Chicken Broccoli. It announced “company’s coming!” back in the 1970’s, when I was a kid learning to cook in our suburban California kitchen, complete with orange and brown plaid wallpaper, and curtains with fringe. We didn’t read labels so much back then, and casserole-magic happened when you stirred together a couple cans of cream of chicken soup, some mayonnaise, and a sprinkle of curry powder. I’m transported back to that kitchen whenever I look through my recipe file. I remember the orange tupperware measuring cup we accidentally melted on the electric burner.
Tori Ritchie’s Tuesday Recipe for “Amanda’s Chicken Divan” is a modern remake of the classic Chicken Broccoli casserole. Make it on a Sunday for a home-cooked meal later in the week. A thirty minute reheat is all you’ll need before sitting down to dinner. (I’ve made the following recipe using gluten free flour and breadcrumbs – works great.)
- 4 bone-in chicken breast halves
- 1 head broccoli, washed, trimmed into florets and edible stem, dried w/towel
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 12 ounces chicken broth
- 4 ounces half-and-half
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- optional: 1 cup crisp bread crumbs (from 2 slices of bread)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken and broccoli on two separate sheet pans, sprinkle each with salt, and bake until done -- about 20 minutes for the broccoli, and about 30 - 45 minutes for the chicken, until juices run clear.
- Make the sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Add the broth and keep whisking until it starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low and whisk for 3 more minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half, whisking 1 more minute, then remove from heat.
- Stir in about half of the cheddar cheese, lemon juice, and curry powder. Add a couple pinches of salt and a grind or three of black pepper.
- When chicken is done, remove meat from the bone and shred into pieces or cut into bite-sized chunks. Layer chicken meat and broccoli in a 8x11 inch glass lasagne dish. Pour the sauce over and top with the remaining cheddar cheese and bread crumbs. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees F, removing foil for last 10 minutes to crisp cheese.