Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicken Divan

My favorite professor in college used to make Chicken Divan for us when we'd have Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society dinners. It was his specialty - a Southern comfort food recipe that was one of his all-time favorites and probably the thing he made best. Anyway, this isn't his recipe. Actually, I think it's better - but that's because my version is a little more jazzed-up with seasonings etc. And it uses fresh steamed broccoli rather than frozen, which is CRUCIAL. So thank you, Dr. Borders, for the inspiration...and the introduction to a delightful wintertime (or anytime) treat.

Serves 4

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Seasonings for chicken that you like (ex. garlic salt, lemon pepper, thyme, oregano, marojam, etc.)
1 T olive oil (for sauteeing)
1 lb fresh broccoli florets
1 10.75oz can Chicken & Herbs condensed soup
1/3 C milk
1/3 C lite sour cream
At least 1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar (really as much as you want)
2 T butter
4-5 T breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 450.

Saute onions and garlic for a few minutes before adding chicken. After you add the chicken, season the chicken with whatever you think sounds good. Saute chicken for 8-10 minutes or until done.

While chicken is sauteeing, steam broccoli until just crisp-tender. Do NOT overcook!

Mix soup, milk, and sour cream together in a small bowl.

Melt butter. Mix breadcrumbs and butter together until the mixture has a nice crumbly consistency. If you need to add more breadcrumbs, do so.

Add broccoli to an oval-shaped casserole dish (or whatever dish you want). Add chicken on top of the broccoli. At this point, you can sprinkle a little of the shredded cheddar on top of the chicken/broccoli. Next, layer the soup mixture on top of the chicken and broccoli. Add the shredded cheddar cheese to the top, and then sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the top is brown and the mixture is bubbling. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with some kind of rolls to soak up the creamy sauce.


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