Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Dinner (Chicken Divan) & Dessert (Lemon Berry Trifle)

For Easter dinner, I made a family favorite, Chicken Divan.  It's a good meal to make when you have more than a couple of people to feed and it is also good because you can make it ahead of time and then just pop in the oven on the day you want to serve it.  I like to serve it on a bed of rice.  We are having cheesy foccacia rolls with dinner.  For dessert, I decided to keep it a little lighter since our meal was heavier than normal, so I made a Lemon Berry Trifle.  I read several recipes and decided to use bits and pieces of different recipes.  I've posted my chicken divan recipe before, but had never taken many pics to show you how easily it comes together.  I do want to say that for our dinner this evening, I quadrupled the "regular" recipe that is posted below (I used 12 boneless chicken breasts and 2 pounds of fresh broccoli, etc. so we'd have plenty leftover).  I've included a few pics below, as well as some pics of the Lemon Berry Trifle and the recipes.

Freshly steamed broccoli is the first layer (I use a lot of broccoli)
Chicken breast chunks get layered next on top of the broccoli
The chicken layer is complete and waiting for the sauce
The sauce layer is complete and waiting for the cheddar cheese
The cheddar cheese is waiting to be topped with buttered bread crumbs
Bread crumbs added...waiting to be popped into the oven!
Fresh out of the oven!
Aerial view
A little bit closer
Beautiful tulips from Ms. them!

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 if your prefer)
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.

Below are a few pics of the Lemon Berry Trifle ingredients.  It was a quick and easy dessert to put together and refreshing after a big meal.  The recipe follows below.

Beautiful strawberries -- I used all 64 oz (8 cups, sliced)
Beautiful blueberries -- they were expensive -- $8.99 for 16 oz
Pound cake
Lemon curd that was folded into the whipped cream topping
Top of the trifle
Another shot of the top
So pretty!

Easter baskets...oh yeah!
Time for dinner!
So pretty!
Happy Easter!
Lemon Berry Trifle

1 large pound cake, store bought or home made, cut into cubes
6 to 8 cups sliced fresh strawberries (reserve a few berries for garnishing)
2/3 cup sugar (to toss with the sliced strawberries)
Lemon zest, from one fresh lemon
2 cups fresh blueberries (reserve a few berries for garnishing)
2 tablespoons sugar (to toss with the blueberries)
4 cups of sweetened whipped cream or frozen whipped topping (thawed)
1 10-oz jar lemon curd, or home made lemon curd (chilled)

In a large bowl, combine sliced strawberries and lemon zest with 2/3 cup sugar (more or less to taste) and set aside for a couple of hours or overnight to macerate (the sugar helps extract the juices from the strawberries and they make their own syrup).  In a smaller bowl, toss the blueberries with a couple of tablespoons of sugar and set aside.  In a separate bowl, fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream or whipped topping to make a mousse-like consistency. 

In a large trifle bowl (or glass bowl), spread a layer of cubed pound cake on the bottom of your bowl; drizzle the cubes with some of the sweetened strawberry juice that was extracted after macerating in the sugar.  Next, scatter approximately 1/3 of the strawberries and a few tablespoons of the blueberries; top and spread with lemon curd mousse.  Repeat these layers twice more: cake cubes, drizzle of syrup, strawberries/blueberries, lemon curd mousse.  Garnish the final top layer (lemon curd mousse) with the berries you reserved and a few mint leaves if you wish.  Chill well before serving.

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