A family, and crowd, pleaser. Fresh sliced mushrooms and buttermilk add a touch of flair to this chicken divan recipe. A delicious broccoli-cheese-chicken casserole that's excellent as a brunch or supper dish.
A couple time savers are used in the recipe. Frozen broccoli and
canned soup cut down on preparation time. When you have time to
prepare everything from scratch, try the the original chicken divan recipe. A dash of nutmeg gives a slightly different flavor. I made the sauce using chicken broth. Just like in old fashioned chicken divan.
Makes 4 large or 8 small servings
Tip: It is important that the buttermilk is at room temperature to begin with and cooked over low heat during thickening, otherwise it may curdle.
Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C).
You will need a rectangular casserole, approximately 8x12-inches (20x30-centimetres), plus 2 pans, one covered and large enough to hold the chicken breasts in one layer and one medium-sized frypan. If you're using whole breasts, split and bone them.
In a large frypan or pan, cover the bottom with water and arrange the chicken breasts. Cover and steam the breasts until they turn white and become firm, adding water as needed. Remove the breasts to the rectangular casserole.
Steam broccoli spears until they can be separated. Remove and drain. In a frypan, sauté the mushrooms in butter. When soft, remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon to the casserole. Add the flour to the liquid in the frypan, mixing together to form a roux (paste). Add the buttermilk and cook over low heat until slightly thickened. Add the soup and mix well. Pour over the layered chicken-broccoli-mushroom casserole. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is fork-tender.
Credit: Adapted from Chicken Divan in Better With Buttermilk by Lee Edwards Benning.
Steam chicken breasts as directed above or fry in pan with butter (coconut oil). If you prefer bite-sized pieces, cut chicken in strips before cooking. Steam broccoli till semi-tender. Arrange chicken and broccoli in casserole dish.
Sauce: Melt butter in pot. Stir in flour until a paste forms. On medium-low heat, gradually add chicken broth and buttermilk or cream. Stir constantly. When thick add cheese. Stir until melted. Add nutmeg.
Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli. Top with shredded cheese. Bake 45 minutes in 350° F (175° C) oven.
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