Martha Stewart Got Me Out Of Bed Saturday Morning for Braised Chicken and Dates

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by Amy on November 8, 2011 · 39 comments

Up until last week, my kids and the guns going off (apparently from duck season), were the only two things that could get me out of bed at 6 o’clock in the morning on the weekends.

But then I got invited to go meet Martha Stewart. And when you get invited to meet Martha Stewart, you go. You go any which way you can. Morning, night time, a 2-hour car ride, with the flu, bad hair day, big pimple on your nose, through a blizzard, about to give birth…you go.

She was at Macy’s talking about her new cookware line, exclusively with them – I’ve got my eye on that square ladle! – and signing her latest book Martha’s Entertaining, A Year Of Celebrations. I’m telling you, this woman never sleeps.

The book is loaded. And fat. And beautiful, showcasing an entire year of tablescapes, gorgeous scenery, and amazing menus. Ah, to be in Martha’s inner circle. One can dream…

It is not her usual every day food, however. This is more for the ambitious cook, people who entertain large crowds…or somebody who wants an eye-catching item on their coffee table. If you’ve got the cash, it’s worth it. A wonderful addition to her already impressive catalog.

She cooked for us…

…talked, answered questions (confirming that she prefers pie over cake – booya!), and even joked about her “home confinement” days. All this hubbub about Martha Stewart being uptight and unfriendly? Totally untrue. She was warm and charming, and funny! Very real.

I have many pictures like this…

And more like this…

…telling stories and laughing with Everyday Food Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Carey (and hey, pssst, Sarah – if you’re ever looking for a replacement…)

I loved all of it. (Well, except the 4 year old year sitting behind me who was dressed to the nines and wearing lipstick. That was just wrong.)

Braised Chicken with Dates is one of the dishes she made for us (recipe and printable below.) Absolutely delicious! Of course.

And check out some of my other favorite Martha Stewart recipes, in regular rotation over here.

Left to right, top to bottom: Spring Vegetable Couscous with Chicken, Shrimp Zucchini Tostadas, Flatbread with Turkey and Greek Yogurt, and Southwestern Salad.

Thank you to Britton at Be Everywhere Media for inviting me, Megan and Macy’s Culinary Council for hosting yet another top notch cooking demo, Krysta from Evil Chef Mom for being the best date, and thank you Martha for humoring us. We’re in awe.

Braised Chicken with Dates
Serves 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

• 10 chicken pieces, skin on (I used thighs and legs), about 3 pounds total
• Coarse salt and ground pepper
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, diced small
• 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
• 3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 1 cup chopped pitted dates (4 ounces)
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
• 2 lemons, halved, for serving

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Add onions to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, paprika, and coriander; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Arrange chicken evenly over onion mixture, add 2 cups chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a serving dish and increase heat to high. Boil cooking liquid until reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in dates and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with couscous and lemon halves.

(adapted from Martha Stewart)

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Lana November 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

I have always admired Martha and trusted her recipes (her Gingerbread Cookies are a must for the Holidays! )
I am a bit jealous of your chance to meet her, but at the same time vicariously happy:)


Amy November 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Meeting her is definitely a surreal thing for any home cook. I was on a high for 2 days afterward!


Mom November 10, 2011 at 12:59 am

What a treat to meet Martha. Did you learn any new techniques?


Amy November 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

Hm. She was full of helpful suggestions, but most of them I already knew – fluffing couscous with a fork, not just scooping it out with a spoon, adding water to a tart crust if it cracks. OH WAIT! She did show us a great trick for peeling ginger that I had never seen…you scrape the skin with a spoon. It looked really easy and will try that.


Jenna November 9, 2011 at 9:57 am

Wow! I’m so jealous (in the good way, I hope) =). It looks like a fun and awe-inspiring event.
And lipstick at 4 years old?? What is this world coming to . . .


Rachel November 9, 2011 at 6:21 am

Omg A what an awesome day!!! How rad is all of this?? I am so happy you got to go, thank you for sharing this!! In other news so that’s what’s been waking me up!! Duck hunting really??? Gha!!!


Amy November 9, 2011 at 8:01 am

Thanks, Rach! And ya…the guns shots. Isn’t that annoying? Not exactly the most pleasant alarm clock noise :( Welcome to West Sac. Wheeeee!


