Sunday, November 29, 2020

Jane Cleland's Dijon Chicken -- #giveaway

LESLIE B: When my first mystery came out in 2013, the book launch party was held at a fabulous art gallery in my town, the basis for my fictional town. A local woman was sure she didn't care for mysteries, but she loves the arts and local artists, so she came to the party and bought a copy of Death al Dente. Surprise -- she loves cozy mysteries and just never knew it! She became an avid fan and we became friends. 

A couple of years ago, I ran into her outside the library where she'd just picked up the latest of Jane Cleland's Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries. Seems that at one of my book parties, I had mentioned my cousin, who writes as Laura Childs, so my reader started reading her, and one day, found a library receipt tucked in a Childs book listing the books a previous reader had checked out. She marched up to the library clerk, handed it to her, and asked what she knew about these Jane Cleland books and would she like them? Turns out she LOVES Jane's books almost as much as Laura's and mine. She didn't know much about New England and enjoys making the trip on the page, while learning about antiques. I got to tell Jane that story at Malice Domestic, and she sweetly sent me home with a signed bookmark for our lovely reader! 

Now it's your turn to meet Jane Cleland!

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of Hidden Treasure, the newest Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery.  

JANE CLELAND: This recipe is one of my favorites. The marinade adds a layer of flavor and helps keep the chicken moist. The sauce is sweet and tangy and velvety and rich.  

From Hidden Treasure: “I made a tarragon Dijon sauce for the chicken, a familiar recipe I’d mastered years ago by following my mother’s careful directions. In the weeks before she’d died when I was only thirteen and utterly unprepared for the loss, even though I knew it was coming, she’d written a cookbook by hand, complete with side notes and little drawings. It was one of my most cherished possessions.” 

I hope you enjoy it!

CHICKEN DIJON, from Hidden Treasure by Jane Cleland

For the marinade:

Whisk together:

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp ground pepper


·       Clean the chicken. I use bone-in breasts, and I remove the skin.

·       Place the chicken in a plastic bag. Pour in the marinade. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag.

·       Marinate one hour to overnight, turning periodically to ensure both sides sit in the marinade.

While the chicken marinated, 

Josie took this photo of her beautiful platinum Maine Coon cat, named Hank!  

For the sauce:

3 tabs white wine vinegar

½ tsp dried tarragon

6 tabs butter

3 tabs Dijon mustard

1 ½ tab honey

Egg noodles, for serving. 


·       Preheat the oven to 350°

·       Heat the vinegar and tarragon in a small saucepan until very hot, but not boiling. Turn down the heat to simmer. 

      Add the butter, one tab at a time, stirring to mix.

·       Stir in the mustard and honey.

·       Remove from heat.

Place the chicken, skin-side up, in a roasting pan. Discard the marinade.

·       Pour about ¼ cup of the sauce over the chicken.      

B Bake for 45 minutes for bone-in chicken; 20 minutes for boneless chicken.

·       Serve with egg noodles tossed with a generous helping of sauce.

What recipe do you cherish as much for the person who gave it you as for the food  itself? I look forward to reading your stories! One reader will win a signed copy of Hidden Treasure. (Be sure to include your email address. US addresses only. Winner will be announced Wednesday, December 2.) 

Hidden Treasure tells the story of dreams, desperation, and second chances—and an ancient Egyptian cat.

The discovery of a mysterious antique trunk leads to a disappearance―and murder―in the latest in this beloved cozy series set on the rugged New Hampshire coast, Jane K. Cleland's Hidden Treasure.

Jane K. Cleland writes both fiction and nonfiction, including the long-running and multiple award-winning  Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries [St. Martin’s & Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine] and the Agatha Award-winning bestsellers Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot and Mastering Plot Twists [Writer’s Digest Books]. Jane is a contributing editor for Writer’s Digest Magazine, and the chair of the Wolfe Pack’s Black Orchid Novella Award (BONA), in partnership with AHMM. She is a frequent workshop leader and guest author at writing conferences and MFA Residencies. Jane offers free monthly workshops and free podcasts on the craft of writing in the “We’re All in It Together,” series. Details can be found at 

An excerpt of Hidden Treasure is available here. Join Jane on Facebook and Twitter.



