Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken Stew

December 6, 2018


I’ve always loved how food teaches you about different parts of the world. Recipes are like an anthrological time capsule.

So when my son was studying Ethiopia for a school project and asked me to make one of the dishes he learned about in his research called Doro Wat, I said yes, not knowing much about this dish.

So glad I said yes.

The spice blend called berbere is a flavor bomb, so so good. (There is a recipe for it below although you can buy it at specialty food stores). Your tastebuds will explode, and you might feel like you are at an Ethiopian restaurant and not at your house when you taste it. The base of the sauce is onion, garlic and ginger, and once that is sautéed in butter, you add the berbere and paprika, and it becomes this intoxicating stew.

Making the berber is easy, even if there are a lot of spices in it. I did it with a baby on my hip, if that encourages you at all.

The best flavor infusion was marinated the chicken in lemon juice and salt.

I think I might try to do this with my chicken all the time now! It made it so tender and flavorful.

And the edition of the hard boiled egg was such a lovely part of the plate, it was a great vehicle for the flavorful sauce. Many recipes call for serving it with injera, which I couldn’t find and seems challenging to make. So I just used naan bread and rice (why do I love to double carb with flavorful sauces?) and they were delicious.

If you’re looking to go on a journey in the kitchen – but not get fatigue from the quest – try this stew! I can’t wait to make it again.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken Stew (printer version here):

Prep Time: 30 minutes plus marinating time. Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs + 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger (1-inch piece)
  • water (optional)
  • 6 T. butter
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 cup berbere spice mix (recipe follows)
  • 1 ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (I omitted for little kids and added it after serving them)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • injera bread, naan bread or hot cooked rice, to serve


  1. Combine the lemon juice and salt in a large, nonreactive mixing bowl and stir until slightly dissolved. Add the chicken thighs, one at a time, dipping both sides of each piece in the marinade to coat. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is marinating, purée the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender. Add a little water, if necessary, to get the blades moving.
  3. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat and stir in the paprika to color the oil. Stir in the berbere mixture and cook for 3 minutes, until heated through. Add the onion mixture 
and sauté until most of the moisture evaporates and the mixture reduces, about 15 minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock and wine, add cayenne to taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the lemon juice and discard the marinade. Add the chicken to the pot and cover with sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Add water, if necessary, to maintain the liquid level.
  5. Add the whole hard-boiled eggs and continue 
to cook until the chicken is very tender, 10 to 
15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve hot 
with injera bread or rice.

Doro Wat recipe adapted from

Berbere Spice Mixture 

Adapted from


  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika  
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin  
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander  
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg  
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves  
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)

Mix all the spices together in a bowl. This yields exact amount needed for recipe. Store in a sealed container.



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