Chicken stewed in red pepper sauce

  • A 2½- to 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
  • 2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • ¼ cup niter kebbeh (recipe here)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • teaspoon finely chopped, scraped fresh ginger root
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, pulverized with a mortar and pestle or in a small bowl with the back of a spoon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated ·
  • ¼ cup berbere (page 56)
  • tablespoons paprika
  • ¼ cup dry white or red wine
  • ¾ cup water
  • 4 hard:cooked eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub the pieces with lemon juice and salt. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30 minutes \.

In an ungreased heavy 3- to 4-quart enameled casserole, cook the onions over moderate heat for 5 or 6 minutes, or until they are soft and dry. Shake the pan and stir the onions constantly to prevent them from burn­ ing; -if necessary, reduce the heat or lift the pan occasionally from the stove to let it cool for a few moments before returning it to the heat.

Stir in the niter kebbeh and, when it begins to splutter, add the garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom and nutmeg, stirring well after each ad­ dition. Add the berbere anci paprika, and stir o-yer low heat for 2 to 3 min­ utes. Then pour in the wine and water and, still stir.ring, bring to a boil over high heat. Cook briskly, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid in the pan has reduced to the consistency of heavy cream.

Pat the chicken dry and drop it into the simmering sauce, turning the pieces about with a spoon until they are coated on all sides. Reduce the heat to the lowest point, cover tightly and simmer for 15 minutes.

With the tines of a fork, pierce 1/4 inch deep holes over the entire surface of each egg. Then add the eggs and turn them gently about in the sauce. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more, or until the chicken is tender and the dark meat shows no resistance when pierced with the point of a small knife. Sprinkle the ew with pepper and taste for seasoning.

To serve, transfer the entire contents of the casserole to a deep heated platter or bowl. Doro wat is traditionally accompanied by either injera or spice bread ( Recipe Index), but may also be eaten with Arab-style flat bread or hot boiled rice. Yegomen kitfo (Recipe follows) or plain yoghurt or both may be presented wit1:,the wat from separate bowls.