Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ethiopian Baked Chicken

A combination of lime, ginger, garlic, butter and berbere gives this slow baked African chicken dish its buttery citric and spicy taste.

Ethiopian Baked Chicken receives its distinct flavors from a complex spice blend known as Berbere. Berbere is a common ingredient in Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking.  It is used for both meats and vegetables and is especially common in stews.  The spice mix can be bought at specialty African or Indian food stores.  There are several stores in the Oakland area that sell the spice including Man Must Wak and Specialty Foods Inc in Old Oakland.

I recommend buying the spice blend if possible since it would be much cheaper to purchase than to make.  If specialty stores are not available near you, an online specialty food store could be a good option.

If you'd like to create your own berbere spice mix I recommend this recipe given by Marcus Samuelsson (Berbere Spice Blend Recipe).

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes


2 Boneless Chicken Breast with skin
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves minced
1 inch Ginger peeled and minced
Juice from 1 Lime
1 Tablespoon Ghee or Unsalted Butter melted.
1 Tablespoon Berbere spice mix

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the garlic, ginger, lime juice, ghee (or butter) and berbere spice.  Mix the ingredients until well combined into a light paste.  Add the chicken breast to the bowl and coat the meat with the paste.

Place the coated chicken breast and any remaining marinade onto an aluminum foil large enough to be folder over to enclose the chicken.  Fold over the foil to seal the chicken in by scrunching the edges together.   Transfer the foil enclosed chicken to a baking sheet and place into the oven to steam bake for 25 minutes (up to 40 minutes if you like the chicken meat to cook to a tenderness soft enough to be cut with a fork).  Then open the baking sheet to expose the chicken and bake for another 10 minutes.

Serve this dish with rice or bread and a simple green salad on the side.

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