  1. Thank you for the recipe for CHICKEN DIJON. It sounds delicious and I'm going to give it try real soon.

    One of my treasured recipes is for my Mom's Lasagna taught to her by an Italian neighbor while my Dad was stationed in California in the 60's. It not only reminds me of a fun time in my life, but also a special time spent with my Mom.

    This recipe was never written down and spices were measured by the pinch or how it felt in the hand. After our daughter went to her heavenly home at the age of 17 and needing something to keep my mind busy, I decided to make a tried and true recipe book with family and friend recipes as Christmas presents. That meant spending a lot of time standing behind Mom writing down what she did. The lasagna recipe was one of the hardest for me to get just right. I ended up having to have Mom measure in her hand and then take exact measurements of that ingredient. When I had a written recipe, I had to be the one making it for Mom and the family to test. It took some tweaking to pass Mom's taste test, but I finally ended up with results that tasted just like what I grew up with.

    That year I had three 3-ring binders full of recipes, household hints, substitution charts, and fun folklore items connected to the kitchen all typed up and in protective sleeves. After the cover sheet, there is a dedication page in honor of our daughter. I presented a copy to my Mom and one to hubby's Mom as their Christmas presents.

    Just a few years later, I found out how much of a treasure these recipes were when my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer. I was extremely thankful that I had taken the time to record these treasures before they were lost forever. When Mom passed, I gave her copy to my best friend who says it's her main go to cookbook.

    The lasagna recipe is also special because when I married my hubby, he had said he did NOT like lasagna at all. However, after trying Mom's he was a reformed "not for me" guy and it's one of his most requested meals even now.

    Appreciate the chance to win a copy of "Hidden Treasure". I would LOVE the opportunity to read it! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.

    Be safe, stay healthy, and have a little adventure along the way - even if through the pages of a good book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Oh, my, thank you for sharing this story, both the horror of losing your daughter and the heartwarming memorializing of your mom's recipes. I appreciate it.

    2. Ok, Kay. What a heart-breaking but heart-warming story of turning your tragedy into love and memories. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Our big family recipe is for holubchi, a Ukrainian dish from my grandpa's family. I remember my dad judging a couple of my sister's boyfriends based on whether they liked it or not! You want big heads of cabbage to get a proper sized leaf, but we were having a lot of trouble with hail or animals damaging the heads. So mom figured out a casserole-type version for the years when the cabbage is too small.
    I also love my grandma's homemade Twix bars. She didn't bake much anymore by the time I came along but these were an easy recipe she still did occasionally. When she found out I liked them so much, she started making them for me a lot- with the condition I'd come over (we lived next door) and unwrap the caramels for her, as she had trouble doing that with the arthritis. I had to count out the number of caramels needed-and don't snitch out of the counted pile! It's still one of my favorite go-to desserts.


    1. That's so funny about your dad judging boyfriends by whether they liked the dish! Like an old world courting candle!

    2. Alicia, what great stories! And I love your mom's adaptability -- along with your dad's response to the boyfriends!

  3. I like my mom’s meat sauce. There’s no written recipe per say because she never measures anything but she’s been teaching me to make it.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

    1. My mother fibbed on her recipe cards. Isn't that unbelievable? She wanted to be the only person who knew how to cook things, so she fibbed! Even to me, her own daughter!

  4. when I was young my grandmother lived with us for 7 years. She cooked and baked like an expert and was adept at everything. She did not have to follow recipes since she had been creating these meals, and treats for many years so it was easy and a natural talent. I watched her make these wonderful and tasty stews, desserts and pastries. My favorite was mandelbrot but I could never replicate this as I did not have her talent and ability. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I think cooking well by instinct is a gift. I need to follow recipes myself. I watch the chefs on the "Food" network, and I'm dazzled!

