Sunday, June 3, 2018

Chicken Hamilton, #recipe from guest Victoria Hamilton

Today we're very pleased to welcome as out guest, our friend Victoria Hamilton. She is the celebrated author of three cozy mystery series and her latest book, No Grater Danger hits the bookshelves on June 19th! Enjoy her recipe and then enter a comment for a chance to  win a copy of Leave it to Cleaver! Here's Victoria:

Do you ever make a recipe exactly as it is listed? I try to do that the first time I make anything, but it rarely works out. Anyway, I saw a recipe for a version of Chicken Cassoulet; it sounded good, and I gave it a go, but even then, I altered it. It took white wine, and I never have wine in the house… that isn’t for drinking, anyway. The fruity ‘wine beverage’ that is my drink of choice would not be the right ingredient, for what it’s worth. So this time I made many more changes and now it is most definitely NOT Chicken Cassoulet. 

So, I name it…

Chicken Hamilton
Serves: 4 – 6
(4 for dinner, 6 for lunch)


1 – 19 ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed.
½ tblsp olive oil
12 ounces skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into ½ to 1 inch chunks
10 ounces mild Italian sausage, (casing removed) in small chunks.
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp water
¼ tsp dried rosemary OR ½ tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ tsp dried thyme OR ½ tbsp fresh thyme chopped
¼ tsp grated black pepper
2 cups (or more) chicken broth
3 cups chopped spinach


Mash ½ cup beans in a bowl, then add the rest of the beans and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven, at medium heat. Add chicken in a single layer, cook, turning once, until browned, 2 – 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl (with the beans, if you like) and set aside.
Brown Italian sausage the same way, and set aside, again in the bowl with the chicken and beans, if you like.
(I know… there’s a lot of ‘setting aside’ in this recipe.)
Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until wilted and fragrant, a couple of minutes. Add water, cover, and cook a few minutes until golden, then add rosemary, thyme and pepper. Cook about thirty seconds, until fragrant.
Add broth, beans (including the mashed beans), chicken and sausage, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, until chicken is thoroughly cooked, five minutes or so.
Add more broth, if needed, to make a soupy stew, and toss in the chopped spinach, stir and cook until it is just wilted, a couple of minutes.

Serve with fresh buttered bread or rolls.  

This recipe is a bit finicky, but really simple and delicious. I’ve made it a couple of times now, and I think I’ll add more herbs next time, and maybe some Old Bay, or other seasoning.


To one person who comments here I will be giving away one copy of Leave It to Cleaver, Vintage Kitchen Mysteries #6, to celebrate the upcoming release of my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries #7, No Grater Danger!

Open to all US and Canadian readers. Comment here, with your first name and an email address (yourname (at) yourserver (dot) com) where we can reach you! The draw will be made at 6 PM EDT on Monday, June 4th.

Thank you to Mystery Lovers Kitchen for hosting me!

No Grater Danger
Coming June 19th!

In the brand-new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of Leave It to Cleaver, someone out to spice up their life means to crush a helpless victim . . .
“Delightfully entertaining, well-written, and an interesting and exciting plot. Literally keeps you guessing right to the end.” —Goodreads on Leave It to Cleaver

Vintage cookware enthusiast Jaymie Leighton is thrilled at the prospect of meeting an elderly descendant of her town’s founding father, not least because she’s known to possess an enviably large collection of antique spice graters. But the curmudgeonly woman also has substantial real estate holdings, and at the moment she’s engaged in a fierce battle with a property developer who wants her to sell off her old buildings in the name of progress. When Jaymie goes to visit the woman and discovers that there’s been an attempt on her life, she polishes up her sleuthing skills to find out who was behind the foul deed.

Her first instinct is to suspect the developer, but as she digs deeper into the case she learns that her older new friend has purportedly been the victim of numerous criminal acts—all of which point to different suspects. Unsure if the stories are true or simply the confused ramblings of a senior citizen, Jaymie sifts through the clues hoping to expose the culprit, but she knows that if she keeps stirring up trouble, she’ll be next on the would-be killer’s list.

Includes a vintage recipe!

