this recipe, it is not needed, as the spices are listed individually. Doro wat is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time. You can lower the heat by ratcheting up the sweet paprika, rather than the cayenne.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 8to 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1tablespoon white vinegar
- 4to 5 large onions, peeled and quartered
- Fresh ginger (1-inch piece), peeled and grated
- ½head of garlic, peeled
- ⅓cup olive oil
- 1to 2 tablespoons hot chile powder like cayenne
- 1tablespoon sweet paprika
- ½teaspoon ground ginger
- ½teaspoon ground coriander
- 1teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ¾teaspoon salt or to taste
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Injera, pita, naan or rice, for serving
- Hard-boiled eggs, for serving (optional)
Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees and rub the chicken with the lemon juice and vinegar.
Step 2Put the chicken in a rimmed baking sheet and bake, discarding the juices after 20 minutes, then draining again after 10 more minutes. Remove meat from oven and set aside.
Step 3As the chicken cooks, put the onions, ginger and garlic in a food processor with a steel blade and finely chop until almost ground, leaving a bit of texture.
Step 4Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes or until the onions have turned golden. Then stir in 1 tablespoon of the chile powder, the sweet paprika, ginger, coriander, cardamom, thyme, fenugreek, salt and pepper.
Step 5Cook for a few minutes, taste the sauce, and if you prefer more bite, add more chile. Add the chicken and simmer, covered, for about 15 more minutes, adding as much as a cup of water to reach the consistency of a thick sauce. Add more salt and pepper, if desired.
Step 6Serve with injera, pita, naan or rice and, if you wish, hard-boiled eggs.