Cook This: Chicken Divan

Roasted leg of lamb, seafood pasta, stuffed grape leaves, roasted chicken — these were my favorite dishes my mother whipped up when I was a kid. You can also add “chicken divan” to that list, too.

Fun fact: Chicken Divan is a chicken casserole usually served with broccoli and Mornay sauce. It was named after the place of its invention, the Divan Parisien Restaurant in the New York City Chatham Hotel where it was served as the signature dish in the early twentieth century.

Anyhoo, I was bored with my usual dinner menu rotation (tacos, roast chicken, turkey picadillo, repeat), so I decided to recreate this childhood favorite for my kids in hope they like it as much as I do. Here goes:

Ingredients

2  packages frozen broccoli, chopped

6 cups shredded chicken, cooked

2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon curry powder

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove the outer wrappers from the boxes of broccoli. Open 1 end of each box. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the broccoli and put into a casserole dish. Add the shredded chicken.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, Cheddar, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper, to taste, and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the broccoli and chicken. Mix well with a spatula.
  4. Place the mixture into an 11 by 7-inch casserole dish or 2 (9-inch) square disposable aluminum foil pans that have been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the top.
  5. Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Cook’s Note: Try topping with Cheddar or Gruyere cheese.

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