Hello Africa, it is time to explore this part of the globe through the Soul of New Cuisine cookbook by Marcus Samuelsson. Partners in crime were my mouth all the way down to tummy 😉
The beautiful cookbook is from a well-known Executive Chef and Co-owner of New York’s Restaurant, Aquavit, AQ Cafe at Scandinavia House, and Riingo. He was born in a small village in Ethiopia and was placed in an orphanage three years later after his mom passed away in a tuberculosis epidemic. He and his sister were then adopted by Swedish parents. That explains some of his style of cooking in this cookbook. A fusion between Africa and Scandinavian cuisine.

Chicken stew or Doro Wett is a great introduction to Ethiopian food for people who has never had African food before. To me, this is actually quite similar to a curry in some way, though traditional curry in Southeast Asia doesn’t call for wine. The dish is build on spiced butter or nit’ir qibe, which is kept handy in most Ethiopian kitchens to add flavor to meat and vegetable stews (from the spices added to the butter) and Berbere, a complex bend of chili peppers and spices that gives the cuisine its signature rich, layered flavors. Berbere is also another one that is kept handy in Ethiopian kitchen to flavor Ethiopian stews.

In this recipe the spiced butter and berbere can be substituted with regular unsalted butter and chili powder respectively, however, I strongly suggest to use the spiced butter and berbere as they really enhanced the flavor of this dish. I think this is the dish that I used the most spices ever :) Not one of those quick convenient cooking (well, it can be if you have the spiced butter and berbere on hand already ), but hey…this is a popular Ethiopian dish and I just had to try it. It’s a good meal!

What you will need:
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ cup ground dried serrano chilies or other ground dried chilies
  • ½ c paprika
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cardamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • ½ medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • One 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 8 basil leaves
Other ingredients:
  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup Spiced butter or 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamon, preferably freshly ground
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Berbere or chili powder
  • 2½ cups chicken stock, divided
  • One 4-5 lb chicken, cut into 10 pieces, wings reserved for another use or you can buy leg quarters or thighs pieces, etc (it's easier for me)
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
Preparing berbere:
  1. Finely grind the fenugreek seeds with mortal and pestle or in an electric spice or coffee grinder. Stir together with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
  2. Berbere can be used as well as a rub for beef and lamb
Preparing spiced butter:
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. As foam rises to the top, skim and discard it. Continue cooking, without letting the butter brown, until no more foam appears. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cumin, cardamon, oregano, turmeric, and basil and continue cooking for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let stand until the spices settle. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve before using. Store in refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to 3 weeks
Preparing the stew:
  1. Combine the onions, a pinch of salt, and half of the spiced butter in a Dutch oven or other large deep pot over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining butter, the cardamon, black pepper, cloves, garlic, ginger, and berbere and cook until the onions soften and take on the color of the spices, about 10 minutes
  2. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and the chicken legs and thighs, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup chicken stock and the wine, bring back to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken breast and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
  3. Gently stir in the lime juice and eggs and simmer for another 5 minutes. The sauce will be loose and soupy. Season with salt to taste
  4. Serve over rice (yes..what else can it be. For us anyway, ha..!)


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