Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken Stew

doro-wat-nearly-done-photoOur son is adopted from Ethiopia and we are going to an Ethiopian Dinner Party tonight so I thought I would make a nice big pot of Doro Wat (sometimes spelled doro wet, doro we’t)

When we were in Ethiopia, our son was most anxious to share this meal with us and it is delicious.  For these reasons, Doro Wat is one of my favorite meals.

Most of the work for Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken Stew – is prep work.  Once all the ingredients are together, like any stew, it needs to well, um… stew.

CHICKEN STOCK: I start by making a nice chicken stock.  For this party size Doro Wat I need about 8 cups of chicken stock.  I had a leftover chicken carcass I had saved from one night this week that Lisa brought home a grilled chicken for dinner.  I placed what was left of the chicken in the pan with about 10 cups of water.  I add a couple spoonfuls of tomato sauce to help with the color, a chopped carrot, some celery if I have it, some chopped onion and some spice (garlic, onion, celery seed, celery leaf, pepper, salt, etc) and bring it to a boil and then turn it down and let it simmer for several hours. Strain everything out but the liquid.  That liquid is the best chicken stock you can get.

chicken-stock2-photo chicken-stock3-photo chicken-stock-photo

Spice Butter: Spiced butter is a staple in Ethiopian Cooking.  True spiced butter is made with clarified butter (Ghee) because it doesn’t need refrigeration.  Since that isn’t an issue for most of us, save the $10 as use regular butter.  In a small pot, heat over low heat for about 20-30 minutes until flavors seem well integrated mix:

  • 4 sticks butter, melted
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3″ piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Keep this on VERY low heat so the butter doesn’t brown or burn. Once the butter has really taken on the spice flavor, I use an immersion blender to reduce the size of the onions and really mixes the flavors together nicely.


Boiled Eggs: We like to have one boiled egg per serving, so hard boil and egg for each person.

hard-boiled-eggs-photo hard-boiled-eggs2-photo




Chicken: The Chicken cooks right in the stew.  Normally Doro Wat uses a full chicken cut into 6-10 pieces.

Now to make the Doro Wat…

Once you have everything prepped the final assembly goes like this:

Put the SPICED BUTTER in a deep soup pan or crock


  • 1 1/2 Red Onion, Diced
  • 1 White Onion, Diced
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom, freshly ground
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, course ground
  • 3 teaspoons carlic powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, fresh, minced
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 5 cloves or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons Ethiopian Berbere spice (note on making this at end)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, fresh, ground
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • juice from 1 lime

Mix all the spices up with the onions and spiced butter.  Mix well on low heat.  Allow to simmer on low heat for 15-25 minutes until the onions are soft and have taken on the flavor and color of spices.

doro-wat-photoAdd: 8 cups chicken broth and turn up heat until it is just about to boil, return to low heat




doro-wat-4-photoAdd: Chicken – uncooked, raw chicken – add all your chicken pieces and turn up the heat to medium low – allow to simmer for 25 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked



Add: Hard Boiled Eggs (shells removed of course)

Allow stew to simmer on very low heat for a couple of hours if possible.  This stew does not get thick like many “sauces.”  It is a very liquidy, soupy consistency to soak the injera it is served on, along with lentils, or potatos.

injera1Serve on plates with injera- the Ethiopian “bread” which is much more like a crepe than bread.




We have Ethiopian Berbere Spice from Ethiopia.  If you want you can order it online or you can make it very easily which I may start to do since we get such nice spices at Basic Foods.  Here is a recipe:



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