Do you know how to get a really dark, thick chicken stew?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    I recently saw a picture of an ethiopian chicken stew, and it looked unlike any chicken dish I've ever had: the "sauce" was thick and very, very dark, almost black. It looked actually really appealing!

    Ever since I've been thinking of how I could make a chicken "stew":

    - Cut my chicken in 12 pieces, keep bones in and skin on.

    - Get as much color as possible on the chicken without burning it.

    - Remove chicken and put a good quantity of diced onions, get as much color on the onions as possible (I'm assuming this is the key to getting a dark sauce). 

    - Add spices to onions, 

    - Add chicken stock and maybe some dark red wine,

    - Put chicken back and braise. 

    Anyone know of better techniques or recipes I'd love to hear them! Thanks. 
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    Well, while I'm still interested in hearing from all of you and your own recipes - whatever the country they might be from (I wouldn't be surprised if Mexicans had some form of chicken mole dish that had the same qualities), a bit of googling revealed that the dish I saw is named Doro Wat. 

    Found a recipe: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2013/06/19/ethiopian-chicken-doro-wat-recipe

     
     
  3. french fries

    french fries

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    Ok so I'm giving it a try tonight. So far it's nothing like that color... more like a yellow/light brown. Wish I had had more time to brown the onions, but it's a school night, kids have to eat, we're already 1/2h behind... not easy trying a new dish under these conditions. 

    I'm sure it'll taste great either way, but it's not exactly what I was looking for. 

    I'll try again.
     
  4. brandon odell

    brandon odell

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    That looks like a sauce made from reconstituted and pureed dried chiles to me. That's the same color I end up with on some of my chile braised meat dishes. What did you use for the berbere paste? After a search, I found it's a chile paste. The recipe I found doesn't mention that the chiles are dried chiles, but its obvious from looking at that picture that it must be. It takes a full cup of that paste. I'd buy a bag of your favorite dried red chiles and blend them up with whatever the other ingredients are to make your berbere paste.
     
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  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Ah good catch, that must be the issue then: I use berbere powder and I only put a tiny amount so that the kids can eat it.

    It ended up being really good, but not exactly what I was looking for, especially the color. It was thick enough though, the thickness was provided by the onions... that was pretty good. 

    Thank you!
     
  6. mike9

    mike9

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    Have you thought about using a roux?  You can get it dark then darken it with many different ingredients after it gets going. 
     
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  7. soesje

    soesje

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    the picture made me think if the indian curries, where some of those are also very dark.

    when I make them its just the spices , along with browning the meat well indeed.  sometimes tomatoes are added and stewed a long time too.

    effect is comparable.

    when thinking ethiopian stew, I once saw one which had peanutbutter added along with the spices and browning. makes a thick stew.
     
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  8. ordo

    ordo

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    There're some pastes in Chinese cooking that are really dark. Tianmiangjiang, for instance, (the one used with Peking duck). Brown Chinese sauce, a dark soy-multi spiced sauce, is pretty dark also and very appropiate for poultry.
     
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  9. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Roast chicken bones, skin and base veggies first, use purple carrots and onions, then add cold water medium heat to a low simmer to extract all the color and flavor. Likewise you can put the roasted base in a slow cooker overnight. You can also use roasted tomatoes and or paste to darken & thicken 

    Blitz the veggies to help thicken and reduce the amount of flour you need to, roast the flour as well.

    There also is commercial roasted chicken demi glaze we use all the time, you can reduce to your desired consistency and color.

    Hope that helped, 

    Cheers!

    EDG
     
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  10. french fries

    french fries

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    Great, thank you all for all those suggestions! Interesting ones in there. I hadn't thought about using a roux for example. 
     
  11. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    I know doro wat!

    I have had Ethiopian food before, prepared by friends and at restaurants. It has been a mission of mine to some day make doro wat at home. A couple of weeks ago I tried making it myself with spices ordered from this site http://ethiopianspices.com. I ordered the berbere and mekelesha spices. The spices arrived in a few days and smelled so good.

    I followed their recipe for Doro Wat. For the "korerima" I used green cardamom. For the paprika in the recipe I used Penzeys half-sharp paprika. The result was way better than I expected for a first try. It was as good as the doro wat I'd had before and that I craved.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  12. french fries

    french fries

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    Wow thanks Yeti for answering my thread!

    So  what color was your dish in the end? Was it as black as the one on the picture I posted above, or much lighter? 

    And what about the color of the dish you ate prepared by friends or at a restaurant? Was it the same color as the picture? I've never had the dish anywhere, so I don't even know what the flavor is supposed to be like, which is kinda tricky...
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  13. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    The color was about like the picture you put up, really dark, and it was about the same color when I had it before.

    The flavor was very rich, very full, and hot but not as hot as some curries I make. If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was partly tomato-based, since part of the flavor was similar to long-simmered tomato based sauces I've had with spaghetti. But there are no tomatoes in it.

    This is one of my favorites.
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    Ok great thank you. At least I have a better idea what I should be aiming for. I'll try again! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  15. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Doro Wat is one of those dishes that has a million and one ways to prepare it with every cook's being the correct way. I have seen encountered it from red to dark brown in color and from thin to thick in consistency. The darker ones come from browning the spices more in butter than the lighter ones. Also the amount of color it can be affected by the percentage of the brown spices used; usually cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and fenugreek. Also some versions use tomato paste which can be heavily caramelized like when doing a brown stock, which will darken the color.
     
  16. french fries

    french fries

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    Great, thanks a lot for that advice cheflayne. I think I'll use all the advice in this thread next time and try to make the darkest Doro Wat I can. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  17. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    When I made it, I didn't brown the spices at all--I didn't brown any flour--the only thing I (slightly) browned was the onion/garlic/ginger before adding the spices and water. I think it was the berbere spice mix, almost entirely, that gave it that color.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  18. french fries

    french fries

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    Very good to know Yeti. Then I shall try again with my Berbere powder only adding much more than I did in my first attempt. That will require making two dishes, one for the kids and one for the adults... tough to cook with chilis when you have little ones around. My 5 year old is slowly starting to enjoy small amounts. 
     
  19. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Just remember that the more color you get on the berbere when you saute it, before you add the onions, the darker your sauce will be.