This dish seems much more exotic than it really is. It is a recipe I’ve done a painted and made for 20 years, and there is nothing more than chicken legs with oil or melted butter, sprinkled with a dry spice rub and cooked – or cooked slowly on the grill.
What makes this recipe is a blend of Ethiopian spices, as is the Berber (BERBERRY). I learned it from my boss to do in the first restaurant I ever worked on, the Horn of Africa, in Madison, Wisconsin. Called my boss, a tough old Ayele Meselesh Eritrea (Eritrea was a province of Ethiopia, and is now an independent country), told me that the curry a Berber original that was copied to the Indians, the Ethiopians.
This was a common refrain in the kitchen: Ethiopia invented everything, and everyone else just copied. They happen to be right when it comes to coffee, but not sure if I believe something in your curry. What I can say is, Berberis actually a magical blend of spices: Remember the sweet scent of Moroccan cuisine with a muscular punch of garlic and chilli. No two are one and the same mixed Berber and cooks guard their secret blends with as much force as the hat southern barbecue recipes.
But there are some constants: chillies and/or peppers, lots of garlic, black pepper, salt and ginger. Berbere Meselesh always had a healthy hit of cardamom and fenugreek, as well. Without these two ingredients, it does not smell just me Ethiopian. Other spices, not in my Berber, but are completely normal, including anise, saffron, cinnamon, pepper, coriander and dried herbs like oregano and rue. DIY is not only permitted but encouraged.
Cook the chicken as you want. They must reach an internal temperature of at least 175 °, to give it right, but I like to cook them slow and low until the meat is almost falling off the bone. The more you cook, the more you have to adhere to all the good, the chickeny-processing of sticks.
I was a line cook, as I use this recipe as part of my rotation, I did not mean a lot of money. So for a cheap dinner, I used to eat these sticks with a little white rice while you drink the Wisconsin Badgers game on TV, beer, or linen Kugel Point. Simple Pleasures of a different time.