Recipe of the Month: Chicken Divan


March is the season for broccoli, so this month’s recipe incorporates this vegetable in a dish that’s healthier than the traditional recipe.

Originally made in restaurants with a rich Mornay sauce, Chicken Divan often featured canned cream of mushroom soup, mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese. Tasty but also loaded with fat and salt. This version has all the flavor of the original with only half the calories and a fraction of the sodium. For an even faster dinner, use leftover cooked chicken breasts.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds Chicken Breast, Skinless, Boneless
  • 1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Leeks, Diced (White and Light Green parts only, see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 tablespoons Flour, All-Purpose
  • 1 can Chicken Broth, 14 ounces, Reduced-Sodium
  • 1 cup Milk, Low-Fat
  • 2 tablespoons Dry Sherry (not Cooking Sherry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme, Dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper, Freshly Ground
  • 2 boxes Frozen Chopped Broccoli (10-ounces each), Thawed or 1 pound Broccoli Crowns, Chopped
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Divided, Grated
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise, Low-Fat
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 7”x11” (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Place chicken in a medium skillet or saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Drain and slice into bite-size pieces.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and salt. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often until softened but not browned. Add flour; stir to coat. Add broth, milk, sherry, thyme and pepper, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add broccoli; return to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, mayonnaise and mustard.

Spread half the broccoli mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the chicken and then the remaining broccoli mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until bubbling, 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tip: To clean leeks, trim and discard green tops and white roots. Split leeks lengthwise and place in plenty of water. Swish the leeks in the water to release any sand or soil. Drain. Repeat until no grit remains.

Recipe courtesy of Compass Group.

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