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In Addis Ababa, a bold spice blend thickens and flavors chicken stew
Milk Street Bowtie Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat)

Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat)

1 review

1 hour 10 minutes 30 minutes active

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Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat)

Free

Doro wat, a succulent chicken stew fragrant with spices and savory-sweet with a preponderance of onions, is the national dish of Ethiopia. We were taught how to make it by home cook Tigist Chane in Addis Ababa. A generous measure of berbere, Ethiopia’s signature spice blend, gives the dish its deep reddish-brown hue. Berbere is sold in spice shops and most well-stocked supermarkets; because its chili heat varies from brand to brand, we call for a range in the amount. Alternatively, you can easily mix your own berbere. If you wish to hone your knife skills, feel free to chop the 2 pounds of onions by hand, but a food processor gets the job done quickly. Trim, peel and quarter the onions, then pulse about 10 times until finely chopped; it’s fine if the pieces are a bit uneven. As a cooking fat, we use Indian ghee to mimic the flavor of Ethiopian fermented butter. Look for ghee in the dairy case next to the butter or in the grocery aisle near the coconut oil. If it’s not available, butter is a fine substitute. Whole hard-cooked eggs are traditionally simmered into doro wot at the end, but we prefer sliced hard-cooked eggs as an optional garnish, along with chopped fresh chilies. Injera, a spongy, slightly sour Ethiopian flatbread, is the typical accompaniment, but rice or warmed naan is good, too.

4-6

Servings

Tip

Don’t worry if the onion and spice mixture looks dry after the chicken is stirred in. As it cooks, the chicken gradually releases moisture—so much so that the stew will require uncovered simmering at the end to reduce and thicken the liquid.

1 hour 10 minutes

30 minutes active

5 tablespoons ghee, divided
2 pounds (3 large) red onions, finely chopped (see headnote)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
⅓-½ cup berbere (see headnote)
10 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped (optional)
2-3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced (optional)
Lemon wedges, to serve
Ingredients
  • 5

    tablespoons ghee, divided

  • 2

    pounds (3 large) red onions, finely chopped (see headnote)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ⅓-½

    cup berbere (see headnote)

  • 10

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved

  • 3

    scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

  • 1

    jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped (optional)

  • 2-3

    hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced (optional)

  • Lemon wedges, to serve

.
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Reviews
Bill O.
June 15, 2022
Very nice dish
I'm being a little generous, I'd probably give it a 4.5. Easy to make, nice bit of smoke and heat. Flavor was sweet, but not overly so. I had it again for leftovers a couple of days after and the heat level increased a bit over time. No eggs and didn't have rice or bread, to keep carbs down. Just a side of greens. Enjoyed the dish very much, but not at the top of my favorites list.
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Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat)

Get Ready to Cook

4-6

Servings

1 hour 10 minutes

30 minutes active

Tip

Don’t worry if the onion and spice mixture looks dry after the chicken is stirred in. As it cooks, the chicken gradually releases moisture—so much so that the stew will require uncovered simmering at the end to reduce and thicken the liquid.

Ingredients
  • 5

    tablespoons ghee, divided

  • 2

    pounds (3 large) red onions, finely chopped (see headnote)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ⅓-½

    cup berbere (see headnote)

  • 10

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved

  • 3

    scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

  • 1

    jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped (optional)

  • 2-3

    hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced (optional)

  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Step 1 of 3

Combine Ingredients In Dutch Oven

2
tablespoons ghee
2
pounds (3 large) red onions, finely chopped (see headnote)
Kosher salt

In a large Dutch oven over medium-­high, heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee until shimmering. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat if the onions begin to brown before they soften, until lightly browned and completely softened, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2 of 3

Cook Chicken

3
tablespoons ghee
⅓-½
cup berbere
10
medium garlic cloves, minced
2
pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved

Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons ghee, the berbere and ¾ cup water. Stir in the garlic, followed by the chicken. Reduce to medium-low, cover and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 30 minutes.

Step 3 of 3

Taste, Season and Serve

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3
scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1
jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped
2-3
hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
Lemon wedges, to serve

Uncover, increase to medium-­high and cook, stirring and scraping along the bottom of the pot, until the stew is thickened and a wooden spoon leaves a brief trail when drawn through the sauce, 5 to 8 minutes.


Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the scallions, chilies (if using) and sliced eggs (if using); serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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