Doro Wat - Ethiopian

wat1.jpgWat is apparently the national dish of Ethiopia. What possessed me to make a ridiculously complicated dish that I've never eaten before is a question still unanswered, but it was pretty good.

It's actually four separate recipes, berberé and niter kibbeh, ingredients in the wat, injera, the bread, and the wat itself. This is chicken wat known as doro wat. There are many varieties.

I should also point out that this dish is spicy. Really. There are chili peppers, all sorts of spices. Oh, and 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper for a dish that serves two people.

1 lb. chicken legs and thighs, skin removed, diced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. salt
1 oz. niter kibbeh (1/8 c.)
1 tbsp. paprika
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp. ginger, minced
1/4 c. berberé paste
4 oz. chicken stock (1/2 c.)
1 oz. red wine (1/8 c.)
a small tomato, chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground fenugreek
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. In Ethiopia, you don't get any utensils, all you get is injera which you rip pieces off and use to eat the wat.

Mix together the chicken, lemon, and salt and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. This is typically done in a bowl but I find it more effective to put the chicken in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal it.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the niter kibbeh (seasoned clarified butter) and paprika. Cook for a minute. Add the berberé paste and cook for a few minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, being careful not to burn it.


Add the chicken stock, wine, chicken, and the remaining spices. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, the simmer covered for 45 minutes.

Serves 2 or 3.

My final verdict is that injera is kind of weird tasting, the chicken was good and crazy spicy, but all in all this was not worth the ridiculous amount of effort it requires to make it!

Based on this recipe and this recipe.