Slow Cooker Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken and Black Lentil Stew

In this intensely comforting spiced chicken and black lentil stew, bold ingredients like fresh ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and white wine simmer slowly with an Ethiopian spice blend called Berbere. The berbere spice blend can be substituted with an equal amount of Garam Masala for a very similar flavor profile in this dish.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black lentils, rinsed and drained
  • One 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 skinless bone-in chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups), finely chopped 
  • 5 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons Berbere spice
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt for serving
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. In a slow cooker, combine the lentils with the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Add the chicken and set over high heat.

  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the berbere spice and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the spiced onion mixture from the bottom of the pan, cook for 2 minutes and transfer to the slow cooker. Season the stew generously with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or on low for 5 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

  3. Transfer the chicken and lentils into bowls and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and chopped cilantro.

Make Ahead

The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Contributed By Photo © Sarah Bolla Published December 2012

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