Check me out on social media! For more information, visit and sign up for the newsletter! – or – find me on Facebook! Victoria Hamilton, Author


  1. I'm getting better at changing recipes instead of following them to the letter mostly because I seldom have everything a recipe calls for & white wine would be one ingredient I wouldn't have. I love red wine with chicken. My husband doesn't like spinach but I'm going to try Chicken Hamilton anyway because it looks delicious.

  2. My mother never left a savory dish alone: she added vermouth. To almost all of them. (Can you guess she was a martini drinker?) And that was it. Me, I'm much more likely to experiment. (And I don't keep vermouth in the house.) This dish definitely sounds tasty.

  3. I usually stick to the recipe, unless I'm missing something and put in a substitute. That doesn't always work out. I'm thankful for your recipe because I have 3 cans of cannellini beans and I needed something to use them in besides white bean soup. Thank you!

  4. I substitute especially if there is an ingredient that I don't like in the recipe like those beans. I am so glad that your series is continuing. I enjoy it so much. Thank you so much for this chance at your giveaway. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

  5. That recipe sounds amazing! I, too, change things up in a recipe. Isn't giving it your own touch what cooking is about? I really enjoy your books and congratulations on this new one! Thank you for the giveaway.
    Debbie Price

  6. I tend to make changes as I follow recipes, too! This chicken dish looks wonderful and I can't wait to try it out on my mother-in-law. I think she would love it.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  7. Now that I'm retired, I'm finding myself having to cook 2 meals a day for my husband and myself. I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. Your series is a new to me one and I look forward to reading it. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  8. I know what you mean about recipes not coming out right and it's not just ingredients. I once followed a casserole recipe exactly until it said to put it in an 8"X8" dish. There was enough for 3 dishes! How did they ever get it all into one?! Thanks for the contest. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. Congratulations on your upcoming release of "No Grater Danger"!

    Most times I try for follow a recipe the first time but sometimes you just know it's not right and you have to alter it. Usually if it's good enough on the first go round to try again, I am making notes on my changes and keep trying to tweak it until I have it just right. If it makes it through the taste testers until I get it perfected then it's a keeper and goes in my own personal cookbook.

    Your recipe for Chicken Hamilton sounds delicious and one that I will surely try.

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of "Leave It to Cleaver". I'd love the opportunity to read this book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  10. I love trying new recipes & the book sounds amazing. Thanks for your great generosity. Linda May

  11. When baking, I usually follow the recipe, mostly, otherwise it sometimes becomes what is in the cupboards...this sounds really good, may have to get the wine to try...dianetelford at hotmail dot com

  12. Sometimes I make a recipe as written but sometimes I have to substitute for something my boyfriend can’t have like wine.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  13. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

  14. Hi, Marlene Ezell here. I have always stuck to the recipes as written as did my mother. The only thing I might change is to leave out a non-essential ingredient that I don't like. I don't like mushrooms so I always leave those out. Thanks for the chance to win your book. I love your covers.

  15. Your a new to me author. I look the recipe over, leave any non-essential ingredient that someone in the family really doesn't like the first time I make it. Then I modified if I make it again, if needed.

  16. Taylor R. WilliamsJune 3, 2018 at 12:05 PM

    Sure would love to win one of your books - I get all of my books at the library - the recipe sounds delicious

  17. When presented with a recipe I first scan it. If I haven't had it before I like to become familiar with the ingredients. I always tinker with a recipe to add my personal touch.

  18. I like to substitute. Looking forward to reading this . What a fun receipe. abeachlifesc at Yahoo dot com

  19. I love to read recipes - but I rarely follow them. And once I have made something I never use a recipe again, I just wing it from memory, mostly with good results. Luckily, I have 4 sons who will pretty much eat anything. I will give this chicken recipe a try! Debbie(dot)Erickson14 at gmail (dot) com

  20. I love to not only read recipes, but also to experiment with them! Most of the time, it works out!!! The chicken recipe looks great..when I try it, I will make it as experimenting or substituting..maybe! Lol

  21. I, too, try to follow a recipe the first time...but I rarely succeed!
    Improvising is such fun!
    Well done here.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  22. Welcome back to the Kitchen, Victoria, and congratulations on No "Grater" Danger (love the pun). I also love the inventiveness of your recipe--no surprise, given your creative spirit!

    ~ Cleo