Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew

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This chicken stew, generously seasoned with the Ethiopian spice mix berbere, is loaded with tomato and red lentils.

Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew
photographer: Ken Burris
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 300 minutes (40 minutes prep)

  • 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

  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.

Tip: The secret to the irresistible flavor of this chicken stew is berbere spice blend (find it in well-stocked supermarkets or at 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 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon hot paprika, 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek and 1 teaspoon salt in this recipe.

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size
about 1 1/4 cups
34 g
13 g
Saturated Fat
4 g
36 g
89 mg
Dietary Fiber
7 g
672 mg
672 mg
8 servings
about 1 1/4 cups each
1 1/2 starch
1 vegetable
3 lean meat
1 fat
28% daily value
27% dv
26% dv
Potassium and Vitamin C
20% dv
16% dv

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