Chicken Divan

This recipe comes from a neighborhood cook book my mom helped to create in the mid 80’s. I was curious about the origin of this recipe, I looked in the Betty Crocker cookbook and did not find the recipe and this peaked my interest. “Where does this recipe come from”? I was curious if it was one of those Mormon culture recipes like funeral potatoes.

Original Recipe circa 1983

I googled Chicken Divan and according to Wikipedia (we all know this is not accurate resource, but they do have interesting details) According to Wikipedia “Chicken Divan is a chicken casserole usually served with broccoli, almonds, and Mornay sauce (Cheese sauce). It was named after the place of its invention, the Divan Parisiennne Restaurant in the New York Chatham Hotel where it was served as the signature dish in the early twentieth century. Its creator, a chef named Lagasi, created it as part of a contest, winning a small amount of money and creating the hotel’s signature dish. In French, the word divan refers to a meeting place or great hall, and thus the name was chosen to imply a kind of continental elegance.”

So there you have it, an award winning, dish of continental elegance created in New York at a French restaurant around the turn of the century. It is not french at all. Interesting.

Instructions

Cook rice according to instructions. Cool slightly before using.

Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces. Steam for 5 minutes. Do not cook thoroughly. Remove from heat and drain, to prevent over cooking.
Simmer chicken breasts in water until meat turns white throughout about 15 minutes.

Shred cooked chicken breast by pulling the meat apart with two forks. If while shredding you find some uncooked meat simply put it back in the pan for 5 minutes. You can also use a roasted chicken for this.

Combine soup, mayonnaise, and mustard. Stir well.

Pour rice in a casserole dish. Layer with chicken then broccoli. Pour sauce over top.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Top with cheese return to oven for 5 minutes. Serve, let cool 15 minutes.

Some people choose to cover this with bread crumbs or potato chips. Both these methods make me cringe. Especially potato chips. What crazy house wife thought it was a good idea to use potato chips?? I have a tangent about this. If you have to hide what your cooking then maybe it is not worth eating. If you feel you must hide your food, then go a head and use whatever crumbs you can find to cover your casserole.

I don’t know when or how Dijon entered my recipe. Considering all my recipes are in my head. I guess it is just my method. Curry and lemon juice can be used instead as the original recipe states.

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