Guest Post: Chicken Divan

I’m excited to have Teryl here today to share a very tasty main dish with you.  I ‘met’ Teryl in the GNOWFGLINS eCourse Forum where she posted the recipe she is sharing with a request to rework it and make it more nutritious (nutrient dense/less processed). The recipe sounded delicious and a few simple changes were all that was required to make it more real/whole/traditional foods friendly.
 
I’ll let Teryl introduce herself and share the original recipe.  Below her space, I’ll pop back on and share the changes that I made when preparing this recipe for my family. Please welcome Teryl.
 
I’m a 53 year old housewife, mommy of five, proud grandma of one, business partner (we own a little mom and pop shop making knives; Mad Dog Knives), and a wanna-be micro farmer.  I play in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) which is an organization that recreates medieval and renaissance times, an activity I started while homeschooling my four girls in a successful effort to teach them some history.  They learned by doing fun things and at the time they didn’t even realize they were learning history and because they associate what they learned with something they really enjoyed, their recall of various historical facts and time lines is very good.
 
My garden has yet to be started because I have an enormous project ahead of me just getting it prepped, but when it is done, I am sure all the effort and expense will pay off.  We live in the high mountain desert of Arizona, about an hour west of Flagstaff and maybe 45 minutes south of beautiful downtown Sedona, nestled in the Chino Valley in a tiny town bearing the same name. High mountain desert gardening in the Southwest has it’s own set of issues of which to contend.
 
Now to turn this Tonka truck around and go in a completely different direction; I have been asked to share a family recipe for Chicken Divan that is the one dish always requested for birthdays, family events, first time meetings of new boyfriends, homecomings, etc, etc,, you get the idea. 
 
I love to cook and rarely if ever follow any recipe exactly, but rather I throw various unmeasured bits of this and a little of that together that I think might taste good, season to taste, and hope for the best.  That said, asking me for a recipe is always a bit risky, but here goes.
 
Chicken Divan
Shredded roasted chicken, I usually make it with 4 – 8 breasts depending on how many I’m feeding
 
Approximately equal amounts of condensed cream of chicken soup (1 – 2 cans or it’s approx equal), sour cream, and mayonnaise – I tend to go a little lighter on the mayo
 
A brick of extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
 
A couple of handfuls of shredded Parmesan cheese
 
Fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 – 2 lemons depending on how juicy they are

The better part of an entire bottle of curry (or to taste)

Mix it all together and bake at 350 until all the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve over steamed rice and broccoli.
Enjoy!  Oh, and side note, we always make more than we expect to eat because it makes the best ever breakfast the next morning, I’m just saying. 🙂

As a note, I do have a recipe for making my own curry, which I have yet to try but plan to. It is out of another favorite cookbook called, Better Than Store Bought, by Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie, recipe to follow;Curry
2 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
the seeds from 20 med cardamom pods or aobut 1 teasp of seeds
3 tbl coriander seeds
1 tbl cumin seeds
1 tbl mustard seeds
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick (2-3 inches long), broken
1/4 teasp ground mace
1/4 teasp grated nutmeg
big pinch of pepper
2 tbl gound turmeric
cayenne to tasteHeat oven to 225
Combine first 7 ingredients, bake 15 min then let cool
Combine remaining ingredients with the roasted spices and grind in spice mill to powder form
Makes about 1/2 cup; store in airtight container
 
Thank you Teryl for introducing my family to this tasty dish.  I made it for dinner one evening and my husband said it was “better than eating out”. He’s right, it is Yummy.  I did make a few changes to the recipe. Here’s what I did;
 
Chicken Divan- Reworked
 

 
6 roasted chicken breasts, cut in chunks (used home grown/free range chicken)
 
One ‘batch’ Basic Cream of Soup (or use this gravy recipe but leave it on the thick side)
 
3/4 cup Sour Cream (with nothing but cultured cream in it, homemade would be great but I used Daisy brand)
 
3/4 cup Mayonnaise (make your own so it is GMO free)
 
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
 
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
 
Juice of one lemon
 
1/4 cup Curry Powder (mine is from Azure Standard)
Salt and pepper to taste
 
I prepared it all just like Teryl said to do. So good!  We didn’t have the leftovers for breakfast but they were just enough for a late dinner just for Joe and me. 
 
I was also thinking this would be a great way to use leftover chicken when doing Planned Overs.  My husband, Joe,  suggested we try this with antelope (since we have quite a bit in the freezer) but I have to say… I just don’t think Antelope Divan has quite the right ring to it. We’ll see…
 
Thanks again for a great and versatile recipe Teryl!
 
 
Cheese Photo Credit: ShardsOfBlue on Flickr
Broccoli Photo Credit: Whologwhy on Flickr
Mayo Photo by me
Millie

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  1. Pingback: Menu Plan Week of May 26 « Real Food for Less Money

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      Millie

      Hi Laura,
      I do usually serve it with broccoli and rice. This recipe has almost become a staple for us. I often make it with leftover roasted chicken. We love it!

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