Sunday, May 2, 2010

An Ethiopian Dinner for the Feast of St. Philip

The following post was written and submitted by Angie O'Connell, for publication here at Catholic Cuisine, in honor of the feast of St. Philip the Apostle. Thank you Angie!

I have always love the scripture about St. Philip baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch. It is very vivid and exciting, especially for the kids! I thought it would be fun to try an Ethiopian dinner, especially since it is my 11 year old's patron saint's feast day.

Many of the ingredients were specialized, so I read through some Ethiopian menus and used the closest substitutions that we had at home. I did try a new recipe for African chicken stew. The whole family really enjoyed it!

The really neat part, is that in Ethioipia they use the ritual breaking of "Injera", a pancake made with Teff flour, to symbolize loyalty and friendship. The "Injera" is used for their plate. The food is shared in common in the middle of the table. (I did put food in the middle of the table, but then made individual plates for each person.)

 We used "Flatout" bread instead of the authentic "Injera". We also included salad "salata", hummus "buticha", veggies "fasolia",  "avib" is an Ethiopian spiced cottage cheese - we used regular cottage cheese, and the stew resembled Ethiopia's national dish "doro wot".  It was a big hit, and we will definitely try it again.


Here is the recipe for African Chicken Stew:

1 T vegetable oil
3 lbs. boneless chicken cubed
1 Lg onion chopped
5 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 t coarse ground pepper
1 t salt
1 t coriander
1 t cumin
1 t crushed red pepper ( I used 1/2 t, and it was still a little hot)
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups fresh chopped spinach

Heat oil in large skillet. Brown chicken until cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Add onion, potatoes, and all spices. Cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in water, broth, and peanut butter. Add chicken, and top with spinach. Cover and simmer until potatoes are cooked through. About 20 minutes. (I stirred often and had to add more broth.)  Enjoy!

Prayer to St. Philip

O Glorious Saint Philip, at the Last Supper you said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father and it will be enough for us." Help us to make this our prayer also and to seek God in all things. Obtain for us the grace to know the Father and Jesus Christ whom he has sent - for in this does eternal life consist.

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  1. That looks absolutely amazing and delicious!

  2. Very nice picture, thank you so much for sharing. I know it's always not easy to get the ingredients for ethiopian cooking. But if you don't mind, I'll share a few tips.

    Ethiopians don't use peanut butter in cooking (we actually don't use peanut butter in anything... the first time I was introduced to it was when I came to the US). We also don't use coriander.

    Her are ingredients for Ethiopian stew ('Wot'):

    - 5 whole onions finely chopped ... yep that much :)
    - 4 tablespoons of 'Berbere' (found at Ethiopian/Eritrean stores... otherwise you can use chilli powered)
    - 1/3 cup of clarified/spiced butter
    - 1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger
    - 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
    - 1 teaspoon of ground cardamon
    - 1 whole chicken (chicken legs will also do just fine)

    Sweat the onions until the water has disappeared and then sauté in the clarified butter. Add the ginger, cardamon and garlic as well as the 'berbere'.

    Add a water until it is liquified. Some people like to add about a cup of plain ground tomatoes. This is up to you, but keep in mind that it must not overpower the spices. The aroma will be spectacular.

    Let it simmer on low heat for roughly an hour (yes, that long) stirring every few minutes.

    At the end, add the chicken (chicken generally needs only 20 - 30 minutes to cook otherwise it will break up).

    Let it sit for AT LEAST 30 minutes. It should be a relatively thick sauce.

    If you like, you can boil some eggs and include them when you serve the stew. If you don't have engera, you can serve with pita bread.

    Hope that helps!! :)

  3. Just wanted to add that 'fasolia' does not mean veggies (veggies are called 'ahmilti'). 'Fasolia' simply means sautéed green beans - sautéed with oil, onion, ginger, garlic and a bit of turmeric (about a teaspoon). Saute the beans until they have wilted.

    Finally, we don't do hummus (that's a middle eastern dish). I think you're thinking of shiro, which is a chic pea derivative, but it's combined with several other spices. When it's served, it's bright orange and looks like gravy (orange gravy :) ).

  4. This story is about Philip the Deacon (or Evangelist) not Philip the Apostle
    Also, Philip the Deacon's feast day is June 6.

    Great recipe, though. We loved it!