This chicken divan is a delicious way to dress up chicken, and it is perfect to serve for a special occasion or dinner party.
Last week I did a little tribute to my mom for Mothers’ Day, and I mentioned that I was going to be making over one of her signature dishes – chicken divan.
I still wanted this to be really delicious, and I did not want to compromise on flavor. So my approach is to make her original dish more “real food” friendly.
It is still a decadent dish with thick creamy, cheesy sauce. YUM.
It’s probably not as bad as you would think calorie and PointsPlus wise, though. And it is a little more work than I would normally do for say a weeknight family dinner. But totally WORTH. IT.
Before I share the modifications, let me just say that I will eat my Mama’s version of this recipe any time she is willing to make it for me. Even though I am careful about my food choices, I am not a food snob. I try to stay away from processed things most of the time, but sometimes I do indulge. Especially for family classics like this!
That actually brings up something I have been thinking about doing here on the blog. Sometimes I want to share a recipe with y’all that’s not so healthy, but then I get ALL conflicted. I feel an obligation that ALL of my recipes must have the thread of health running through them.
Throwing Down the YOLO Card?
Side note: One thing I have been tossing around is giving myself a YOLO card here on the blog. I.e., You Only Live Once…so sometimes you’ve got to just break ALL the rules. I would LOVE to share YOLO recipes (not healthy, but yummy) with y’all.
This type of recipe would probably be infrequent (maybe once a month at most?). Because I don’t make or eat such things very often. And it would come with fair warning (YOLO in the title, perhaps).
I do fear the backlash a little. Since my site name has the word “healthy” in it, I usually feel an obligation to stick with that theme. And I still want to do that! But part of my food philosophy is to break all the rules every once in a while. And if I am going to post a YOLO recipe it has to be totally worth the splurge.
So it is something I am considering. I may attempt to make them healthier in a follow up post? But honestly that may not even happen. Some things just should not be messed with. Amiright?! So we’ll see!
Mom’s Original Chicken Divan Recipe
Here is her original chicken divan recipe…the YOLO recipe, if you will. 🙂
I just snapped a photo of her recipe card, as not to confuse Google with two recipe schema in one post.
And now let me tell you how I tweaked my mom’s chicken divan recipe. It’s like my own little version of Not My Mama’s Meals. 🙂
So the first thing I did was divide her recipe in half because I knew the whole thing would make way-hay-hay too much for me little family of three. My version makes six servings. If you are making it for a crowd, double it!
Second, I switched out the canned cream of chicken soup for a homemade version, made with a little flour-butter mixture (AKA roux), milk and chicken stock.
Third, I switched out the processed cheese from my mom’s dish with real Fontina cheese. YUM. I am high-fiving myself on that one. Totally delicious!
Fourth, I made it a little easier by taking advantage of some food prep by using my own basic shredded chicken as the base for this recipe.
And last, I used light (not fat free) sour cream.
It was a WIN, y’all! This was SO good!
Tools Used to Make This Recipe
Note: The below contains Amazon affiliate links.
- I used a 2.5 quart oval casserole dish from this CorningWare set.
- I used this small pot with lid to steam the broccoli.
- I used a medium mesh strainer to drain the broccoli.
- Whisk to make the roux.
- You’ll also need to make some of my basic shredded chicken ahead of time. I took some out of the freezer and de-thawed it for this recipe.
Chicken Divan Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- ⅓ cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup milk (I used 1%)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- dash of pepper
- ½ cup light sour cream
- 1.5 Tablespoon cooking sherry
- ¾ cup fontina cheese (132 grams), torn or chopped into small chunks
- 2 cups cooked broccoli florets
- 16 ounces of my cooked shredded chicken
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Fill a small pot with 1 inch of water, and add the broccoli florets.
- Bring water to a boil; reduce heat, and put the lid on for four minutes.
- Remove the broccoli from the heat, and drain; set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over low heat (about 1.5 - 2 minutes)
- Add flour, and stir to combine; cook for about a minute on low.
- Add the milk, chicken broth, garlic salt, pepper and cooking sherry, and whisk to combine.
- Cook on medium low until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the cheese and sour cream.
- Turn off the heat, and continue to stir until the cheese chunks melt.
- Spray a 2.5 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle in the shredded chicken and cooked broccoli evenly.
- Pour the cheese sauce mixture over the chicken and broccoli, and sprinkle with a bit of paprika (about ⅛ teaspoon) for garnish.
- Bake at 375 until bubble and golden, about 24 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and serve over cooked rice.
Rice is not included in PointsPlus or Nutrition information.
I hope you enjoy this chicken divan recipe! Pin it if it looks good to you.