Chicken Dora Wat

Ethiopia – Chicken Stewed in Red Pepper Paste (Doro Wat)

One 2-1/2 lb. chicken,cut into 8 serving pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (keep lemon aside)
2 teaspoons salt
2 onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup Niter Kebbeh (Spiced Butter or clarified butter)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup Red Pepper Paste (aka Spice Paste, Berbere)
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup water
4 hard-boiled eggs
Freshly ground black pepper

Rinse and dry the chicken pieces. Rub them with lemon juice and salt. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a heavy enamel stewpot, cook the onions over moderate heat for about 5 minutes. Do not let brown or burn (This dry fry method releases a slightly smokey flavor). Stir in the butter (niter kebbeh). Then add the garlic and spices. Stir well. Add the berbere and paprika, and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the wine and water and bring to a boil. Cook briskly, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.

Pat the chicken dry and drop it into the simmering sauce, turning the pieces about until coated on all sides and the lemon you squeezed. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30-45 minutes. (It’s a stew you can let it cook up a bit, adding a little chicken broth if liquid cooks down)

Meanwhile, piece the hard-boiled eggs with the tines of a fork, piercing approximately 1/4″ into the egg all over the surface. After the chicken has cooked, add the eggs and turn them gently in the sauce. Cover and cook the doro wat for 15 more minutes. Add pepper to taste.