Yum Peaceful Cooking: Chicken Divan - An Old Favorite

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chicken Divan - An Old Favorite

I have loved this dish for as long as I can remember.

 I wonder...how much Chicken Divan influenced my life? Why would I think that? It was the first meal I had ever cooked for my then new boyfriend and now husband.

Yep, I invited Sir Sportsalot to my house to watch.......what? can you take a guess? A Lakers vs. Celtic game. Back when Magic Johnson played. Back when the Lakers were on top of the world : Magic Johnson, Kurt Rambis, James Worthy, Byran Scott, A. C. Green, Michael Cooper and the true legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It was an awesome game with Magic Johnson making in incredible 1/2 court shot to win the game at the buzzer.

And of course, followed by a homemade dinner cooked and served by a 110 lb. blonde with goo-goo eyes and heart flutters.

The poor guy didn't have a chance.

My grandmother passed the recipe down to me. She had moved to Alabama and I had to make one of those long distance calls, that cost me an arm and a leg, to get the recipe. This was waaaaaaay before the days when the phone companies started offering unlimited nationwide calling.

I still have the original paper I used to jot down the recipe as she tried to explain to me what to do and how.

Ya...that paper has been around the kitchen for many many years and has the battle scars to prove it. I think I keep it now just for the sentimental value. It reminds me of the good ole days. I don't have the heart to replace it.....it's been through too much. It deserves respect amongst the other recipes. After all, it is a veteran.

(side  note....I just saw the 7-day weather report and I'm a little irritated that it's going to be 80 on Thanksgiving Day. greeeeeeeeeaaat. Nothing like having the oven on all day long, while the turkey cooks and the A/C is on.)


Nana (the name I call my grandmother on my mom's side) says we need the following:

1 - cooked chicken (you probably won't use it all) I happened to have some leftover chicken in the fridge that I used
2 bunches of broccoli
6 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (or more if you're anything like me)

now I have 2 recipes for the sauce. One is from scratch and one is a "quickie"

From Scratch Sauce Recipe:
2 cups chicken stock (thicken with flour or corn starch...about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder (or more to taste...I always use more)
garlic to taste

combine and simmer slowly until flavors blend

Quickie Sauce Recipe (this is the one I usually end up using):
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can of mayo
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp curry powder
garlic to taste

Steam your broccoli

Funny how cats know the sound of a can opening


Combine your sauce ingredients and simmer until just blended.

Just make sure you don't let it get too hot or the sauce will break.....errrr.....separate. The mayo will cause that to happen (been there, done that....a few irritating times.)

Then get out your casserole dish. (oh wait...preheat your oven to 350'). Spray the casserole dish with non-sticking spray or whatever you like to use. Oil...shortening....whatever. Line the bottom with your steamed broccoli....

FYI...I normally use a 13x9 casserole dish but this night only my oldest daughter and I were going to be eating so I had cut the recipe in half and used an 8x8 dish.

Shred your chicken and place it over the broccoli.

Next I poured the sauce over the chicken and broccoli and covered that with a whooooole bunch of cheddar cheese. As far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier

Bake for about 30 minutes. Basically you just need it to heat through, get bubble and for the cheese to get all melty and yummy.

Ya, it's rich. If you don't want it that rich, cut the mayo in half and use sour cream or plain yoghurt for the other half. Or just use your favorite curry sauce. Me? My daughter? ya, we like it rich.

So what is it about this recipe that just makes me go mmmmmm? I love curry...but the combo of broccoli (probably my favorite veggie) and curry sauce and cheese.....ooooooh lordy have mercy on me!! This is some good stuff. Ultimate comfort food in my book.


  1. Send me some over, I so need some comfort against the flu pressing on my head and chest.
    My dog gets all alert as soon as he hears the sound of a chopping knife. And starts wining, even if I show him it's only tomatoes that I'm cutting, he refuses to believe.

  2. poor guy never stood a chance... B-Ball and food, what more could he have expected?

    Great recipe, I love the passed down recipes, such great stories

  3. So I have actually never had this dish but it is one of those classics that I feel like I should try at some point. I loved reading about all of the memories you have attached to it, from your grandmother to your husband. This is comfort food at its best!

    And yes I remember the Lakers of yore. Those were the days...

  4. LOL love it!! I'm going to have to try it!

  5. ok, I'm gonna say it...YUM! Cute story and I love LOVE the recipe paper. Made me smile!

  6. Wow! What a delicious and simple dish!!!! Great recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. "Sir Sportsalot"....LOLLOLLOLL!

    I call mine Mr. Tastebuds not because he has any tastebuds but because he "thinks" he does!

    Love this post! Love the family recipe and I especially love that you've kept the notes you took from Nana!

  8. You are so funny with your cooked chicken sign! :D This looks very yummy and warm!

    You could laminate your recipe! It looks very loved!

  9. I love the nickname for your husband, Sir Sportsalot! That's so funny and cute! What a cute post and a much loved recipe. It sounds delicious!

  10. I loved hearing the stories behind it. Makes it all the more comforting to eat! Looks so ooey gooey and yummy!

  11. What a delicious looking classic dish! Iam putting this on my list of a weeknight meal soon!! Thanks Nana!

  12. Meridith Viera made an apple pie with Martha Stewart the other day and had her mother's recipe framed. It looked just like yours. What I mean to say is: Frame your recipe. It has a nice history. Oh, and your Chicken Divan looks great!

  13. LMAO over your ingredient photo. I dunno....your "chicken" looks a little pale;)

    Cute post about your courtship and I love that you have the original recipe. I have one of those from my grandmother.

  14. I love, love, love that you have the original recipe! And showed it to us. I have a friend who is doing a cookbook like that- scanning in the originals from her family.

    Nothing better than Chicken Divan.

  15. What an awesome story! I love family recipes!

  16. Dajana - I'm sorry you didn't feel well. :(

    Grill - that soon in the "relationship" he couldn't "expect" anything more!! LMAO

    Joanne - oooh, if you like curry, you really should try this. (don't tell my husband...but I miss the Lakers of your)

    Tango - you've never had chicken divan?

    DD - I have a stack of recipe papers and cards. I think thats why I joined Bakespace...to help organize it all LOL

    Erica - yes, you gotta love it when it's simple, dontcha :)

    Michelle - LMAO @ Mr. Tastebuds explanation!!!

    Ungourmet - hahaha...I was hoping someone noticed that. I should laminate that recipe. great idea!!!

    Kim - thank you Kim :) it's still one of my favorite recipes

    Reeni - oh ya...ooey, gooey sauce and cheese...you got it girl!!

    Donna - Nana says "You're welcome!"

    Cathy - awww..framed? you know...that would be cool. Then I could hang it in the kitchen.

    Chris - hahaha...ya, well, the pale chicken looked better than my cooked chicken in a freezer bag, floating in a bowl of cold water to defrost. LOL

    Barbara - that is so cool! I wish I had the time to make a family recipe book like that!

    Fresh - Family recipes are what makes cooking so personal...its all what we grew up on.

  17. Try adding some French' fried onions on top for the last 5 minutes of baking, you will not regret this. You will thank me!


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