Monday, December 19, 2011

Crock Pot Doro Wat

I now present you with the recipe I have worked the hardest on.  Trying a couple of recipes found on the internet (not a fan), using my Crock Pot Sega Wat recipe with chicken instead of beef (just okay), combining all of these minus/plus a few ingredients, and I finally found a Crock Pot Doro Wat recipe I'm happy with.  My Ethiopian friends, who taught me all of my other recipes, did not teach me this one. They told me that Doro Wat is a traditional meal only served on very special Holy days (I'm thinking maybe like Americans only bake a whole turkey on Thanksgiving/Christmas?).  Also, they related that Doro Wat is WAY easier to make now that they are in America because, well, ya know ... they don't have to catch, kill and pluck the chicken.  Very, very thankful for our American conveniences :)

Crock Pot Doro Wat

3 lbs Split Chicken Breast or Cut Up Whole Fryer Chicken *
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
8 gloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp berbere ** (more if you like it hot)
1 tsp cardamon
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp fresh ground ginger (did you know you can keep fresh ginger root in the freezer and it lasts for months?  You can even grate it while frozen and just pop the leftover root back in the freezer)

6 peeled boiled eggs

Combine all ingredients (except eggs) in crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours (a couple hours less on high).  I use split chicken breast (bone-in).  About 4-5 hours in you should check the chicken.  You need to shred/de-bone it before the chicken gets too tender or else you'll end up with a pile of bones in the bottom of your Wat (gag!).  Just take the chicken out of the crock, debone it and put the meat back into the crock to cook longer, become more tender and soak up the spicy goodness.  At this point go ahead and add the (peeled) boiled eggs.

1-2 hours later, serve with injera.

* I've tried this recipe with boneless/skinless chicken breast and I wasn't a fan of the texture.  I think it ended up being too dry.  If you really want to skip the de-boning process, you can use boneless chicken but I'd recommend doubling the oil and perhaps lowering your expectations (just a tad).

** I use 3 tbsp berbere and my kids can eat it, but they have to have lots of water handy, and there might be a lot of exaggerated drama about how hot it is.

*** I typically double this recipe.  This dish works great to freeze, and I'm currently working on stockpiling comfort food for when our sweet 'lil MB gets home.

**** Edited to say ... if you are looking for a truly authentic doro wat recipe, this is probably not the one for you.  The true stuff like that served in Ethiopia has a darker brown, thicker consistency and taste.  The best analogy I can make for the difference is like spaghetti sauce.  My crock pot recipe would be plain meaty spaghetti sauce, red in color and tender and very saucy in consistency, and the authentic stuff would be meaty spaghetti sauce that was seared in a frying pan for 5 minutes on high, becoming thicker and brown in consistency.  Clear as mud?  (p.s.  As far as crock pot recipes go, my sega wat recipe tastes much more authentic, but I think they are both really yummy)


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  1. 1.  I love my crock pot.
    2.  I love doro wat.
    3.  The idea of freezing for when G and E come home = genius!
    4.  Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

  2. Would chicken leg quarters work in lieu of the split chicken breast?  I have some in the freezer and am hoping to try it this week!

  3. Lindsie - Yes, I would think that would work fine, maybe even better.  Let me know how it turns out!

  4. Can you fit six breasts in the crock pot frozen?  Also...careful with chicken thighs.... they have innumerable little bones...

  5. I'm not sure six split (bone-in) chicken breasts would fit in my crock pot frozen.  I think I had 4 in the pic above (and I have a 6 qt crock pot).  If they were boneless skinless chicken breast, then they would fit no problem.

    And yes, if you were doing legs/thighs, you would want to take the chicken out way early and debone it long before it got tender enough to fall apart.  Thanks for pointing that out.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this!  I can't wait to try it!!

  7. Do you have an injera recipe?

  8. I do have an injera recipe, though I think I need to make it once more (and pay better attention to directions) before I can write it all out for folks.  Injera is a little trickier than all these other recipes.  As soon as I get it down, I'll post it here.  Thanks for checking.

  9. So grateful for this recipe!  We'll try it for sure!

  10. I just tried this recipe last week and it was really very delicious! My daughter ate it for lunch and dinner for three days in a row. This weekend I'm going to an b-day party and there will be many Ethiopians there...and I'm bringing it. I'm a bit nervous since it isn't traditional, but it's still very delicious. I have a problem w/ the spiced butter since I can't stomach the smell of melted butter (and my daughter doesn't do butter either), so I appreciated using olive oil in this recipe. I think I ended up using 5 tblsps of berbere for two whole chickens since we like it pretty spicy. Thanks for the recipe! 

  11. Thanks for this recipe -- it's especially helpful to know how to handle a whole chicken since most other recipes I've found refer only to packaged boneless, skinless breast, which I won't be using. This is very helpful!

  12. Thanks! I've been meaning to work on a crock pot doro wat recipe but haven't gotten around to it. I'll try it with thighs --I also am usually not thrilled with boneless skinless breasts. And for anyone interested, I have a good injera recipe on my blog that my Ethiopian daughter helped me fine-tune for America:
    Mary, momma to many including 4 from Ethiopia and 2 from Korea

  13. this was just so good! thank you!

  14. I made this last night, and we didn't have as much liquid as you did, and it wasn't as dark...? I'm sure I did something wrong but I can't figure out what (or should I say wat hahaha:).

    1. Hmmm. If you used boneless chicken breast, that would explain it not being as liquidy. To get it darker in color, I would say probably just add more berbere. Not all berbere is created equal.