One of the best-known of all African recipes, Doro Wat (Doro Watt, Doro Wot, Doro Wet, Doro We't, Dorowat) is a spicy Ethiopian chicken dish made with Berberé (a spice mixture or spice paste) and Niter Kibbeh (or nit'ir qibe, a spicy clarified butter). Berberé and niter kibbeh, basic ingredients in many Ethiopian recipes, are usually made in large quantities and kept on hand for some time. No doubt using berberé and niter kibbeh gives a special quality to Doro Wat. But a very good result can be obtained by adding the same spices directly to the Doro Wat, instead of indirectly in the berberé spice mix and niter kibbeh.
- juice of one lemon
- two teaspoons salt
- one chicken (about 3 pounds), cleaned and cut into serving-size pieces -- some cooked remove skin and score or pierce the meat with a knife to facilitate marinating
- two (or more) onions, finely chopped
- four tablespoons niter kebbeh (or butter)
- four cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- one piece fresh ginger root -- cleaned, scraped, and chopped (about a teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon berberé -- or -- 1 - 2 tablespoons of a combination of cayenne pepper and paprika (if berberé and niter kebbeh are not used)
- 1 small tomato, chopped or a few tablespoons tomato paste or tomato sauce (optional)
- 1 cup chicken stock, water, or dry red wine
- hard-boiled eggs (1 per person), pierced with a toothpick or the tine of a long fork
- In a glass bowl, combine the lemon juice (some cooks use lime juice), half the salt, and chicken pieces. Let chicken marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Cook the onions over medium heat for a few minutes in a dry (no oil) pot or dutch oven large enough to eventually hold all of the ingredients. Stir constantly to prevent them from browning or burning; reduce heat or remove the pot from the heat if necessary. (Some cooks add the niter kebbeh at the start, but dry-cooking the onions for a few minutes gives the dish a distinctive flavor. )
- Add the niter kebbeh or butter to the onions, along with the garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom, nutmeg, remaining salt, berberé (or cayenne pepper and paprika), and tomato. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. The onions should be soft, tender, and translucent, but not browned.
- Add the chicken stock, water, or dry red wine. Bring the mixture to a low boil while stirring gently. Cook for a few minutes, then reduce heat.
- Add the chicken pieces, making sure to cover them with the sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes — or until the chicken is done — turning the chicken a few times.
- After the chicken has been cooking for 20 minutes, gently add the hard-boiled eggs and ladle sauce over them.
- Serve hot. The only traditional way to serve doro wat is with a spongy flat bread called injera, which can only be properly made with difficult-to-obtain teff flour. While it's not the way Ethiopians would serve it, doro wat is very good with Couscous, Rice, or Middle-Eastern or Indian style flat bread.