Tuesday, August 2, 2011

African Chicken in Spicy Red Sauce

I love going out for Ethiopian food in Boston. There is a great place called Addis Red Sea on Tremont St. which is fairly small but the best part is eating from a straw table, with your hands while sitting on small stools. It is such a fun experience, and its something that you can actually recreate at home too. When I tasted this dish I wanted to cry, that is how amazing all of the flavors were, they all came together in such a harmonious manner. 

If you've never had African food, you don't even know what you are missing! You might think "what the heck do they eat in Africa?" Well this recipe that I tried out is actually an Ethiopian chicken in a tomato sauce, actually it is a "wot" or a thick stew, similar to the Indian curry. The spice mix, the aroma and the flavors of this dish are amazing. It looks a bit like an Indian curry,  but there is something a little different about this dish.

In Indian dishes there are a lot of 'masalas' or spice mixtures to use, and in Ethiopian cooking there are lots of combinations, however, they seem to use a mix called 'berbere' quite often. It is a warm and spicy mixture of red pepper (chili powder), cinnamon, ginger and cloves. If you are skeeved out by the thought of cinnamon in a savory dish, trust me, you won't taste just cinnamon, it works together with all of the other spices to create something awesome!

2 lbs boneless chicken breast
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Berbere Spice 2.0 oz by Zamouri Spices1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
4 lemon wedge
2 tablespoons ground red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Yields 1/4 cup. Serving size is 1 teaspoons.
Place chicken in a shallow dish; drizzle with juice, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes (do not brown), stirring frequently.
Add 2 tsp Berbere, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, butter, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom, cook 1 minute.
Add wine, broth, and tomato paste; stir until well blended.
Add chicken mixture; bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until chicken is tender, turning chicken occasionally.

You will want to serve this with rice, and if you are feeling up to it, make some easy Injera bread!


  1. Oh. My. God. Why was I not invited over to eat this?

  2. Because you never come over! It was really good, I think id pair it with a lovely chickpea dish i have yummmm