Berbere Stew

A camping buddy cooked this and it was AMAZING. He gave me the recipe, and it’s one of our favorites now.

  • 1 onion
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic OR a heaping teaspoon of chopped jar garlic
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp Berbere spice*
  • 1 1/4 c red lentils*
  • 1/2 c Teff grain*
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 32 oz box of chicken broth

Saute onions and garlic in oil, add spices and cook a bit, add everything else, simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add more liquid if it starts to dry out.

*All three of these things are available at Ethiopian markets. Berbere is a spice mix, like Garam Masala in India, and it’s delicious. I also got Teff grain and a jar of Berbere spice on Amazon very inexpensively.

You can easily add meat to this, after the spices. I like boneless skinless chicken thighs, but it’s good with sausage too.


Chicken and Rice

This is one of our favorites, I make it at least once a month.

  • 6-8 chicken thighs, with bones and skin*
  • A cup or so of cheap chardonnay**
  • A 14 oz can of chicken broth
  • 2 packages of Zatarain’s New Orleans Rice mix- any two. We like mixing Red Beans and Rice with Jambalaya, or Black Beans and Rice with Yellow Rice. If you’re only doing 4 thighs, just use one package of rice mix, but the same amount of wine and broth. They make low-sodium rice mixes as well, these are delicious too, and (of course) less salty.

Put the chicken in a stewpot or dutch oven, pour wine and broth over it, and cook until the skins are easy to pull off with a fork. On the stovetop with medium heat, this will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Don’t cook too long, you don’t want the chicken falling off the bones yet.

(You can also put the chicken, wine and broth in a crock pot and cook low for 4-5 hours, or 6-7 if chicken is frozen.)

Lift the chicken out into a bowl. Pour all the delicious liquid into a big measuring cup, see how much there is and put it back in a stewpot. Add enough water to be about 1/4 cup less than the total water listed on the instructions of both rice packets together (so if one package needs 2 1/2 cups water and the other needs 3 (total 5 1/2), and you have 4 1/2 cups of liquid, add enough water to equal 5 1/4 cups liquid, or 3/4 cup.)

Open both packages of rice and pour in, stir. Turn heat to medium high.

Use a fork to remove the skins from the chicken thighs and throw the skins away. They have done their good work. Put the chicken thighs in the rice and liquid, bring to boil, turn heat low so it simmers when covered. Cover.

Let it cook for 45 minutes, stir about every 15 minutes.

Take it off the heat and uncover, let it sit for ten minutes or so.

*Yes, you can use boneless skinless thighs, or breasts, but trust me, it tastes WAY better this way.

**If you don’t want to open a whole bottle of wine for one cup, you can get a 4 pack of cheap wine for about 6 bucks (where I live) and it’s pretty bad except as cooking wine, which it is excellent for. Use one of the four bottles for this.