Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Get Real Chicken Divan

Here is another great classic chicken and broccoli dish. This one is French and is perfect for a ladies luncheon or dinner. I just love it when I find some history or first person accounts of the origin of a dish. I had made various versions on my own for years, but have altered my recipe to be more true to the flavor of the original. Following is the original version I found at the Recipe Link. After that I listed my Get Real recipe.

BTW, you may wonder at all the recipes I post using boneless, skinless chicken breasts? They are a great value – low in fat, quick to cook, versatile and tasty. I just stocked up on them at $1.58 per pound. Be sure to buy the store or butcher package. IQF is a waste. They are soaked in water and poorly cut. Many years ago, some friends of mine actually did a market study at home comparing whole chicken breasts, boneless, skinless breasts and whole chickens. For the amount of waste from skin and bones, boneless and skinless is the real value. Of course, I always need some skin and bones to make soups and broths.
"Levesia, here is the original recipe from Divan Parisien, where I loved to dine in the late 1940s. A great restaurant, and you actually ate at tables drawn up to small sofas (or divans!)"

1 five-pound fowl (stewing chicken)** see note
2 tsp. salt
2 cups medium white sauce
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup hollandaise sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
3 Tbsp. sherry
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 large bunch broccoli
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (preferably fresh-grated)

(1) Place whole fowl on a rack in a kettle. Add about five cups boiling water and salt; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until tender (about three hours). Cool in broth, then remove from broth, remove skin and slice the meat.
(2) While fowl is cooking, make white sauce and stir in nutmeg. Make hollandaise. Combine hollandaise, white sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sherry, then combine thoroughly with the whipped cream.
(3) Cook broccoli, drain and arrange on deep serving platter, sprinkle lightly with some of the cheese. Arrange sliced chicken on top, pour the sauce over all and sprinkle generously with the remaining cheese.
(4) Broil about 5 inches below hot broiler flame until lightly browned and bubbly.

***Note: this recipe came from a French restaurant kitchen, which assumed you know how to make white sauce AND hollandaise. These recipes can be found in any basic cookbook (like Joy of Cooking) or if you need recipes from these, ISO to me or TKL Cooking Club. This recipe was my claim to fame as a hostess for more than 30 years and I still make it occasionally. I use any larger chicken parts available in the supermarket, as fowl is very seldom found, nowadays, and simmer it much less time -- keep testing to see when it is tender--beginning at 30 minutes.

SERVES FOUR. NOT for dieters!!! Bon appetit!

From: Beege 11-12-1998

Get Real Chicken Divan

Serves: 8

1 large bunch broccoli (2 to 4 heads) (20 oz.)
1 to 1 ¼ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (2 to 3)
2 cans (10.5 oz.) condensed Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. sherry
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9” x 13” glass baking dish with canola oil spray.

Wash and trim broccoli into spears and steam. (See recipe for Steamed Broccoli.)
Arrange broccoli spears in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of grated Parmesan.

Heat iron skillet, until hot and dry. Remove from heat and lightly coat with vegetable oil spray. Return to very low heat while slicing chicken.
Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise, butterfly style. Separate pieces. Sauté chicken over medium high heat until lightly browned. Layer sautéed chicken over broccoli.

In 1 ½ quart mixing bowl, whisk together soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, sherry, Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg. Pour sauce over all and sprinkle with remaining grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Serve with a crusty French bread, a tossed salad and a nice white wine.

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