Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Divine Chicken Divan

There are dishes growing up that everyone has in their household that will forever be in your food memory bank. My mom always cooked growing up, so I happen to have quite a few. Its an on going joke with erin that I fully believe that my mom made up many of the recipes that she cooked for us. I would never had imagined her following a recipe. When it comes to making Shepard's pie, that's my mom's! Or strawberry shortcake with homemade biscuits...Betty Crocker who? So when my mom came to visit erin and I in New York I was sure that erin had never had Chicken Divan before. This was a chicken casserole dish that only mom could make. In this case erin actually hadn't heard of it...so it just fueled my theory. Her recipe is composed of chicken, cheeses, cream soups, mayo...all those delicious items that i have since broken free of (well for the most part). So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across Eatingwell.com's version of Chicken Divan.

I really didn't believe that there could be a way to duplicate the flavors in my mom's chicken divan in a healthy way. When I began my break up with certain items, erin had to lose them to, and sometimes that's not fair. So when I brought this recipe home she was more than willing to try it out. It was a hit! So last night when we were faced with what to do with another boring chicken breast...i quickly remembered this popular dish.

I poach the chicken while I prepped the rest of the ingredients, and pre-heated the oven at the same time. The recipe calls for one large leek, but I used two. I love those leeks. They really add a nice flavor without being over powering. My broccoli was frozen so I simply soaked them in some hot water so that they would be thawed by combination time. My one suggestion with this dish is to have all of your ingredients ready. The instructions tell you to constantly stir when combining things and it will make for a much smoother cooking process. The nice thing about this dish is that once assembled it has to cook in the oven for about twenty five mins, so this gave me time to cook some 10 minute brown rice!
The flavors in this are different than my mom's, but delicious and totally worth a try. The amount of calories and fat you save just enhance the dish that much more.

I must say this chicken is simply....divine.