Chicken Divan is a family classic that my mom use to make my brothers and me back in the day. And one of the dishes I made to impress my husband, then boyfriend, so I guess it worked. Of course, back then I was using an old family recipe with mayonnaise, cream of chicken soup, and some other beauties. In my pursuit to find a recipe that didn’t include the cream of chicken soup, mayo combo my mom used, I stumbled upon a wonderful one from the kitchn.com (here is the original recipe) http://www.thekitchn.com/chicken-divan-casserole-from-s-129235
Here is my version with some tweaks and twists for you to enjoy! I like this meal with some fresh made artisan bread (recipe to follow) and a glass of wine.
No Can Chicken Divan
(adapted from http://www.thekitchn.com)
serves 4 to 6
- 4 Cups Chicken*
- 2 Heads of Broccoli
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 5 Tablespoons Flour
- 2 Cups warmed milk
- 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
*You can use a rotisserie chicken to make things easier and less time consuming. I bought 2 large bone-on, skin-on chicken breasts and parboiled it with some onions, carrots, celery, garlic, 1 T salt, pepper, and bay leaf to make chicken stock along with having some deliciously flavorful chicken to add to my Divan. I also like to use the broth to cook the broccoli as well.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Butter a 9×9 baking dish
Pull chicken into pieces and set aside. Blanch broccoli in chicken broth (if using from your chicken poaching), or water, set aside or mix with chicken.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan, and add flour and whisk, cook for about 3 minutes to cook off flour.
Slowly add heated milk (I heat mine in the microwave for 30 second intervals, usually adding up to one minute and thirty seconds), whisking for 4 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Grate in 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Add all cheese, except 1/2 cup of parmesan.
Layer half of the chicken and broccoli in the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Pour half of the cheese mixture over the chicken and broccoli, and repeat. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.