Berbere spiced slow cooked chicken

Berbere cooked whole chicken

Every now and then I come across a recipe or a flavour that I just know I have to make. When I came across the spice mix Berbere it sounded irresistable.

Berbere is an African, mainly Ethiopian spice mix that is complex, fragrant and delicious. It smells inticing in the jar and even more so when used in cooking.


I read the recipe and took a few weeks to think it over. I tried to imagine the spices together but in the end I was only convinced that it would be delicious.

I bought a chicken for Sunday dinner and apparently chicken and berbere is a perfect combination. I got up early to mix the spices as I wanted to slow cook the chicken. I found this recipe that I used as a base.

I replaced the dried basil with dehydrated wild garlic and I used slightly less nutmeg. I used the mild but fragrant Kashmiri chilli instead of a more fiery one as I didn’t want to overpower the blend of spices.


I had all of the spices in my cupboards and the first thing I did was to toast the whole spices.


toasted whole spices


Once toasted I let the spices cool down and then placed them in my spice grinder before mixing with the other spices. The house was smelling of warm spices and I couldn’t wait for dinner.


My berbere spice mix.

wild garlic berbere spice mix


I had just seen a tip on a cooking program that you can wrap meat in clingfilm and cook low and slow. The cooking method is very simple and just requires patience.


Berbere spiced, slow cooked whole chicken

Preparation time 5 minutesย 

cooking time 8 hoursย 

oven 90C or 194F

serves 3-4


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tbsp Berbere spice mix
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix the spices and the oil and brush the chicken, inside and out with the mix.


berbere spice brushed chicken


Wrap the chicken in plenty of clingfilm, or cover tighthtly with tin foil.


Clingfilmed chicken for slow cooking


Place the chicken in an oven proof tray and cook it for 8 hours.

Let the chicken rest for about 3 minutes before removing the clingfilm or the tin foil. I made myself wait for the chicken to rest before removing the clingfilm, I was so hungry and it smelt wonderful.


I stemed some greens, I didn’t want a heavy dinner after a few days of fairly rich food so French beans, sea kale and asparagus seemed perfect.

Once the vegetables were cooked I tossed them lightly in a little butter and added a sprinkle of flakey sea salt and chilli.


steamed green vegetable


The spices had deepend in colour and the chicken was so tender it almsot fell apart.


Berbere cooked whole chicken


I shredded the chicken lightly and spooned over the cooking juices.


shredded berbere spiced chicken


As I was spooning the cooking juices Fred the lurcher came to check things out. Tempted by the smell of cooked chicken and spices he couldnt resist coming to say hello. He kept pointing his nose towards the meat, giving me meaningful looks and the message was very clear, “I would really like a bite of that chicken.”




I can never resist him so of course he got a piece and he happily left the kitchen after a little thank you nudge, always the charmer!


The berbere spice mix is complex and deep in flavour. It is as hot as the chilli powder you are using and it was even more exciting and delicious than I imagined.


I am bringing this to the lovely Angie’s Fiesta Friday, the best foodie party around! This week she is joined by the co host Diann Of Goats and Greens who brought super tempting refried beans to the party, I just love them!










20 Responses to “Berbere spiced slow cooked chicken”
  1. This chicken looks juicy and yummy. I had chicken that cam out rubbery this week…I gave it to my husband. Lol!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Joanne
      Thank you!
      ha ha I have to admit I would do the same to my husband
      and I am sure it would be fine ๐Ÿ™‚
      The chicken was incredibly juicy, it was sort of like a steam bath in it’s own juices!

  2. That looks delicious! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Eartha says:

    That chicken looks delicious! I like the blend of spices. ๐Ÿ˜

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Eartha
      Thank you. It was an amazing spice mix, I think store bought ones are usually a bit hotter but it is easy to add heat! The flavour was quite incredible ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. mistimaan says:

    Love to taste it

    • petra08 says:

      hi Priyabrataa
      Thank you so much! It was almost better the next day when the spices had time to blend, I will absolutely do this again! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Berbere is a wonderful seasoning mix. I am salivating along with your pooch. Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday’s link party. I can see serving this up with a few friends.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Diann
      Thank you! Am glad you like it. The berbere was just as good as I imagined and yes, it would have made a great sharing dish.
      Thank you for co hosting ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. jackcollier7 says:

    Looks and sounds fabulous. โค

    • petra08 says:

      hi Jack
      Thank you! A bit of time and patience can produce the most amazing results sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  7. Karen says:

    I like learning about new spice mixes and the berbere sounds like one I would enjoy.

  8. chefjulianna says:

    Mmmm! This sounds great, Petra! I have made several berebere recipes before. and really love this spice mix! Hope you are well! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • petra08 says:

      hi Julianna
      Thank you so muc! It is a lovely spice mix and really interesting.
      It is all good here, busy good and I hope everything is good with you too! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  9. Sabrina says:

    Berbere is such a tasty spice blend. Great use for it!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Sabina
      I fell in love with the spice mix when I read the recipe and it didn’t dissapoint! I loved the depth of flavour it added. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Sounds and looks fabulous, I love all those spices. Did you worry about melting the plastic cling-wrap though? How would it do in a heavy duty sous-vide bag that had all the air pumped out?

    • petra08 says:

      hi Liz
      Sous Vide would absolutely work. The cling film doesn’t melt in low degrees I think you need the heat to me more than 200C (392F). I have tried to cook a few other dishes like this and it works a treat and is always very moist. If I remember correctly I read a recpie by Ferran Adriร , and thought I have to try that! ๐Ÿ™‚

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