So…..hi, friends. It’s been a minute or three since we’ve last chatted. That cute little baby of mine threw me for QUITE the loop – for over a year. Geez. I owe you folks a few recipes. We’re jumping back in with this Ethiopian Chicken Stew that goes into heavy rotation around here as soon as the temps stop hitting triple digits.
I am so stinking happy to be back in this little corner of the inter webs-for a couple reasons. Number one, you need this Ethiopian chicken stew in your life, like today. And probably every Thursday henceforth until Spring. I literally threw this together while the baby napped. (And to be clear, my baby naps exactly 49 minutes per day) School is back in full swing, soccer practice starts TODAY and my real estate business is BUSY. So I’ll take as many make ahead dinner recipes as I can get my hands on.
The other reason I’m happy to be back feels a bit like an overshare, but it also feels odd to hop back on here after a year without mentioning it. The thing is, that although this past year has been blissful in sooooo many ways, it was also the year I fought an ugly battle with postpartum depression. It was hard, it was awful and maybe one day we’ll talk a little more about that here, because I think there is a conversation to be had, and there are women who need to know they are not alone. For now, suffice it to say that I’m darn lucky to have the rockstar supportive husband that I do, a good doctor and an extensive and loving support system. I seem to have come out the other side unscathed. And selfishly, it helps me to be here. To indulge my creativity in the kitchen, to play with my camera and to chat with my sweet little community of food lovers here in my favorite little corner of the internet. So thank you for being here.
Ok, enough of that. Back to this STEW. Holy smokes, it’s so good! First things first- there is an Ethiopian spice blend called Berebere (like berry, berry). Write that down. Better yet, type it into Amazon and hit order. Heck, I’ll do it for you- here is the link. Berebere is a blend of chiles with paprika, garlic and a host of other spices and it is what gives this stew its bold, intense flavor. It is also the secret to creating a stew with amazing layers of flavor without micromanaging a soup pot all afternoon. You can order berebere on Amazon, or find it at World Market (my favorite blend), Whole Foods, Central Market or most better grocery stores. The different blends can vary in flavor and heat level. The one from Central Market has a lot more heat. So taste and adjust as you cook. If you need Ethiopian Chicken Stew in your life this right this second, (and I don’t blame you) you can make your own version. Here is a link for how to blend your own. It probably calls for a couple things you don’t have on hand (fenugreek comes to mind), but if you have most of the ingredients, you can make it work. I mean, it will be different, but certainly not bad.
I want to credit our source for this Ethiopian Chicken Stew. It’s official name is Doro Wat and it came to us via a recipe and spice subscription that Alan’s sister gifted him one Christmas years ago. I would tell you to go subscribe, but they are now defunct, which is a serious bummer.
I have a sneaky suspicion they dumbed down the spice level for the average American palate. I triple the amount of Berebere that it originally calls for and double the garlic, because that is just my M.O. We also like to add a scoop of quinoa (microwavable quinoa in a bag- because that is what my life looks like now) and avocado slices to round it out as a meal. And lemon zest on top because when is that ever a bad idea?
Ok, my lovely foodie friends. Thanks for being here. I mean, really, really thank you for being here. Nothing makes me happier than sharing seriously amazing food with you lovely people. So go forth, order your Berebere (lots of it), share with your friends. If you feel moved- please share on your social media platform of choice. Because, we really shouldn’t keep this to ourselves.
Couple pro tips for the busy mamas and cooks out there.
- There is no shame in buying pre-chopped onions in your produce section. Same for the pre-peeled garlic. Time and effort savers.
- Use a citrus zester for your garlic and ginger- it makes super quick work of both.
- Quick cook quinoa that comes in a bag and requires 90 seconds in the microwave (with no pot to clean) vs. 20 minutes on the stove is currently saving my life.