Thursday, 22 March 2012
Boy, this casserole sure takes me back. This was one of my children's favourite meals when they were growing up. I haven't made it in a long time. I had a head of broccoli in my veggie drawer today that I wanted to use before it went off.
There are a lot of versions of this floating around that use cream of chicken soup, and you are free to do just that if you wish . . . I prefer it with my homemade cheesy bechamel sauce though . . .
It's like having a bit plate of broccoli cheese and chicken all in one go . . . of course the crisp cracker and cheese topping is awfully scrummy as well.
I add rice to make it a full meal, and a bit heartier. You can either use leftover cooked rice, or one of those pouches of steamed rice. I just happen to always have those in my cupboard. They come in really handy for all sorts and are usually on special. I usually like to use the Tilda brand . . . and I always stock up when they have them on for £1 a piece.
I try to use low fat or half fat ingredients as well . . . which just goes to prove that low fat can be tasty!
As the Toddster tucked into his second helping I was heard to say . . . "I do believe I have found a way to get you to eat your broccoli."
SCORE!! I served ours with a tossed salad on the side. It was all we needed.
*Chicken Divan Casserole*
Serves 4 to 6, depending on appetitesPrintable Recipe
A economical, delicious casserole that is so simple to make! By using low fat ingredients you can also keep it fairly healthy.
1 medium head of fresh broccoli
400g of chicken tenders (about 1 pound)
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
splash of hot pepper sauce
1 2-serving size pouch of steamed basamati rice (about 2 cups cooked rice)
For the sauce:
2 TBS butter
2 TBS plain flour
500ml of milk (2 cups I use skim), warmed
1/4 tsp curry powder (I use medium)
1 chicken boullion cube
4 ounces grated strong cheddar cheese (1 cup, I use half fat)
2 TBS finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and white pepper to taste
a handful of crushed crackers (about 1 cup)
2 ounces grated strong cheddar cheese (1/2 cup)
2 TBS finely grated Parmesan cheese
Place the chicken iinto a saucepan along with cold water to cover. Add some salt and black pepper, the bay leaf and a splash of hot pepper sauce. Bring to the boil. Take off the heat, cover and set aside to cool.
Wash and trim the broccoli. Break up into bite sized florets. Peel the stems and cut into chunks. Steam until crispy tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Melt the butter for the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring for one minute. Whisk in the warm milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Crumble in the boullion cube and whisk in along with the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Taste and add salt and white pepper to taste. Keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Open the rice and sprinkle it over the bottom of the dish. Drain the chicken and break into pieces, sprinkle this over the rice. Top with the broccoli florets and stems. Nap the top with the warm cheese sauce, covering everything completely and allowing it to sink down into the casserole dish. Mix together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle them evenly over top of the casserole. If desired, spritz lightly with cooking spray.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until heated through, bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Delicious!
Note: You can use leftover cooked chicken in this as well instead of cooking chicken especially to use. You will need between 2 and 3 cups of cooked chicken depending on how meaty you want your casserole to be. Personally I would rather have more broccoli than anything else! You can also use frozen broccoli florets, thawed. I'd use about 3 to 4 cups of them, but then I am a broccoli nut!