Authentic Doro Wot Recipe
Doro wot is full of flavor and a beloved dish in my family. I’m excited to share my authentic recipe with you, which involves using berbere spices and traditionally cutting a whole chicken into 12 pieces. Although the process takes 4-6 hours, it’s definitely worth it for those who enjoy spicy chicken. You can serve up to 10 people with this dish and store leftovers in the fridge for 5-7 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to use clean utensils every time you scoop the stew to prevent it from spoiling. Additionally, I suggest putting on your favorite tunes, dancing around, and pampering yourself while you cook to make the experience more enjoyable.
I will walk you through the process step-by-step, so you can create your own authentic Doro Wot without breaking a sweat. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!
Let’s start with the stars of the dish.
The 12 pieces.
While most recipes online suggest using chicken thighs or drumsticks, the traditional way of preparing the dish involves using a whole chicken sliced into 12 pieces. These pieces represent the 12 apostles of Jesus from the Bible. In my opinion, a dish should not be called “Doro wot” unless it contains all twelve pieces in it.
This step is crucial to allow the right flavors to soak in and shorten the cooking time. Slicing a chicken into 12 pieces might need some practice, but it’s not challenging.
Choosing the right chicken for your Doro wot
The key to making a truly delicious Doro Wot is choosing the right chicken. Using the right chicken can take your dish from just okay to absolutely amazing. Choosing the right chicken is crucial for getting the desired taste and texture for Doro Wot. Trust me; you don’t want to settle for less!
Throughout my time living in the United States, I have tried different types of chicken spices while making authentic Doro wot. Unfortunately, I have not found any chicken suitable for Doro wot, except for stewing hens. These retired hens have stopped laying eggs, and their meat is hard and chewy, requiring more time to cook than younger hens. However, they add more flavors to your Doro wot and provide beneficial health effects such as improving gut, joint, and brain health. The minerals in their bones also help nourish our blood and bones.
Using stewing hens is also an eco-friendly option, preventing them from being thrown away. When going grocery shopping, ask for stewing hens, or check out local farms and specialty stores to find them. I promise you won’t regret giving it a try!
Make sure to marinate the chicken pieces in water, lemon juice and salt for 3 hours to overnight for optimum flavor.
For step-by-step guide on how to cut the chicken into 12 pieces click here.
Using the right Onions
Recipes typically don’t specify the exact type of onion to use. You can choose any type of onion you have available but choosing the right one can make a significant difference in the flavor of the dish. My grandmother uses shallots in her Doro wot recipe and my mom use sweet onions. From my experimentation, I have found that using a mix of sweet onions and shallots adds an ideal flavor to Doro wot. Sweet onions are the perfect choice for dishes that require the onion flavor to caramelize, such as Doro wot. Meanwhile, shallots are a great addition to Doro wot because they add a crispy texture without overpowering the dish’s taste with their pungency. In Ethiopia, they refer to shallots as habesha onions.
Kibbeh or oil to Sautee your onion
To get the best flavor for your doro wot, it’s important to cook and caramelize the onions just right. Personally, I recommend using kibbeh instead of oil to sauté the onions. Kibbeh has a high smoke point and is infused with spices, making it perfect for this dish.
Now, let’s talk about the difference between sautéing onions in oil versus clarified butter. While oil is a common choice, clarified butter adds a deeper flavor to your dish. Plus, oil tends to burn easily and create a bitter taste, whereas clarified butter gives your onions a sweet and rich flavor.
Clarified butter also has added benefits, such as providing healthy fats and enhancing the absorption of nutrients in your ingredients. Its creamy texture adds even more richness to your dish. And when you sauté onions in it, they cook evenly and develop a delicious, caramelized flavor that oil just can’t mimic.
Click here for my Authentic Nitir Kibbeh recipe from scratch.
The quality of your berbere is a one of the key factors in making a tasty Doro wot dish, and I cannot stress this enough. Personally, I prefer making my own berbere by using mild and sweet cayenne pepper pods (capsicum annuum), which is the same as Mareko berbere pods in Ethiopia. The best kind of berbere comes from the Mareko region of Ethiopia. However, other types of peppers are also used since Mareko berbere can be quite expensive. If you’re using store-bought berbere which tends to be hotter and not mild and sweet, my recipe might be too much for you, so I suggest adding sweet paprika in 2:1 ratio with your berbere. But, if you’re up for making berbere from scratch, I will soon post the recipe that will last for about a year.
