Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Chicken Divan

This delicious chicken and broccoli casserole, covered with creamy, cheesy sauce and topped with the crunchy perfection of homemade croutons, is one of our favorite family recipes.  I have been making it since we were first married, (almost 40 years now).  It was one of my Mother in Law's recipes, and when Steve and I got married, I quickly learned to make it, and to this day, our kids count it as one of their favorites as well.

The original recipe calls for Cream of Chicken soup and Mayonnaise, and I have tried variations to try to do away with the Cream of Chicken soup and Mayonnaise combo, but I always seem to go back to the original recipe with "Cream of" soup in it, because of how easy and delicious it is.  You can buy organic "cream of soups", if you want to avoid the Cambells version and pick up a healthy mayo as well (I've been using Mayonnaise made with Avocado oil of late, and I am really  happy with it). Either way, its a family pleaser, and wonderful to serve up something special for company.  For the topping, croutons are the only way to go. If you can make them yourself, they are even better, and in recent years, I simply use fresh sourdough bread cubed and tossed in butter and seasoned with garlic salt, or just drizzle the butter over them once they are on the casserole.  They will get crunchy while baking in the oven.

1.  Start by cooking and de-boning a chicken. You will want about 4 cups of cooked, cubed chicken.

2.   Pour two bags of frozen broccoli into a 9X13 rectangular casserole pan or two small casserole pans (I sometimes use two smaller pans and freeze one of the casseroles for another meal).

3. Spread chicken evenly over broccoli.

4. Stir together Cream of chicken soups, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and lemon essential oil. 

5. Spread the mixture evenly over the chicken and broccoli.

6.  Top with Shredded Cheese.

7.  Add croutons to the top of the Cheese. 

8. If you are using fresh cubed sourdough bread or french bread, instead of croutons, like I am using here, drizzle melted butter over the top, and sprinkle with garlic salt. 

9.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, or until topping is browned and the base is bubbly and hot. I like to cook it until the broccoli is just done, but not over done.

10. Dish it up and enjoy.

Over the years, we have served this dish up with a sweet potato side dish, a salad and rolls and sometimes rice. It seems kind of strange to think to serve it with sweet potatoes, but the flavors have always gone together so well. I think Steve's Mom may have served it that way one time, and we have done it ever since.

Chicken Divan

4 cups cooked and cubed chicken.
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
10 drops Food Grade Lemon Essential Oil (I use Young Living Essential Oils) (This an optional addition that I have loved adding, because it really enhances the lemon flavor)
3  cups shredded cheddar cheese 
2-3 cups croutons or cubed Sourdough bread, drizzled with 1/3 cup melted butter and sprinkled with garlic salt)

  1. Spray the bottom of a 8x6 casserole dish.
  2. Spread chopped broccoli evenly in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Top with chicken
  4. In a small mixing bowl, mix together cream of chicken soups, mayonnaise and lemon juice and mix together well.
  5. Spread the mixture over the chicken and broccoli.
  6. Top with cheese and then croutons.
  7. Bake 30-45 minutes, until the croutons are golden brown, and the casserole is bubbly.


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