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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by
Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint
of the Crown Publishing Group,
a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
CLARKSON POTTER is a trademark and POTTER
with colophon is a registered trademark
of Random House, Inc.
Some photographs and recipes originally appeared
in Martha Stewart Living publications.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Martha’s American Food.—1st ed.
1. Cooking, American. 2. Cookbooks. I. Title.
II. Title: American Food.
Printed in China
Photograph credits appear on page 431.
Book design by Jessica Blackham, Yasemin Emory,
and William van Roden
Cover design by William van Roden and
Front cover photograph by Paul Costello
Back cover photograph by Mikkel Vang
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
1 whole fryer chicken (2˙ to 3 pounds), cut into 10 parts
1 quart buttermilk, well shaken
1˙ tablespoons dry mustard powder
1© teaspoons cayenne
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1˙ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
Neutral-tasting oil, such as safflower, for frying
1 Place chicken parts in one or two shallow dishes, just large enough to hold
them snugly. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mustard
powder, and 1 teaspoon cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Pour marinade
over the chicken, making sure the parts are completely submerged.
(Alternatively, divide the chicken and marinade evenly among large resealable
bags; rest the bags on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaks.) Cover tightly
and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
2 Remove chicken from the marinade and allow to drain on a wire rack set over a
rimmed baking sheet for 1 hour before cooking (discard marinade). Meanwhile,
whisk together the flour, cornmeal, and remaining ¼ teaspoon cayenne; season
with salt and pepper. Spread mixture in a shallow dish.
3 When you are ready to begin frying, pour a scant ½ inch oil into a large
c ast-i ron skillet and heat over medium until oil registers 375°F on a deep-f ry
thermometer. (Alternatively, test by dropping a cube of white crustless bread
into the oil; it should turn golden brown within 1 minute.)
4 While the oil is heating, and working with a few parts at a time, dredge
chicken in the flour mixture, turning to completely coat. Shake off excess flour
and set chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet as you work.
Fried chicken is among the
most emblematic foods of the
South, and you can hardly find
a Southerner who doesn’t have
an opinion on what’s best—
battered or floured, panfried
or d eep-f ried, served hot with
waffles for breakfast or eaten
cold on a picnic. The crowning
glory of fried chicken is its
crisp, subtly spiced crust, and
this recipe, which calls for the
meat to be simply dredged
in seasoned flour before
panfrying, will not disappoint.
If you prefer a thicker crust,
double dredge: coat the chicken
in the flour mixture and let sit
for fifteen minutes, then dredge
in flour again, tapping off
excess. Buttermilk makes the
chicken incomparably moist,
so don’t skip the important
step of marinating (preferably
overnight). Allowing the
chicken to drain for a good
hour before you dredge in flour
will help ensure an evenly
coated, lump-f ree crust.
5 Preheat oven to 200°F. Set a clean wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet with
several layers of paper towels on top of rack. Working in batches (skillet should
be filled but without pieces touching each other), arrange chicken, skin side
down, in a single layer. Adjust heat so temperature of oil remains between
330°F and 340°F during frying. Cover and cook until chicken is crisp and golden
on bottom and parts remove easily from pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn
chicken and continue frying (covered) until crisp and cooked through (breasts
should register 160°F and thighs 165°F on an i nstant-read thermometer),
4 to 5 minutes more. Remove each part as soon as it is ready (wings, drumsticks,
and thinner breast pieces cook faster than thighs). Transfer to prepared rack
on baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking remaining chicken,
returning oil to 375°F before adding each batch. Serve chicken hot.
Serv es 4
martha’s american food
For the cru st a nd f il l in g
Graham-Cracker Crust (page 413)
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened Dutch-process
2 tablespoons cornstarch
∆ teaspoon salt
1˙ cups milk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small
˙ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the top p in g
1˙ teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
5 tablespoons cold water
ƒ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
∆ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light rum
4 large egg whites, room temperature
together ¼ cup sugar, the cornstarch, and salt. Gradually
whisk in milk. Cook over medium-h igh heat, stirring
constantly, until mixture is thick and boiling, about
5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in gelatin mixture and
let cool completely. Stir in vanilla and rum. Briefly place pan
in the ice bath to thicken slightly; do not let it set completely.