Hard boiled eggs are another essential part of the Doro wot recipe, providing a distinctive texture and flavor to the dish. I recommend using organic eggs, and you have the option to either add the peeled hard-boiled eggs to the sauce when you are done cooking or serve them separately in a dish to keep your Doro wot fresh for longer.
Spices and herbs
Spices and herbs are crucial for the flavor of Doro Wot but be careful not to let them overpower it. My preferred spices to add are Koseret, Besobilla, Timiz, and Korerima, and a little bit of cumin in addition to garlic and a touch of fresh ginger.
Check my Amazon store for all the spices and the clay pot. click here
Choices of pots for Doro wot
My choice is always clay pot. Clay pot cooking is an ancient method of cooking that has been used for centuries. It is a slow, natural, healthy form cooking that is perfect for those who are health conscious. Did you know that in ancient times, royalty used clay pots for cooking? So, you could say that clay-pot cooking is a royal affair! While cast iron can be used for cooking, you need to be careful that the berbere does not stick or burn at the bottom of the pot, as it can ruin the Doro wot flavor. If you are not comfortable using clay pots, you can use a non-stick pot instead.
Serving Doro wot
Doro Wot is traditionally served with Ethiopian flatbread and ayibe (cottage cheese), but you could also opt for some rice if you prefer, I know there are some people who don’t like injera, like my neighbor.
Now that you know how to make authentic Ethiopian Doro Wot, it’s time to impress your friends and family with your newfound culinary skills. Plus, you can proudly exclaim that making Doro Wot isn’t as daunting as you originally thought. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy all the rich, complex flavors this dish has to offer! Serving the dish
Authentic Doro wot Recipe.
- 1 Whole Chicken cut into 12 pecies
- 2.5 Lbs Sweet Onions finely minced to a chunky puree in food processor
- .5 Lbs Shallots
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1 cup Niter Kibbeh (save 1 tbsp for later)
- 7 cloves Garlic finely minced
- 1.5 cup Ethiopian Berbere (depending on your liking I like it red) use 1 cup Berbere and 1/2 cup paprika if your berbere is store bough.
- 3 cup Chicken Stock cook the chicken skin with 3 cups of water for about an hour then use the stock
- 12 Hard-Boiled Eggs pierced all over with a fork about 1/4 inch deep. cut vertically with a knife to help the eggs absorb the sauce.
- 1 tbsp Besobilla Ethiopian basil (please note all the spices are freshly dried but not ground)
- 1 tsp Koseret Lippa Abyssinica
- 1 tsp Korerima Ethiopian black cardamom
- 3 pices Timiz Ethiopian long black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Cumin Don't add too much cumin as it is overpowering.
- salt test before you add more salt as the chicken is marinated with salt.
- To prepare the chicken stock, boil the chicken skin in water after carefully removing all the fat from it. Remember to ensure that the chicken is totally clean before boiling it.
- Place the onions and tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until the consistency is a chunky puree.
- In a large pot let the onions and tomatoes cook together over low heat for an hour. Keep stirring until most of the water has evaporated, and the onions turn golden brown and sweet. This step is important because it will bring out the rich flavor and aroma of the onions.
- add the niter kibbeh and cook the onions on low heat for about 7 to 10 minutes until they turn golden. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
- Time to add the Berbere and mix well. To prevent the berbere mixture from sticking to the pot, add 1/4 cup of chicken stock at a time while sautéing the mixture with berbere for about 5-10 minutes.
- Put in 12 pieces of chicken together with minced garlic, ginger, and ground spices. Cover the chicken with the sauce mixture and pour in the remaining chicken stoke.
- Simmer the dish by covering it for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. To determine if the drumstick is cooked, poke it with a fork, and turn off the stove once done. Add the 2 tbsp of previously saved Kibbeh and stir the dish well for the perfect blend of flavors.
- If you're putting the eggs in the sauce, cover the pot and let it rest before serving. It might taste better the next day, but if you can't wait, serve it after letting it rest. Enjoy!