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Chicken Divan

Lemon is one of my favorite flavors to pair with chicken. This recipe also includes curry sending this to the the top of my comfort food list. This is one of the dinners that I make in a pinch. The recipe’s in my head and I know everyone will eat it, without complaint. Double bonus! It’s also easy to make in the morning or even the day before and pop in the oven for dinner, it only takes 30 minutes to bake.

The general idea of this recipe is not my own. The first time I had this dish was at a boyfriends house. (That was a whole lifetime ago) He was pretty much a drop dead cute boyfriend, so cute in fact I still get that heart stabbing loss of breath feeling when I think about peering over my plate of Chicken Divan at him while eating at his parents house. Or maybe it wasn’t that he was so cute, but that I over ate and I couldn’t breath. He was pretty dang cute though, it was probably a combination. Thankfully I married a man that is even cuter so I get to have that feeling everyday even when I’m not stuffed. OK enough about old Bo’s lets get down to dinner.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
You will need cut up two small heads of broccoli and blanch them. Approximately 4 cups.
Truth be told not all of my kids are crazy about broccoli, but I’m a meany and I make them eat a bite or two. But if you or your kids are really apposed to broccoli, green beans work well in this casserole too.
To blanch vegetables you want to fill a pan 2/3 full of water, salt, and bring to a full boil, drop in your vegi’s and let cook for 2 minutes. Remove immediately.

Drain in a colander and run cold water over vegetables to stop the cooking process. For this recipe once the broccoli has fully drained, you can spread it out in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Cut 2 chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.

Saute’ the chicken pieces in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, season with Morton’s Natures Seasonings to taste, or salt and pepper works fine too.
When chicken pieces are fully cooked, or no longer pink, transfer them to the baking dish layering them on top of the broccoli. Set the skillet aside we will come back to it for making the sauce.
If you have a 8 oz. can of sliced water chestnuts drain them and layer over chicken. I was out of them this day…phooey! My kids love them, and noticed right away…of course. They call water chestnuts crunchies…..
What! No crunchies?!
Set your baking dish aside for now, because it’s time to make the sauce.
Hold on to your arteries, this sauce has full artery cloggin potential.
I am all about pan dirtying conservation techniques, so use the pan you sauteed the chicken in to make the sauce. Melt one stick of butter in pan over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup of flour to the melted butter whisk continually until a paste has formed and the flour is lightly colored 2-3 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup of milk, continuously whisking. After you have the milk incorporated and your sauce is smooth and thick add 1 1/3 cups chicken broth whisking the entire time. You want a smooth sauce, cook over low heat, stirring about 5 minutes. If sauce seems too thick add a little more broth and whisk. Sauce should be just thick enough to cling to the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon Morton’s Nature’s Seasonings.
Then whisk in 1 cup of Hellman’s mayonnaise and the juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed. (or 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice)
Now for the zinger! Curry powder. Oh how I love curry. I use a mild curry powder blend for this recipe, you can use any blend of curry powder you prefer. Whisk in 3 teaspoons or 4 if you’re feeling frisky!
Now pour the sauce over the ingredients in your baking dish, sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups Frenches Onions. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the onions are browned and the casserole is bubbly.
Serve Chicken Divan over white rice, with a crusty loaf of bread and a salad.


Chicken Divan
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized cubes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 small heads of broccoli blanched (approx. 4 cups)
1 8oz. can sliced water chestnuts drained
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon Morton’s Natures Seasonings salt
1/4 cup fresh squeezed or bottled lemon juice
1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 can or 1 1/2 cups Frenches Onions

preheat oven to 375 degrees

  1. Blanche broccoli.  Fill sauce 6quart sauce pan 1/2 way with water, salt, bring to boil, toss in broccoli heads for 2 minutes, pour out of pan into colander and rinse in cold water until no longer hot.  Let broccoli drain well, you can even pat dry with paper towel.  Spread broccoli in bottom of 9×13 baking dish.

  2. Heat olive oil on medium heat in saute pan, toss in chicken and cook until just cooked through and you can see no more pink on chicken.  Layer cooked chicken cubes over broccoli in baking dish.

  3. Drain a can of sliced water chestnuts and layer on top of chicken(this is optional if you are opposed to water chestnuts by all means leave them out)

  4. After removing chicken from sauce pan, you can add the one stick of butter to that same pan, no need to wash it (unless you burnt something) melt butter, whisk in 1/3 cup flour, cook flour/butter mixture over medium heat, continue to whisk for about 1 minute.

  5. Gradually add milk to the flour/butter mixture, continuously whisking, after you have the milk incorporated and you have a smooth thick gravy Add the chicken broth whisking the entire time, you want your sauce to be smooth not lumpy.  If sauce seems too thick add a little more broth and whisk.

  6. Remove from heat add season salt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice, whisk until smooth.

  7. Whisk in the curry powder, feel free to add more if you want. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli, sprinkle with Frenches Fried Onions.

  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve over white rice.

My family loves this, and it is one of the few things my husband will eat leftovers of.

Hope you enjoy!


MMMMmmmm this smells so good. This is one of Kenny’s favorite dinners, he will even eat the leftovers and he is not usually a fan of leftovers. I hope you give it a try and LOVE it as much as we do.
Do you have any recipes from old boy friends mothers you make your family…or am I the only goof ball? I had boyfriend in High School that his mom couldn’t cook to save her life. Oh my goodness I almost forgot about this women. Sorry….now I’m reminiscing. I was almost done but now I have to share a poem I wrote about her. Here goes.
Boyfriends Mom
I once had a boyfriend.
His mom was unique.
She cooked like a freak.
He had me over for dinner to meet the fam.
She served us toast and Spam.
The end.
Good Times!
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  1. Oh, I have a couple that I can remember (recipes not cute boyfriends). John G's mom made homemade taco shells and then baked them in the oven with the meat in them…OH, MY…I almost married him just for those taco's. But I was not yet 16. Then Joe F's mom's homemade spagetti sauce with Italian sausage links. Another really, really good recipe.

    Can't wait to try chicken divan. I am ALWAYS looking for a go to easy recipe!

  2. I received my recipe from a cute boyfriend's mom too! Now she's my mother-in-law. Don't tell her, but your recipe is way better. Hers is good, but it calls for a few soups from a can, you know the type. Can't wait to make yours for my cute boyfriend/hubby!

  3. YAY!! So glad you posted this!! It's one of my fav's of yours and Skeeter loves it too. I tried to make the recipe that is in that old Better Homes cookbook and it just doesn't taste the same but I haven't had it in so long I couldn't recall what was different. Mmmmmm, now will try yours. Sankyuuuuu!

  4. I too love Chicken Divan! It's a household favorite and the receipe is my Grandmother's. I have wonderful memories of having dinner at her house eating Chicken Divan, still LOVE it to this day. I love how specifc food can hold such beautiful memories of one's childhood.

    THanks for the post, it's on my menu for the week! PS, I have also used pheasant instead of chicken and it's delicious!

  5. I *adore* chicken divan! But I must admit that it's my mom's recipe not an old boyfriends! :)Hilarious! I love that it's from your old boyfriends mom! This looks delish and different than what my mom makes, can't wait to try it!