4 With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, whisk
egg whites until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low;
continue beating while you make the syrup.
5 In a small saucepan, bring remaining ½ cup sugar
and 3 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring to dissolve
sugar. Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush
to prevent crystals from forming. Cook, without stirring,
until syrup registers 240°F on a candy thermometer.
6 Raise mixer speed to high and beat egg whites just until
stiff peaks begin to form. Immediately pour syrup down
side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Beat until meringue
is glossy and cooled, about 7 minutes.
7 Fold meringue into gelatin mixture in three batches
until just combined. Spread mixture in chocolate-fi lled
crust. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to overnight
(covered), before serving.
M a k es one single crust 9 -inch pie
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Press graham-cracker crust evenly
into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate
until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake until crust is set and
begins to turn golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer
pie plate to a wire rack and let cool completely.
2 Make the filling: Sift together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch,
and salt into a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in
milk. Cook over medium-h igh heat, stirring constantly,
until almost boiling. Reduce heat to medium; add
chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has
melted and mixture is thick, about 2 minutes. Remove
from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla until smooth.
Spread chocolate mixture over crust. Refrigerate until
cold and firm, about 1 hour.
3 Make the topping: Prepare an ice-water bath. In a small
bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold water.
Let soften, about 5 minutes. In a medium saucepan, whisk
Black-bottom pie, another cherished Southern tradition,
consists of a cookie-crumb crust lavishly layered with
a rich dark-chocolate custard topped by an airy meringue.
When the first recipes for this (and other icebox pies)
appeared around the turn of the twentieth century,
the dessert was reserved for only the most special
occasions because of one very expensive—and c rucial—
ingredient: the ice necessary to “refrigerate” it. Today,
black-bottom pie continues to make a delicious impression,
retaining its nostalgic appeal despite being updated
with a few delightful touches, such as the r um-spiked
meringue in this version.
Classic Potato Salad
4 pounds russet potatoes (about 8 medium)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 large eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
˙ teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
˙ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 celery stalks, cut into ©-inch dice
1 small onion, cut into ©-inch dice
10 cornichons, cut into ©-inch dice
3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water by several inches. Bring to a
boil, then add 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce heat and gently boil until potatoes
are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 25 minutes. Drain.
Peel potatoes while still hot, using paper towels to protect hands; cut into
1-inch pieces. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and drizzle with vinegar; let cool.
2 Place eggs in a small saucepan; fill with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch.
Bring to a boil; turn off heat. Cover; let stand 11 minutes. Transfer to a bowl
and cover with cold water; let cool and peel. Cut 2 eggs into ¼-inch dice. Slice
remaining egg into ¼-i nch-t hick rounds; reserve for garnish.
3 Combine diced eggs, mayonnaise, celery seeds, and dry mustard in a large
bowl; season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Stir in potatoes,
celery, onion, cornichons, scallions, and parsley. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes
or up to 1 day. Just before serving, garnish with paprika and egg rounds.
a ll-a mer ica n
Part of the charm of a picnic
is its informality, whether
you are in a sunny glade
or right in your own backyard.
No matter where you are, you
want something to eat that
isn’t difficult to make, that
travels well, and that tastes—
and looks—g reat some hours
after it’s prepared. Sandwiches
made with thick, crusty bread
fit the bill nicely, as does cold
fried chicken. But what people
tend to indulge in most are
the sides. “I can’t remember
the last time I had homemade
coleslaw!” someone will say.
“I need your recipe for three-
bean salad,” someone else will
ask. “It’s the best I’ve ever had.”
(Chalk one up for its distinctive
mustardy dressing.) The
only quiet one in the bunch,
you will notice, is on his
third helping of potato salad.
In short, you should keep
the following three recipes in
heavy rotation at all times.
And remember to make lots.
Serv es 10 to 12
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