Toke like Snoop; cook like Stewart.
The history of television is littered with dynamic duos: Laverne and Shirley, Kenan and Kel, Rick and Morty. But there’s no more unlikely yet compelling pair than Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg on their new VH1 series, “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.”
The recipe for the show is almost too simple to fail: Take two of the lowest-energy celebrities and pit them against each other in a no-stakes battle for cooking dominance. Invite notable weed enthusiasts (in this episode, Seth Rogen, Wiz Khalifa and later Ice Cube) to provide stoned commentary. Add a dash of cannabis references, some vaguely racially-charged smack talk and stir as needed. Film in front of a live (and ostensibly drunk) studio audience and serve cold to viewers at home.
I’m a purist, so I decided the only way to truly appreciate this media masterpiece was to get very high, watch the show and then make the recipes. If you’d like to embark on a similar culinary journey (and I highly recommend you do), you can find the full recipes here.
Snoop’s fried chicken
I started with Snoop’s recipe because he promised it would only take 12 minutes to make and I have a very limited attention span when I’m stoned. In the spirit of full transparency, I should mention I am not a cook: I don’t particularly enjoy cooking and I have a real deep-seated fear of accidentally poisoning myself or others by serving undercooked meat. This was my first time attempting to fry chicken and I entered into the experience armed only with the knowledge that the best way to extinguish a grease fire is with baking soda, not water.
Snoop’s recipe requires 5 lbs. of chicken wings (I only used 3) and you’re supposed to cut them in half before seasoning (I didn’t realize until just now that I completely overlooked this step). Snoop recommends flavoring the wings with lemon pepper, but I didn’t have lemon pepper and there was no way I was going back outside to get some. Smoking instills in me an undeserved sense of confidence, so I decided the lemon pepper was overkill and moved the fuck on.
What really distinguishes Snoop’s recipe is the addition of the potato chips?—?I can’t emphasize enough the tactile satisfaction I got from crumbling up the barbecue chips and sprinkling them over the seasoned wings. There was also a moment around this time where I realized that it was still Election Day and I was high in my kitchen, cooking Snoop’s fried chicken while listening to “Gin and Juice”; I got very overwhelmed and had to drink some water to calm down.
I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to fry the chicken, but I think I overcooked mine?—?Snoop recommends frying the wings for between 8–10 minutes, but since I neglected to cut mine in half, my wings took longer to cook. I also think my fear of inadvertently giving my loved ones Salmonella caused me to cook the chicken for longer than is strictly necessary.
Snoop’s recipe ended up taking me about an hour to make; at the time, it felt like four.
Martha’s fried chicken
Let me start by saying that this recipe is the antithesis of high cooking?—?it’s time intensive, it requires premeditation and careful planning and because of that, I only vaguely followed the instructions.
The recipe calls for a whole fryer chicken cut into 10 pieces, but I was already high by the time I walked to the grocery store and I was too embarrassed to ask an employee where?—?or what?—?a whole fryer chicken was. Instead, I bought a package of chicken wings and called it a day.
When I got home, I saw that Martha recommends brining the chicken in a bowl of salt and water for two days to remove imperfections. But as Seth Rogen eloquently pointed out on the show, “Who knows they’re going to want chicken in two days?” I brined my chicken for approximately 40 minutes while I took my dog for a walk. I spent most of the walk wondering if Martha and Snoop really hang out, and if so, at whose house?
Next, you’re supposed to bathe your chicken for at least 4 hours in a buttermilk bath with cayenne and black pepper, salt, mustard and Tabasco sauce. I definitely forgot to add the Tabasco and I only bathed the chicken for about 20 minutes because at this point, I wanted to be done cooking so I could focus on eating the leftover potato chips.
After the buttermilk bath, the recipe instructs you to coat the chicken in a mixture of flour and dry spices. I think my chicken may have been too saturated from the buttermilk bath?—?probably because I failed to let the wings sit for an hour at room temperature before coating. Regardless, the flour didn’t stick to the chicken particularly well, which impacted the end result substantially.
I played it fast and loose with Martha’s instructions, but when it came time to fry the chicken, I really threw up my hands and let Jesus take the wheel. The recipe indicates you’re supposed to use a meat thermometer to maintain a specific chicken temperature, but I didn’t have a meat thermometer and even if I did, I was way too high to track a dead chicken’s vital signs. I fried the chicken till it seemed done, okay?
Later that night, I brought both batches of chicken to a friend’s election night party. I foolishly thought my cooking would be the low-point of the evening?—?I wish I hadn’t been wrong.
As it happened, the chicken went over surprisingly well. My friends overwhelmingly voted Snoop’s recipe their favorite, but the contest hardly seems fair given the degree to which I bastardized Martha’s recipe.
As fun as it was to get high and make celebrity-endorsed fried chicken, I also really enjoyed watching the show. Let me be clear: this show is about two things?—?weed puns and camaraderie. The cooking is almost secondary to the time Snoop, Martha and friends spend sitting around the dinner table, shooting the shit.
On its head, “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” seems like it was created by high people, for high people and truthfully, I’m completely fine with that. These days, we could all do a hell of a lot worse than watching people from different walks of life share stories and break bread together.