A Recipe from Fogged Inn

by Barb, in Key West, where it’s a frigid seventy degrees. Brrrrrr.

FoggedInnfrontcoveryellowHi all. I’m started to get excited about the launch of Fogged Inn, the fourth book in my Maine Clambake Mystery series which is coming on February 23rd.

Fogged Inn takes place in the off-season, when the Snowden Family Clambake is closed. To fill the long winter months, my protagonist Julia Snowden and her boyfriend Chris Durand have taken on the task of running a restaurant in their friend Gus’s place. Gus serves breakfast and lunch, as he has for fifty years. Julia and Chris take over for dinner, or as Gus calls it, “suppah.”

Julia and Chris are walking a fine line with the restaurant, which they call, “Gus’s Too.” They want it to be a casual neighborhood gathering place, but since it is the only eat-in restaurant open on the peninsula during the off-season, they also want it to be a place where a couple can have a “date night.” To attract a regular winter clientele, Julia and Chris know they have to keep the restaurant affordable, but to be a date night destination, they have to offer up something a little special. Plus, the meals have to be prepared and served with a skeleton staff–it’s only Julia and Chris as they find their way in the beginning. The food has to be creative to keep Chris’s interest, but not so creative that they lose their core customers. Finally, Gus is adamant that they not serve anything on his menu, which rules out burgers and dogs, lobster and clam rolls.

My husband, Bill, who develops the Maine Clambake recipes, and I had a lot of fun trying out recipes to suit Gus’s Too’s limited and ever-changing menu. (They offer only three entries, a chicken, a beef and an fish, along with three appetizers and two deserts every night.) There seemed to be constraints piled upon constraints. But happily, Bill threaded the needle and came up with some great ones.

Today I offer you–

Gus’s Too Date Night Stuffed Chicken Breast with Lemon-Tarragon Sauce

Adapted for home use, of course.


4–6 ounces pancetta, cut into ¼-inch cubes
8 chicken cutlets pounded ¼-inch thick, 1/8-inch thick at the edges
1–2 cups baby spinach leaves
4–6 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into 1/8-inch cubes
2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup flour
3 eggs

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth, warmed
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon tarragon, chopped


Fry the pancetta over medium heat until browned.

Lay each cutlet flat on a board. Put a small handful of spinach leaves and 1 Tablespoon each of pancetta and Fontina cubes in the center. Roll the cutlet into a packet, folding the sides into the center and pinching to seal.

Put cutlets in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to complete sealing process.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan in a bowl and put half on a plate. Put flour on another plate, and lightly beat eggs with a fork in a separate bowl.

Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Roll each packet first in flour, being sure to shake off excess, then in egg, and finally in bread crumbs. Place on a wire rack set on a sheet pan.

Cook chicken for 40–45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees.

Foggedinnchicken2In the last twenty minutes or so of cooking time, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. After it stops foaming, add flour and whisk together constantly for about 3 minutes.

Begin adding broth slowly, whisking together, and continue to slowly add broth, whisking all the while.

Cook on medium-low heat until sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add lemon juice and chopped tarragon and cook for 1 minute more.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves: 4

If you try it, I hope you enjoy!

23 Thoughts

  1. Sounds delicious. And Fogged Inn will be the next book I read. Looking forward to starting it at some point this week.

    We are in the upper 70’s here, but it is coming with high winds. We didn’t have high winds much this fall, so I’m saying our autumn has finally hit (never mind the rain we got in December and January).

    1. Rain is good, right? Or at least if there isn’t too much of it at one time.

      It’s cool in Key West, which is a bummer because house guests are coming, but we’ll have to throw on sweaters and carry on.

  2. What an enjoyable post to get readers introduced to this book. Congratulations on the latest release Barbara. The recipe sounds so simple and good–my kind of recipe these days of not being able to stand up for very long. Really looking forward to the book.

  3. One of my favorite meals, I love your choices. So looking forward to FOGGED IN, Barb, and congratulation on the release.
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

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