Monday, April 20, 2009

And now for some American Food (Chicken Divan)

When I was in High School, one of my closest friends, Karin, used to make this casserole for her boyfriend (who later became her husband). She kindly shared her version of this popular recipe with me, which I have only slightly changed to suit my tastes. I have made this before with freshly blanched broccoli spears and also have tried it with frozen spears, either way it comes out really good. I only use as much cheese as I feel like, even though the original calls for using the entire stick of it. Karin never was all that fond of cheese, except on pizza, so for a recipe to call for an entire block of cheese seemed unusual. She was quite specific with the type of cheese - it had to be Cracker Barrel. I am sure you can use any type of shreddable cheese you prefer, but I have always stuck to the Cracker Barrel cheddar.

Karin's Chicken Divan (serves 5)
Ingredients: (the chicken didn't make it into the photo)

1 large bag of frozen broccoli florets or 2 (10 ounce) boxes frozen broccoli spears
5 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 can condensed Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup good quality real mayonnaise (do not use Miracle Whip)
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice
cornflakes cereal, crushed
1 small stick Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese (I use about half)

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and lightly grease a 9x13" casserole.

Place frozen broccoli into a colander and briefly run hot water over to rinse; drain well and place into the casserole. Cut each chicken cutlet in half, lengthwise, and place all 10 chicken strips onto the broccoli.

Mix together the undiluted soup, mayo, lemon juice, and curry powder until blended, then pour over the casserole, trying to evenly cover the chicken and broccoli.

Sprinkle enough cornflake crumbs over the top to cover, then grate as much or as little cheese over the top to cover. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, checking after the first hour to see if you need to pop a loose cover of foil on top if it is getting too brown.
Note: This time I used a Healthy Request reduced sodium version of the soup,as it was all I had, so I added a pinch of salt to the sauce mixture. I normally use the regular version.

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