Divine Divan

Tonight dinner needs to be quick. I have a laundry list of things to do as high as my laundry pile and I can see where this day is heading. What can I do? Ordering out isn't an option for me right now. I have not been grocery shopping yet and my kids are in the middle of a growth spurt. Hiding in the bedroom seems like a great idea right now. Yeah, like that's going to happen. So I am going to suck it up and dig through my pantry and refrigerator and see what happens.

In my search I found: breadcrumbs, broccoli, chicken and cheese. Eureka! Chicken Divan to the rescue. I'm sure there's a (very old) can of cream of something-or-other soup in the pantry too. Behind the four jars of hot pepper jelly. If not, I know how to make a Mornay sauce (that's a bechamel with cheese added). For those of you who don't know what chicken divan is, let me illuminate.

Chicken divan was invented in and named after the Divan Parisien Restaurant in New York. It's a casserole made of chicken, broccoli, and cheese. There are other ingredients which vary by recipe. These include mayonnaise, sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, curry, wine and sherry. Chicken divan is a great recipe to have in your arsenal. It takes less than an hour (especially if you are using cream-of-”something” soup) is filling and is a great way to stretch a little bit of meat. Let's face it, who isn't looking to stretch things these days, right?

So the first time I had this I hated it. I was twelve and my neighbor used swiss cheese. I hate swiss cheese. I ate it because, well my neighbor was like my other mother and I didn't want to make her upset. When I was older, I realized you can use whatever you like; leave out what you don't or swap it for something else. Even though I don't like swiss cheese, it works for me in this recipe. But use cheddar, American or whatever else sounds good to you. Here's the recipe, I hope you'll try it.

***after the original posting of this blog, I got an email from my former neighbor who informed me in no uncertain terms that she DID NOT put swiss cheese in her Divan. Ok, so someone did, I didn't like it at first, but I do now, and most humble apologies to Mrs. K.****


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