I’ve been in a weird food mood. On one hand, I want a good burger and fries. Like, a really good burger and fries. On the other, I want a nice bibimbap, or butter chicken, or something spicy and different. And then there are those days that the only reason I’m not eating cereal for dinner is because I won’t have enough milk for breakfast the next day. I am not sure why I’m so blerg about food lately, but I suspect it has something to do with an upcoming vacation that is a mere 6 days away…#Vietnamaste.
Since I want all of the above (or none of the above?), I decided to draw straws and spicy and different won. Ethiopia was my target, as I pictured sitting around a table with bowls of deliciousness, scooping it all up with injera, I finally knew what I was itching to eat.
This dish, doro alicha, is a its heart a simple dish: butter, chicken, onions, spices and water, cooked slowly over the span of an hour. I found a few recipes and merged them all together into a lovely dish that’s perfect for any night, and can be served with the injera, or rice, or in my case, cauliflower rice. With so few ingredients and so little work, it’s actually surprising that it packs such a flavor punch.
I made this with chicken, but I realized as I had so much much sauce than protein, I set some aside in the freezer for later, and I think I’ll pair it with a hearty white fish.
What have you been in the mood to eat lately?
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and skin
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 TB unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups minced yellow onions (about 2 large onions)
- 4-5 cups water
- 2 TB minced ginger
- 1 TB minced garlic
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- Place the chicken in a shallow, non-reactive bowl. Squeeze the lemon over all the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a deep stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions, stirring often. Add 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking and stirring until soft and translucent but not browned. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and spices, and connote cooking for about 10 more minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium high, and push the onions to the sides of the pot. Place the chicken, skin side down, along with any remaining lemon juice, in the open space until the whole bottom of the pot is covered. Cook that chicken, 4 minutes a side and repeat as necessary until all the chicken has browned. When you've cooked all the chicken, add all of it back to the pot and cover with the rest of the water (more or less, just enough to just cover the chicken). Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat down to medium and let simmer, covered until the chicken has cooked all the way through, about 40 minutes.
- Serve with rice, pita or if you're feeling ambitious, make some injera!