Ethiopian Doro Wat Chicken Stew for Shabbat

Long-simmered Ethiopian stews, known as wats, are often made for Shabbat. They are traditionally served with the pancake-like flat bread, injera, which is made before the Sabbath and wrapped in a clean cloth until the wat is ready to eat. The eggs are an intrinsic part of the dish so make sure everyone receives one in their portion.


Serves 4

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
6–8 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh root ginger
1 cup water or chicken stock
1 cup passata (bottled strained tomatoes) or 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
3 pounds chicken, cut into 8–12 portions
Seeds from 5–8 cardamom pods
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
Large pinch of ground cloves
Large pinch of grated nutmeg
Cayenne pepper, hot paprika or berbere, to taste
4 hard-boiled eggs
Salt and ground black pepper
Fresh coriander (cilantro) and onion rings, to garnish
Injera, flat bread or rice, to serve

1) Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1–2 minutes.

2) Add the water or chicken stock and the passata or chopped tomatoes to the pan. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring continuously, for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened. Season.

3) Add the chicken and spices to the pan and turn the chicken in the sauce. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender. Add a little more liquid if the mixture seems too thick.

4) Remove the shells from the eggs and then prick the eggs once or twice with a fork. Add the eggs to the sauce and heat gently until the eggs are warmed through. Garnish with coriander and onion rings and serve with injera, flat bread or rice.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Jewish Festival Food: Eating for Special Occasions” (Lorenz Books) by Marlena Spieler.

Ethiopian Doro Wat Chicken Stew for Shabbat

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