What makes Grilled Chicken Drumsticks Berberé recipe Ethiopian is the exotic spices mix, which is called “berbere”. Berberé is the name of a peppery spice paste that is a staple in Ethiopian cooking. It can contain any number of spices, and I’m sure that in Ethiopia cooks argue the merits of their own particular blend.
My recipe is one of many variations but retains the classic Ethiopian method of pan-cooking the spices to bring out their flavor, and of course I would not be true to the dish if I made it any less hot than the original. File this one under “Wicked Hot” and make sure to have some cold ones on ice.
Serves 8 as an appetizer
- 1 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Coriander
- 1 Tablespoon Star Anise, Crushed
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon Dry Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds, Crushed (Optional)
- 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Allspice
- 2 Tablespoons Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Salt
- ½ Cup Paprika
- ½ Cup Dry Red Wine
- 4 Tablespoons Peanut Oil
- ¼ Cup Fresh Orange Juice
- 16 Chicken Drumsticks
- Lemons For Squeezing
How to Make Grilled Chicken Drumsticks Berberé
- Combine all the dry spices, from the ginger through paprika, in a bowl and mix well.
- In a large sauté pan, cook the combined spices over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are heated completely through. Be careful of the fumes—the spice aroma is very strong and quite bizarre. Your house will smell like a Moroccan souk (market) even if you use the fan.
- Add the red wine to the spice mixture and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until a uniform paste is formed.
- Remove the spice paste from the heat and allow it to cool. Add the peanut oil and orange juice and mix well. The paste should have the consistency of wet sand.
- Rub the drumsticks all over with the berberé mixture and allow them to stand, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Grill the drumsticks over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, rolling them around to ensure even coloring. Check for doneness by nicking the largest one at its thickest point. The meat should be fully opaque with no traces of red.
- Remove the drumsticks from the heat and serve them at once with lemons for squeezing and plenty of cold beer.
- The Grilled Chicken Drumsticks Berberé are ready to eat.
Serving Suggestions: Try these with Grilled Squid with Asian Slaw and Hoisin Barbecue Sauce as a two-appetizer meal, or in front of Grilled Peppered Wolf fish.