Becki's Whole Life November 9, 2011 at 4:18 am

How exciting and to me it would almost be surreal having Martha Stewart cook for you? This dish sounds awesome – love the sweet/savory flavors.


Amy November 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

It was sort of surreal! But to be clear…she did cook for us, but she certainly didn’t SERVE us!


Joanne November 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Some of the other foodbuzz festival-ers SWEAR they saw her at the Ferry Building this weekend and I didn’t believe it…but I guess they were right! Oh if only I had known you were around! I choose you over Tyler any day.


Amy November 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Shame on you for being that close to me and not at least checking – silly lady!! Although I get it…you were doing some hob-knobin of your own ;-)


Heather November 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm

That is so awesome! It’s so funny when you say people either love or hate her…i’m in the LOVE her camp. We will definitely try the chicken recipe.


Amy November 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Thanks, Heather! It really was fun :D You and Mike would love the chicken. She served it with Citrus Cilantro Couscous and Sauteed Spinach w/ Garlic. YUM-O.


Dad November 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Could I see the dessert menu? How about dates in a bread made with molasses with nuts… Oh, that would be date nut bread.

You’re one celebrity up on me although Dean Martin once dealt blackjack at a table I was sitting at. REALLY cool that you got to meet Martha.

P.S. Tell Trevor the purse is okay, but lipstick is just going too far. Or was that another 4 year old?


Amy November 8, 2011 at 7:40 pm

For dessert, she made a pear crostata – it was totally yummy. And Trevor…*snort*


Jude November 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

How do I ‘Like’ this comment?


Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen November 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm

You were invited, that is just proof of how cool you are! Glad it was such a great experience!


Jude November 8, 2011 at 11:19 am

Amy, how awesome that you got the personal treatment from Ms Stewart, the queen of DIY!

She was a guest speaker here at work last month and I think she floored everyone with her candor, humor and quick wit. I want that book.


Amy November 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Jude, it WAS awesome! People are so passionate about their opinion of her – love and hate. I don’t know…people love to hate what they don’t understand or what they can’t have themselves. I found her to be very engaging and sincere. Enjoyed every minute of it :D


Cathy November 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

I love this post! I’m so glad you got to go, too.


Amy November 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

I had been battling a nasty cold all week and seriously considered not going – can you imagine if I coughed on her? *shudders*


pam November 8, 2011 at 10:46 am



Britton November 8, 2011 at 10:09 am

AMY! I love this post. Thank you so much for attending! Everywhere is so happy that we have you as a contact. You always take the best photos! Thanks again! Looking forward to your next post!



Amy November 8, 2011 at 11:36 am

Thanks so so much Britton for always reaching out! You’re awesome!


Sandi November 8, 2011 at 10:08 am



lo November 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

I find myself with mixed feelings here. On the one hand, Martha occasionally pulls out the stops… in a good way. And I respect her for that.

On the other hand, I’m still angry with her for all the (apparently) inaccurate cookie recipes she published in her special cookie magazine a few years ago… I spent A LOT of time adjusting the recipes so that they actually worked. Especially that chocolate cookie recipe that was too darned sticky to roll out. And I thought that’s what we paid her “people” to do ;)


Amy November 8, 2011 at 10:24 am

Zoinks! I’ve had 95% success with her dishes (simplifying a lot of them, but still without error)…but believe it or not, I have only ever made one baked good recipe of hers (the Carrot Cake Cookies.) So I can’t really speak to this. What a bummer :(


Melissa November 8, 2011 at 9:40 am

Fun, fun, fun. So happy you guys got to go, especially since I know you really enjoy her. Wish I could have been with you.

(4-year-old dressed to the nines with lipstick?!? How did you and K not smack her mom?)


Amy November 8, 2011 at 9:50 am

Oh Melissa, having you with us…well, that would have been even better than meeting Martha. Sincerely.


Melissa November 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm



Melissa November 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

(those were supposed to be hearts… :P)


Stephanie November 8, 2011 at 9:17 am

Oh, Amy. My love for you could never be broken. HOWEVER, your love for Martha hurts my heart just a little. It looks like a fun time, anyway. :)


Amy November 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

Oh no :( Why the hate? I think the perception of her is largely misguided.


Sippitysup November 8, 2011 at 9:05 am



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