Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Family Favorites - Chicken Divan

Today I decided to start posting some of our "family favorites"...these are recipes that are time tested by my family (which includes my 3 grown kids) and are favorites that I have been making for MANY years.  I am going to start with Chicken Divan.  My mother actually used to make this casserole for us when we were kids growing up.  That is how long this recipe has been around....a very LONG time!  My mother had actually gotten this recipe from one of our old neighbors, "Hildegard Jett"...a tiny blonde German woman with a very heavy accent who I remember as being rather feisty (my younger siblings were friends with her son, Tommy).  Anyway, this recipe is not only being used by the second generation of our family (me), but by the third generation as well (my daughter).

This recipe is frequently requested for special occasions such as birthdays, holidays, etc. and it is definitely one of our family favorites.  We like to serve it on a bed of rice.  There are many different variations of chicken divan but this particular recipe is my family's favorite.  This recipe is fairly simple and is a great meal to serve to a group because everything is in one dish (except for the rice) and you can make it ahead of time and then just pop in the oven when you are ready to bake it.  I love the convenience of recipes that allow me to be relaxed when having friends and family over to dinner.

Chicken Divan ready to be popped into the oven and baked!

Chicken Divan


1 pkg of 3 boneless chicken breasts (approximately 1-1/2 lbs), cooked & cut into large chunks
1  10-oz pkg frozen broccoli spears or florets, cooked & drained well (I prefer fresh broccoli, if available)
1  10-3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise)
3/4 - 1 teaspoon curry powder (more or less depending on your taste)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I use a little more)
1/2 cup bread crumbs lightly browned in 2 Tablespoons butter

  • Lightly grease a glass 11x7 or 2 quart casserole dish.  Layer your well drained broccoli in the bottom of your baking dish (florets facing outward).  Next, add your chunks of cooked chicken breast over the top of the broccoli.
  • In a medium to large bowl, mix your cream of chicken soup, Miracle Whip, curry powder and lemon juice and mix until combined.  Pour and spread this thick sauce evenly over the top of your broccoli and chicken layers.  
  • Next, sprinkle your shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top of the sauce and then sprinkle evenly with the buttered and lightly browned bread crumbs.
  • Bake at 350 F for approximately 25-30 minutes until bubbly and bread crumbs are browned.  Serving suggestion:  Serve over a bed of rice or noodles, whichever you prefer.  Makes approximately 3-4 servings.
This recipe doubles or triples very easily.  If you double the recipe, a 9x13 casserole dish works well.  This recipe is versatile and can be modified to make it lower in sodium and fat, depending on the version of canned soup you use in the sauce.  Oftentimes, I use one can of regular soup and one can of "Healthy Request" that is lower in fat and sodium.  You can substitute light or fat free Miracle Whip or mayo if you want.  If you like more sauce, double the sauce part of the recipe (my family likes it a little more saucy).  If you like more broccoli or more chicken or more cheese on top, you can add more to make it suit your own personal taste.  Play around with it and "make it your own".  I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as mine does!

No comments: