Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan a la Gus and Julia:

If you look at a google list of chicken divan recipes on the internet, you get some sad and silly results.  Some of the top recipes posted by “famous” chefs use canned soups and other processed ingredients.  When it is so easy to make from scratch, why would TV chefs use such things in a “recipe”.  Campbells posted their recipe before them and it is gonna be just as good, so why bother?

On the other hand, if you want a good from scratch chicken divan recipe made in consultation with a) one of my favorite southern cooks (my aunt), and b) Julia Child, you’ve come to the right place.

Ingredients:

2 whole chicken breasts

2 heads of broccoli

12-16 oz spaghetti

8 oz gruyere cheese

8 oz medium cheddar (or mild hoop cheese)

1 stick unsalted butter

4 cups whole milk

Flour

Salt, Pepper, Cayenne pepper

Breadcrumbs or crumbled corn flakes

Pimento strips

Chicken. Cut 2 whole chicken breasts into long narrow strips and brown in the pan with 1 tbls butter.  Remove from heat.

Broccoli.  Blanch 1-2 heads of broccoli for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and rinse in cold water.

Spaghetti. Boil 12 oz of spaghetti.  Remove from heat, rinse in cold water and drain.

The Sauce.

4 tbs butter, 6 tbs flour.

Grate the cheese and set to one side.

Heat 4 cups of whole milk and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil (you can microwave this).

In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Blend in the flour and cook slowly, stirring, until the butter and flour froth for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the hot milk all at once.  Beat hard with a whisk and blend until fine.

Set over medium high heat and stir until it comes back to a boil, boil for 1 minute.

Beat in ¼ to ½ cup of cheese:  half medium cheddar and half gruyere, grated.  Beat until melted and blended.

Remove from heat, add 1 tbls pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp cayenne.  Taste and adjust.

Casserole. In a casserole dish, spread the broccoli spears, spaghetti, and chicken in layers (in that order).  Cover with remaining cheese.  Pour the cheese sauce.  Top with a thin layer of the breadcrumbs and the pimento strips.  Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and melted (everything is already cooked).

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3 Responses to “Chicken Divan”

  1. kitsapFG Says:

    The snow looks so pretty. I can enjoy winter briefly during the holidays and when there is some fresh snow to make things enchanting looking … but then I am done with it! LOL!

    The greens look great. We are mostly eating from frozen, canned, and stored produce right now only supplemented lightly from the fresh garden harvests. That’s usually how ti goes for the months of December and January. The fresh eating picks up for us in early February with the return of growth on the protected greens growing in the unheated green house and under the hoop covers. Right now the sun strength is too feeble, too low on the horizon (does not clear the trees), and is still decreasing in day length to provide any energy for plant growth.

  2. kitsapFG Says:

    Oh… I intended to thank you for your Chicken Divan recipe as well. I don’t know why I don’t make this dish more often as we always enjoy it when I do.

  3. Mary Says:

    Great harvest considering your garden is covered in snow! I made Chicken Divan just a few days ago. I use curry powder in mine. I may try your recipe sometime, I love pimentos and gruyere cheese is one of my favorites. :)

    -Mary

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