Crockpot Doro Wat

Doro what? Wat is an Ethiopian stew or curry and doro wat is a highly spiced chicken stew. According to the internet, it’s one of the most popular meals in Ethiopia.

Many of the basic ingredients of Ethiopian cuisine are common to Indian food as well, but the spicing and flavor profiles are completely different. A visit to an Ethiopian restaurant is a great date night or group dining option as Ethiopian food is typically a communal experience and you get the bonus of being allowed to eat with your hands! Dishes are served on a giant platter of injera, a slightly sour, spongy bread traditionally made from teff flour. The dishes are generally somewhat saucy, and you tear off small portions of the bread to pick up bits of meat and veggies and to mop up the sauce.

Although I pass on the giant bread platter when cooking at home, Ethiopian-inspired dishes are steadily entering our regular recipe rotation. They are bursting with flavor and, aside from a few less common spice pantry items like fenugreek (easily obtained at the Whole Foods bulk aisle), typically rely on ingredients that are both easy to find and cheap. Many of the meat stews are long-simmered concoctions that I have bookmarked to try in the crockpot for coming cooler temps. Delicious, cheap, and easy? That’s my kind of food.

I served this spicy chicken with a heaping side of gomen wat (collard greens); both recipes are below!

Crockpot Doro Wat
Serves 4
Lightly adapted from Saveur

  • 4 pieces/pats unsalted butter
  • 3 small/medium onions, sliced
  • 1 T. chopped garlic
  • 1 T. peeled and chopped ginger
  • 2# boneless, skinless chicken thighs (10 thighs total)
  • 2 T. berbere (I used this recipe)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  1. Put all ingredients except for the hard-boiled eggs into your crockpot. Toss to coat chicken and onions with berbere, sprinkle with salt (go easy here, you can taste and add later). Cook on low for 6.5 hours.
  2. The mixture will be a little liquidy, so here you have a few options:
    a) serve it with a little extra sauce, no big deal!;
    b) transfer it to the stove and simmer it down (what I did);
    c) take the lid off of your crockpot and keep cooking until it simmers down (i.e. what I should have done)
  3. Serve in a bowl with an egg (peeled). Make a dorky chicken/egg joke. Enjoy.

Gomen Wat
Serves 2-4
Adapted from (mainly, omission of ginger, allspice, and green peppers to suit our tastes better!)

  • 2 bunches collards, rinsed, trimmed, and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-2 T. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. turmeric
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  1. Combine collard greens and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover; let it simmer until greens are tender (~15-20 minutes). Drain collards but keep water.
  2. In a large pan or pot, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions until they start to get translucent (8-10 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook for another minute (garlic should be getting fragrant, but don’t let it begin to brown). Add the collard greens and the reserved cooking water. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until liquid is nearly evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the lemon juice, salt, turmeric, and paprika. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning. Adjust to your preferences.

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