  5. Your recipe looks delectable and the book fascinating. My mother who I miss everyday was a very good cook. She would make delicious meals from ordinary ideas. Her roast chicken, with veggies was tasty and unforgettable and her challah the best I have ever tasted. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Yes, some of the simplest recipes are the best!

  6. What a treasured recipe. Thanks for sharing.
    My husband and I are not fond of tarragon. Any suggestions for a replacement?
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    1. Hmmm... I follow recipes, so I don't have the gift of knowing how to substitute one spice or herb for another. I'm sorry. That said, I wonder if another subtle flavoring like sage might work.

    2. Libby, I like Jane's suggestion of sage. I might also try oregano or thyme. Both sage and thyme are strong flavors, so be judicious with them.

    3. That's funny, Leslie. I know so little about herbs, I called sage "subtle"! I love thyme, and think that's a great idea.

    4. Thanks, ladies.
      "Be judicious with them" is good advice.
      I never know when my grown daughter is going to suddenly complain about a flavor in something I cook.

  7. My mom has a great recipe for a white icing. It takes a little time to make but we enjoy it. Looking forward to reading your new book. Thank you for the giveaway@

    1. Sorry, forgot my email. It's

    2. Thank you, Carol. White icing... yum!

  8. Sounds good! Thanks for the chance!

  9. Thanks for the Chicken Dijon recipe. It sounds delicious. I have some recipes from my mother who was famous for her pies - especially chocolate cream pie. My husband is of Lebanese descent. His grandfather came to the US when he was very young, settled in southeastern Ohio and started an ice cream business. The recipe was never written down. My husband decided he was going to replicate his grandfather's recipe. After many test batches and taste testing (it was a hard job but someone had to do it), he's perfected the recipe. Four years ago, we wrote a family cookbook with the ice cream recipe as well as some of his favorite recipes handed down from his grandmother. Jane - I've been attending your monthly webinars. They are great and thanks for doing them. I'm looking forward to reading your latest book, Hidden Treasures. Thank you.

    1. oops - forgot my e-mail address -

    2. Teresa, thanks for the story and the kind words about the webinars!

  10. A new neighbor (the first of many, many family moves) when I was about 6 years old gave my mom her recipe for Polka Dot Macaroons. These flourless cookies became a family favorite (even before that was a thing). My children and grandchildren love them, too, and we make them often. Miss Marge remained a special friend (long distance) to our family through those many moves. After my mom passed 20 years ago, the families lost touch. I was blessed to learn an update about her and her family a year or so ago. Thanks for the opportunity to share. Looking forward to "Hidden Treasure."

    1. Lynn, I love how family friends like Miss Marge become these storied figures for generations! For us, it was "the Frank girls" (adult women) and their Christmas cookies!

  11. Dear Jane,

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, your writing, and your wisdom during your monthly webinars.

    Every Christmas Eve, my mother made two Sicilian desserts, struffoli, fried bow-shaped dough (bows are much better than balls) drizzled with warm honey, and cucidati, think fig newtons fit for the gods. Actually, fig newtons pale in comparison. We only ate them on Christmas Eve. Alas, I do not have her recipe. I wish I'd have the foresight to write them down before she passed. Those who have these precious recipes are so lucky. They are real treasures.

    Paula Messina

  12. Paula, thank you for your kind words. I agree about that writing down family recipes creatures a real treasure.

  13. Thanks for the recipe; I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken.
    Although my mom always put nutritious meals on the table, she wasn't a particularly inspired cook. She was more of an "eat to live" person, whereas my dad loved to cook and eat. She was torn between enjoying his creations and resenting cleaning up the huge mess he left in the kitchen. He never used recipes and never made a dish the same way twice. I tend to be more like my dad, although I'm now forcing myself to write down my recipes. People ask for them and also, as I get older, I'm starting to forget key steps or ingredients.
    I'm enjoying Jane's excellent webinars and would love a copy of Hidden Treasure. My email is

    1. Sharon, I am always dazzled by people like your dad who can cook instinctively. Thank you for your kind words about the webinars!