Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Chicken Divan

When fall hits, I crave filling and warm foods that hug you. Like chili, cornbread, homemade macaroni and cheese, and chicken and dumplings. I also desire crock pot dishes and casseroles that promise leftovers...except with Mr. B in the house it's nearly impossible...unless it's something he doesn't like, which happens at least once a week....then I need to make sure I really like it or my co-workers will get a surprise treat.

As soon as the colder weather hits, my crock pot and oven have been non-stop. And last week I started craving Chicken Divan. It's one of my many favorite go-to recipes that I pass on making in the summer because a) it's a little heavy, and b) in 90 degree heat, I don't want to turn the oven on unless it's absolutely necessary.

But when the thermostat is reading 60, it's time for a comfy blanket, the oven, and a big bowl of something Chicken Divan.

Which reminds me of my apartment days with my friend Jessica. The whole heating thing was a joke. It's a long story, but we'd find any excuse to turn on the gas stove. We'd pull up stools (while bundled in hats, gloves and blankets) and study for our exams sitting as close to the stove as we could get while we waited on dinner, which usually was tuna noodle casserole.

Oh, those were the days....hmmmm, I think not.

You can't go wrong with this dish. There's a little something for everyone.....chicken, broccoli, creamy goodness, cheese, and a hint of curry.


But the original dish was a Paula Deen recipe, so I found a few ways to lighten it up without sacrificing taste. 

And this winter you don't need to miss out on your favorite dishes. Just make a few substitutions.

Chicken Divan
*adapted from Paula Deen's recipe

Serves 6

1 (12 oz) pkg frozen broccoli, chopped
4 c shredded chicken, cooked
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/2 sour cream
1 c plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 c grated sharp cheddar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c grated Parmesan
1/2 c soft bread crumbs
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Microwave broccoli 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain well and put in large bowl. Add chicken. In medium bowl combine soup, mayo yogurt, cheddar, lemon juice, curry, salt and pepper, and broth. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour sauce over broccoli and chicken; mix well. Place mixture in 9x13" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with spatula. Combine Parmesan, crumbs and butter, and sprinkle over top. Bake 30-45 minutes.

*NOTE: Best served over brown rice.

** Also fabulous as a vegetarian dish...substitute the chicken for portobellos.

O.M.G. This is sooooooooo delicious. A perfect comfort food.

With Love and God Bless,

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