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Milk Street Bowtie Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat)

Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat)

4-6 Servings

1 hour 10 minutes 30 minutes active

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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

Directions

Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat)

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Reviews
Joi H.
December 27, 2022
Delicious. hearty chicken dish!
Absolutely in love with cooking Ethiopian dishes at home. Ate it in restaurants and never considered trying to make it at home. Great recipe!
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.
Yaoli Y.

Very delicious and spice mix was not too hard to put together. Good one pot weeknight meal

Ms. Tiffany C.

This was quite good. However, I used 1/3 a cup of Frontier berbere and it was too spicy for my husband and son. Next time, I will use the spice recipe contained here.

Brent T.

Delicious recipe. I used the Milk Street recipe for the berbere and used 1/3 of a cup. It packed a pretty good kick, but my wife found it too spicy. Cutting her stew with plain yogurt worked to make it much less spicy for her. Not complaining at all though, I loved it!

Sharon S.

Made this for dinner tonight including the berbere spice recipe (added less cayenne pepper so it was less spicy and used 1/2 cup). I only had 1 1/2 lbs of chicken thighs so added a can of chick peas. It was delicious. Served with freekah and steamed broccoli all together in a bowl. Broccoli helped to cut the richness. Amazing dish and there are leftovers for tomorrow night which will probably taste even better.

Sarah F.

Tasted legit! Used 1/3 c berbere for the recipe and feel like that was enough. You definitely need injera bread with this! Also, pretty spicy.

Susan B.

We used Penzeys berebere (1/4 cup) and the finished recipe made our eyes water! We served it over rice and with yogurt to cut the spice a bit. I would definitely compare the ingredients of the berebere you purchase with Milk Street's berebere - Penzy's is cayenne-based, while Milk Street's is paprika-based. If we had compared the two berebere ingredient lists at the beginning, we would have cut way back on the Penzy's seasoning. We did like the dish and plan on making it again, but with less heat.

Mitchie B.

No one ever ever ever garnished Doro Wat with scallions HAHAHAHAHA And never served with a side of lemon either never

David E.

Let me add that a) this dish is superb and b) if you use Penzey's berbere be careful! I think it's a delicious blend but if you add more than 1/4 cup per two pounds of chicken thighs you're a tougher man than I, Gunga Din. You might even use a little less the first time and fill the rest of the 1/4 cup with a good, mild paprika.