My son, Andrew, introduced me to this Ethiopian delight. This stew is full of robust flavor that will warm your tummy. The stew is made with a berbere spice mix that you can put together yourself. I must warn you that it is very spicy, but you can control the amount of cayenne that you use if you do not like it too hot. Typically this stew is served with red lentils (Mesir Wat) and Injera (a spongy, crepe like flat bread).
My version is slightly modified from the original, but I think it is just as delicious.
1 ½ – lbs. chicken pieces without skin (thighs are best)
3/4 – stick of butter
1 – large or 2 medium onions diced
3 – cloves garlic minced
2 – tbls. berbere spice (see below)
4 ½- ounces tomato puree
1 – tsp. sugar
1 – tsp. salt
Melt the butter in a large heavy pot, then sauté diced onion and garlic until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add berbere spice, stir through and cook another one minute. Then add the tomato puree, sugar, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring often.
In the meantime, remove the skin from the chicken, wash, and pat dry. Add the chicken to the onion mixture and coat each piece completely with the sauce. Add about one cup water to create enough sauce to cover the chicken.
Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook about one hour until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and is tender. Stir occasionally to make sure the sauce is not sticking to the pan.
You can remove the lid during the last 10 minutes to help reduce some of the liquid to create a thicker sauce.
Berbere Spice Mix
½- tsp. ground ginger
¼- tsp. cardamon
¼- tsp. fenugreek
¼- tsp. nutmeg
¼- tsp. coriander
¼- tsp. cinnamon
1/8- tsp. ground clove
1/8- tsp. allspice
1- tbls. salt
1– tbls. cayenne pepper (add less if you don’t like it too hot)
1– tbls. paprika sweet
Mix all together and store in a sealed jar or container.