Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew

29 Reviews
From: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016

This chicken stew, generously seasoned with the Ethiopian spice mix berbere, is loaded with tomato and red lentils. Depending on brand, berbere spice blend can be rather spicy. For a less spicy stew, start with 3 tablespoons spice blend rather than 5.

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped red onions
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 5 tablespoons berbere spice blend (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preparation

  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Wash lentils in cold water in a medium bowl until the water runs clear; drain and spread in an even layer in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place chicken on top of the lentils.
  2. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add berbere and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping the onion mixture from the bottom of the pan, then stir in tomatoes with their juice.
  3. Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker on top of the chicken, then pour in broth.
  4. Cover and cook until the chicken is falling-apart tender, 5 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. Stir the stew to combine.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Trim chicken, prep onions, garlic and ginger. Refrigerate separately.
  • Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
  • The secret to the irresistible flavor of this chicken stew is berbere spice blend (find it in well-stocked supermarkets or at teenytinyspice.com). This staple in Ethiopian cooking is a heady mix that usually includes garlic, fenugreek, allspice, red pepper, ginger, chiles, coriander, cinnamon and black pepper. If you can't find it, use a mixture of 4 tablespoons garam masala, 1 tablespoon hot paprika, 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek and 1 teaspoon salt in this recipe.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 1/4 cups
  • Per serving: 430 calories; 14 g fat(4 g sat); 7 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 38 g protein; 102 mcg folate; 98 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 335 IU vitamin A; 14 mg vitamin C; 69 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 666 mg sodium; 725 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Iron (28% daily value), Zinc (27% dv), Folate (26% dv), Potassium & Vitamin C (20% dv), Magnesium (16% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 29

January 18, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Great Recipe - Too Spicy + More Veggies After looking at the other reviews, I used 1.5 Tbsp of the Berbere spice, and was still a bit too spicy (the spice overwhelmed the delicious flavors)! Otherwise, a great dish and the chicken turned out perfect after putting in the crock pot for 5 hours on high. Next time, I will lower to less than 1 Tbsp of Berbere, put the lentils in after a few hours, and add more vegetables like carrots and bell peppers.
August 16, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Spicy goodness We tried this for the first time last night. Loving spicy foods, but unsure of the Berbere strength, we compromised on the suggestion and used 4 Tbsp of the Penzy's brand Berbere. It was just right (meaning - very potent, nose-running, but not tongue-lacerating). For most people this level would be considered very spicy, so know your limits. We had to put some salt in each bowl to really bring the flavor out, but that little bit did the trick. We also scaled back the chicken to 1.75 lb to focus more on the veggie content, but that's the great thing about stews - you can tweak them until your heart's content. The mixture of flavors is superb - the cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon bring sweetness to complexly balance with the cayenne heat. Pros: Incredible mix of flavors Cons: Needs salt to bring all the flavors out
June 06, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
One of my family's favorites! Added tumeric, saffron, diced tomatoes, and carrots. Worked up to the 5 tablespoons of bebere eventually!!
February 01, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Very healthy and delicious! I used only 3 tablespoons and less than 3 lbs of chicken. it was still spicey but tolerable. It was too much meat for me even at less than 3 lbs. Still I loved it and will make it regularly. Pros: healthy, delicious, easy to prep Cons: too spicey!
November 26, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
The smell is out of this world I have not even tasted this dish yet and I couldn't help myself I had to do a review. If this dish tastes as good as it smells I'm sure I will be making it often. I didn't take the time to read the other reviews but a little tip to add to the tip for the ber ber spice. I didn't go to the website that was recommended but i did shop around online for fenugreek because I couldn't find it in stores. Tip for those who can't find fenugreek go to an Indian grocery store. I basically got a lifetime supply for $1.49 when all other vendors I checked were charging from $9.00 all the up to $20.00. I'll update this when I taste.
October 08, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
So Flavorful! This is one of our all-time favorite new recipes. We had the spices on hand that we purchased from a specialty shop in Vermont. It can easily be ordered online. I doubled the amount of ginger and garlic listed for even more flavor. It was way too spicy for my 5 year old, but my husband and I have been eating it for days. Well worth stirring in chopped parsley before serving. It adds a punch of freshness. Pros: Big flavor, nutritious, spicy
March 03, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Way too much berbere I followed this recipe exactly. I'm not familiar with berbere so I used it exactly as indicated. Five tablespoons of it rendered the dish inedible. I'll make the same recipe today but I'll try one tablespoon of berbere. Though I and my family like spicy and even very hot foods, the result here tells me something is way off. Perhaps there are different strengths of berbere? Pros: Pleasant aroma, easy to prepare, Cons: Vastly too much berbere
January 06, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Lovely Jubbly CUrry Followed this recipe to the letter but used the berbere substitute tip (Garam masala) instead of the real mccoy. We thought it was a very good recipe, nice and spicy, dark and a little drier than the usual homemade curries we make which was a thumbs up. Cooked 500g of boneless chicken thighs for about 7.5hrs on low which was fine but the leftovers kinda disappeared when we reheated it a day or so late so maybe 6.5hrs is better for us. Pros: Different to the average homemade curry Cons: Chicken slightly overdone esp. after reheat
January 02, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Tastey but HOT It would benefit everyone if Eating Well modified the ingredient list to show 3-5 Tbsp of the Berbere spice (instead of putting it in a note). I made it with 5 Tbsp of Penzey's Berbere and we're eating it over brown rice, but it would be too hot for most people. I will make it again- with 3 Tbsp Berbere. I also added a couple of carrots in large pieces. We liked the fact that it was stew-like and the lentils weren't distinguishable. Pros: Easy to make ahead Cons: Be careful with the Berbere spice