If you have not tried Ethiopian food, you should. New food tastes are always an adventure. This Ethiopian style spicy braised chicken recipe is not exactly authentic, but it is close to it.
3 lbs chicken, remove skin and cut into small pieces*
8 oz Tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbspn paprika
½ tspn ground turmeric
1 tbspn ginger root, freshly grated
¾ to 1 tbspn red pepper flakes
1/8 tspn ground cardamom*
1/8 tspn allspice
1/8 tspn ground nutmeg
1/8 tspn cinnamon
1/8 tspn cloves
2 tbspn vegetable oil
½ to 1 tspn salt
In a medium bowl, add tomato sauce, chicken broth, paprika, red pepper flakes, grated ginger root, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Mix well. Cover bowl and set aside.
In large heavy skillet with a lid, cook garlic and onion in oil until the garlic looses it rawness and the onions are transparent and tender. Lower heat to medium-hot and add tomato sauce mixture, salt and turmeric to the skillet and stir. Add chicken to skillet and cover in tomato mixture.
Bring heat up to high to bring chicken and tomato sauce to a low boil. Immediately lower heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Remove skillet lid, stir and continue cooking chicken and turning often, for 10 to15 minutes more, or until chicken pieces run clear when pierced with a fork or knife. Skim fat from top of the sauce for a better looking presentation. Serve with flat-bread or French bread.
An excellent companion dish to authentic Ethiopian spicy braised chicken is Atkilt Wot, an Ethiopian vegetarian stew of cabbage, carrots and potatoes that are simmered in sauce with herbs. For this dish, simply saute roughly cut cabbage in chicken stock, with a pinch of salt, and a large pinch of hot pepper flakes, until crisply done.
Makes 3 or 4 servings.
*It is not necessary to remove skin from chicken; this is a matter of preference. To cut chicken in small pieces, you may need a cleaver. Otherwise, cut chicken into as many pieces as possible.
*Cardamom is often used in North African, Indian and Asian cooking. It is one of the ingredients in curry powder and garam masala.
*Turmeric has been called, “The poor mans saffron” because its coloring capacity is similar to saffron. It is used often used in Indian, Caribbean, North African and Middle East cooking; and one of the ingredients used in curry powder blends.