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Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home: 52 Quick Meals to Cook for Family and Friends Hardcover – October 13, 2009

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Editorial Reviews Review

From Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home: Braised Chicken Marsala


  • 4 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 4 chicken drumsticks (about 1 pound)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, peeled and quartered through the stem
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 3/4 cup Marsala (sweet Italian fortified wine)
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock, homemade (see page 260) or low-sodium store-bought
  • Sage Polenta

(Serves four)


Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse chicken, pat dry with paper towels, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, high-sided sauté pan over medium-high. Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides, turning once, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter; tent loosely with parchment paper, then foil, to keep warm. After all chicken is browned, pour off excess fat.

Add onions, tomatoes, and thyme to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour in Marsala; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Return chicken to pan and pour in stock; bring to a simmer. Transfer to oven; cook until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter, and cover to keep warm.

Skim off excess fat from liquid in pan; simmer liquid over medium-high until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. To serve, divide polenta among shallow bowls and arrange chicken on top; spoon pan sauce over each.

From Publishers Weekly

Created with busy cooks in mind, culinary guru Stewart's newest collection offers complete menus that take advantage of seasonal produce. Showcasing 13 menus for each season, Stewart groups recipes into meals, with each including a starter, main course, side dish and dessert. Especially helpful are the preparation schedules that head each menu and provide a to-do list for the entire meal, not just one dish. Sample menus include spring's salad with fresh mozzarella; turkey and pancetta meatballs; pasta with mint pesto and fava beans; and coffee ice cream affogato. As a summer dish, one can create a menu of salmon with creamy leeks, dilled rice salad, sugar snap peas with toasted almonds, and raspberry-mint gelatin cups. For a fall meal, there's warm Swiss chard and bacon dip, braised chicken Marsala, sage polenta, and sautéed pears in honey syrup. Throughout, Stewart provides helpful hints on a variety of topics such as how to make espresso, roast vegetables and make caramel. She also includes a helpful Basics section that covers how-to instructions for stocks, bread crumbs, toasting nuts and more. Gorgeous full-color photos (225 of them) add to the book's appeal. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307396452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307396457
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martha Stewart is the author of dozens of bestselling books on cooking, entertaining, homekeeping, gardening, weddings, and decorating. She is the host of The Martha Stewart Show, the Emmy-winning daily syndicated television program, and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which publishes several magazines, including Martha Stewart Living; produces Martha Stewart Living Radio; and provides a wealth of ideas and information on her website.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Steven Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first Martha Stewart cookbook that I purchased was her "The Martha Stewart Cookbook." Awfully good, but not for the everyday cook in his/her kitchen. The second of her cookbooks that I acquired, "Martha Stewart's Cooking School," was more accessible (at least to me). I have enjoyed a number of recipes from this book. My third acquisition, "Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home," has an interesting twist--(Page 9): "Arranged seasonally to take advantage of what's in the market, these meals are accessible, but they also satisfy our desire for an even broader range of foodstuffs."

For each season, there is a set of meals (52 in all, one for each week).

Spring: Here is an example (and one that I aim to try out in the near future--except for the rhubarb!). Baby lamb chops with lemon strips; asparagus with aioli; Quinoa, pea, and mint salad; vanilla-poached rhubarb. The lamb chops are very simply made. The asparagus dish is also quite doable. I have never used quinoa before, but have seen a number of recipes that use it, so this dish intrigues me (again, looks pretty straightforward to make). The rhubarb? I'll let that go, since I'm not a fan!

Summer: "The markets are overflowing with local fruits and vegetables at their peak, yet the long, sunny days cut short any thoughts of spending hours in the kitchen (Page 73)." One example. Avocado and lemon on toasted rustic bread; Seared tuna in tomato-basil sauce; green beans with lemon butter; Peaches in honey syrup. The tuna dish uses readily available ingredients, so would be pretty easy to make for the home cook.

Fall: As Stewart puts it, a season with plentiful produce lending itself to heartier preparations. The example?
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Toni VINE VOICE on October 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Short review: Great book; makes menu planning a breeze; I'd highly recommend it.

Long review: One of the problems in preparing meals is what to make and how to pair things; what goes with what; how do you keep things fresh and not boring. This latest book from Martha and crew pretty much takes care of all those questions. Her dedication page was short, simple, and perfect, "To all homemakers in America, pressed for time yet caring for their families" and that summed up the purpose of this latest Martha offering.

The book is large, has excellent print on quality paper, is beautifully photographed and gives you the details, explanations, and sidebars for each meal along with the preparation schedule. And each and every dish has a close-up, detailed, delicious and accompanying photograph. The menu's are showcased according to season which helps to break down what would be easy to find in the markets at those times. For example, on page 121, there is an exquisite photograph of a fresh, ripe peach in honey syrup; while that would be great to serve anytime, the "summer" menu is perfect for it, while you would be more apt to find, enjoy and impress with blood oranges and pomegranates in winter.

At the same time, these aren't your standard all-American recipes of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. They are a bit beyond the normal fare and are fresh and different; but not so much that they seem foreign.

The ingredients are simple and easy to find; the food not too fussy, and the prep fairly easy even for busy folks with busy schedules. And with 52 menu suggestions, you can pick and choose what makes life easier for you regardless of the season, as well as mixing and matching those recipes your taste buds gravitate towards.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Fierz on November 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This cookbook is amazing! I have prepared several of the recipes and they have all been fantastic! The soups are superb, rich and satisfying yet not heavy at all! (watercress/cauliflower, roasted pumpkin) Thank you so much, Martha for the wonderful collection of meals that have blown our family away!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By DuxburyMom on October 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is yet another gorgeous Martha cookbook with thick pages and beautiful, inspiring pictures. It's also very well organized into seasons and full appetizer to dessert menus, with pictures illustrating each course. The book is only slightly flawed in that the recipes are supposed to come from ingredients found in your local market. Not so much -- Mirin, Miso, Quail, Black Cod, Medjool Dates, Pepitas, Course Italian Polenta (not instant), to name a few. Not found in my local conventional market. I will have to make a trip to Whole Foods for much of this stuff. But that's ok. Just know that going in. I have made one recipe from this book (the Chicken Marsala with Sage Polenta) and it was fabulous. I can't but help give this book 5 stars because Martha will inspire you to cook and give you great ideas when you want to put together a thoughtful meal for your family and guests.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By amflo on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I purchased "Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home" in 2009. It has become my favorite and most used cookbook of all time. Martha has solved the problem of what to fix for dinner. The concept of complete menus is ideal. Previously I would have trouble coordinating what to have with what, or I prepared too many dishes and thus was not able to execute everything well. Living in the Northeast, I love how everything is arranged by season! I can shop at a local farm and speciality stores and am able to find everything needed for the recipes. The cookbook has been especially helpful to me for fall and winter menus. It has introduced me to delicious foods I had never before prepared, such as Nantucket Bay Scallops and Duck Breast. The Braised Chicken Marsala with Sage Polenta has a flavor similar to a dish from Marc Vetri's Restaurant (Vetri) in Philadelphia. The recipes are so well written, I am able to prepare menus which often look better than the photos in the book, rare for a cookbook. I would agree with previous reviewers that it is definitely not "dinner in an hour", but since I only cook for two, I can shop one day and have enough food to prepare for two nights worth of dinners. I think it is preferable to spend one's time in the kitchen cooking fresh foods, rather than to spend time going to the doctor due to diet related poor health.
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