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African Chicken in Spicy Red Sauce


  • Chicken
  • 2lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 3tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 3⁄4teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1⁄2cups chopped onions (2 medium)
  • 1tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1tablespoon butter
  • 1tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1⁄2teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1⁄2cup dry red wine
  • 1(14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1(6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 4lemon wedges
  • Berbere (use 2 teaspoons)
  • 2tablespoons ground red pepper
  • 1tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4teaspoon ground cloves


  • Berbere:.
  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Yields 1/4 cup. Serving size is 1 teaspoons.
  • Chicken:.
  • Place chicken in a shallow dish; drizzle with juice, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes (do not brown), stirring frequently.
  • Add 2 tsp Berbere, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, butter, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom, cook 1 minute.
  • Add wine, broth, and tomato paste; stir until well blended.
  • Add chicken mixture; bring to a boil.
  • Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until chicken is tender, turning chicken occasionally.
  • Stir in cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges.


  • Leggy Peggy

    Delicious! My daughter and I made this on two separate nights and were both thrilled with the results. To extend the number of servings, I added some diced zucchini in the last 20 minutes. Yummo!

  • rpgaymer

    Wow, what a great recipe! Doro Tibs is my favorite Ethiopian dish, and this tastes very similar. I did have to use cranberry juice instead of wine though, as I got carded for the wine and left my ID at home so they wouldn’t sell it to me! Next time I will use the wine, but it was a delicious dish even without it. I love the heat level especially – it has just the right amount for me. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Kim S.

    Very good. I made it exactly as stated and was very pleased! We were wanting something spicy for dinner and this hit the spot!

  • Chef Dudo

    So good! I made some small alterations due to personal preference. Used margarine instead of butter since I do not mix meat and dairy. Furthermore I used allspice instead of nutmeg and I “chickened” out on the berbere and used 1tbs cayenne pepper and 1tbs sweet paprika instead of the 2tbs ground red pepper. We had it over rice and it was perfect.
    It freezes well too.
    Thanks for posting.

  • steve in FL

    This was one of the most flavorful chicken recipes I’ve made in a long time! Highly recommend! The aroma while its cooking is amazing.. I will def be doing this one often.. thanks for posting!

  • Chef Roger too

    Very good…. I did cut the amount of red pepper in half ( 1 Tbsp) for the berbere; out of respect for my wife and replaced it with smoked paprika. I also used boneless skinless chicken thighs cut in half and I added sliced zucchini during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Cooking time was 40 minutes. It was very nice over Basmati rice.

  • Spablue

    Wow, that was a surprise! I'm an Indian and Thai curry lover, but had never tried anything like this, fantastically fragrant and rich flavour. This is one I definitely will be making again.

  • Dr. Jenny

    Made this last night using chicken breasts and really enjoyed it. I used a berbere that I had purchased at a spice store. I thought the dish was really flavorful and I will definitely make it again. Thanks!

  • born2dans

    This was quite good and I would make it again with a few adjustments. I found the sauce to be too thin, so I would cook it longer with lid off to reduce the liquid, or thicken with a little rice flour (I am gluten intolerant). The blend of spices was aromatic and very tasty. But, still felt like it needed a little "something" to give it 5 stars.

  • Its Me Busy Bee

    I made Jasmine rice to soak up the sauce and we really loved it! I served some Greek yogurt on the side to dip my chicken in as I ate. Yum!