Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Ethiopian Chicken Drumsticks (Doro Wat)

An Ethiopian chicken drumstick, coated with sauce, on a tortilla on a red plate
Instant Pot Ethiopian Chicken Drumsticks (Doro Wat)

Instant Pot Ethiopian Chicken Drumsticks (Doro Wat). The Ethiopian classic, chicken with berbere spices, from your pressure cooker.

I love Ethiopian cuisine, loaded with berbere seasoning, and served with a flatbread that is also used as the eating utensil. I had my first taste of Ethiopian at Empress Taytu restaurant in Cleveland, and that meal was a revelation. The spices! Eating with your hands! It was fantastic, and I’ve gone back many times since then.

Wats are the curry-like stew at the heart of Ethiopian cooking. My favorite is Doro Wat, cooked with bone-in, skinned chicken pieces, especially chicken drumsticks. It’s an obvious recipe to convert to pressure cooking, replacing the long, slow simmer with high pressure in my Instant Pot.

The only trick to this recipe is finding berbere seasoning blend; I ordered it from Amazon and Penzeys Spices. The other trick is pronouncing “Berbere”. Picture a grizzly wearing a French hat, then say it with me: bear-beret, with the emphasis on the “ay” sound at the end of beret. Bear-berAY.

Ethiopian food is traditionally served with Injera, a sourdough bread made from fermented teff flour. The bread is the serving utensil – you rip off pieces of bread and use them to pull and scoop up the food. (Think of pinch-sized tacos). Fermented teff flour dough is more of a project than I’m willing to take on. (I’m not much of a baker.) I go with a flatbread from my local grocery store, usually “burrito size” tortillas, though pita bread and naan will also work.

Recipe: Instant Pot Ethiopian Chicken Drumsticks (Doro Wat)

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An Ethiopian chicken drumstick, coated with sauce, on a tortilla on a red plate

Instant Pot Ethiopian Chicken Drumsticks (Doro Wat)

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Instant Pot Ethiopian Chicken Drumsticks (Doro Wat). The Ethiopian classic, chicken with berbere spices, from your pressure cooker.


  • 812 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Berbere seasoning blend
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large red onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup Berbere seasoning blend
  • 1 cup homemade chicken broth (or water, or store-bought low sodium broth)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (if using homemade broth or water)


  • Flatbread (I substitute large tortillas or pita bread)


  1. Skin and season the drumsticks: Peel the skin off of the drumsticks – I grab it with a paper towel for extra grip. Sprinkle the drumsticks evenly with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of Berbere seasoning.
  2. Sauté the aromatics, bloom the spices: In an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, melt 2 tablespoons of butter using Sauté mode set to medium. (Use medium heat in a stovetop pressure cooker). Add the red onion, garlic, and ginger to the pot, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon fine sea salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally with a flat-edged wooden spoon, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup of Berbere seasoning and let it sizzle for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the drumsticks, add the broth: Add the drumsticks to the pot and toss to coat with the Berbere and onion mix. Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth or water, and stir in ½ teaspoon of salt if using homemade broth or water. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat edged wooden spoon to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
  4. Pressure Cook for 15 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric PC, or for 13 minutes in a stovetop PC. (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. (If you get impatient you can quick release the remaining pressure after 15 minutes of natural release.)
  5. Serve with the pot sauce and accompaniments: Unlock the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam. Gently move the drumsticks to a serving platter, then ladle a generous amount of the pot sauce over the drumsticks, coating them well. Pass the rest of the sauce at the table in case anyone needs more. Serve with flatbread, tearing pieces of bread off to use as pinchers to pull the meat off the bone.


Don’t want to pull the drumstick apart with your fingers, using the flatbread as the utensil? Use forks to shred the meat off of the drumsticks, then pile them inside the tortillas or flatbread, like you’re eating a taco.

Want to make this with chicken thighs? Use 8 bone-in thighs, peel the skin off, and cook for 20 minutes at high pressure in an Instant Pot or electric PC, or for 18 minutes in a stovetop PC.

Want to thicken up the sauce? After pressure cooking and the natural release, remove the lid, set the pot to sauté mode adjusted to low (medium-low heat in a stovetop PC), and simmer for 20 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally to make sure the sauce doesn’t stick.

Want to halve or double this recipe? To halve it, reduce everything except for the liquid – we need 1 cup of liquid to bring the cooker up to pressure. To double it, you just need an 8-quart or larger pot. The cooking time remains the same either way.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

Flat edged wooden spoon


  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian

Keywords: Instant Pot Ethiopian Chicken Drumsticks (Doro Wat), Pressure Cooker Ethiopian Chicken Drumsticks (Doro Wat)

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks with Potatoes
Instant Pot Quick Chicken Thighs
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

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