Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinners: Chicken Divan

The other day when fiance was visiting we were at the store and went to my blog to check the ingredients of this recipe. To my horror, the recipe wasn't on the blog. Given that it's an old family recipe, you could have colored me shocked. I think I had it on my old blog and never managed to transfer it over. Either that, or I've been unforgivably remiss. I'm remedying that situation now. This dish takes a little while, so if you can do some of the steps ahead it really speeds up the process. What this meal lacks in speed, it really makes up for in simplicity, deliciousness, and cost. It's been a favorite for as long as I can remember and it's a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Over the years I've made some adjustments. I upped the sauce by 1.5 and I use quinoa instead of rice now. But those are optional. The dish makes a lot, so you can either feed many, or have leftovers. If possible, the leftovers are even better than the regular dinner. I hope you try it and love it.

Chicken Divan
family recipe
4 large boneless chicken breasts
2 very large heads of broccoli (or 3 small-regular)
1 bay leaf
3 cans cream of celery soup (reduced sodium if available)
1 cup light mayonnaise
1.5 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1.5 tablespoons curry
salt and pepper
1 cup quinoa (or two cups cooked quinoa)

Start by cutting up the broccoli and steaming the pieces for about 5 minutes. At the same time, bring a pot of water to boil with the bay leaf. Gently boil the chicken for about 20 minutes on until cooked through. While the chicken is cooking, mix together the soup, mayo, cheese, and curry in a bowl.
Lay the broccoli in a flat layer in a 9x13 baking pan.
When the chicken is cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces.
Spread the sauce over the top, making sure all the chicken is covered.
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. While the food is in the oven, cook the quinoa. The ratio rule for quinoa 1:2. So for every cup of dry quinoa, use 2 cups of water. Put the quinoa and the water in the pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and simmer about 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed.
Ugh this picture is horrible. I'm a terrible photographer and I"m considering abandoning the fancy camera in favor of my tried and true old one. I'm sorry you can't really get a sense for how delicious this food looks. Serve the chicken and broccoli mixture over the quinoa and be careful not to burn your tongue like me!

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