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

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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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:)

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.

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 . . .

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!!!

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

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.

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 ;-)

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.

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.

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, 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.

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

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!


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 ;)

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 :(

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?)