Dinner made easy – Chicken Divan

So my OH has been away, galavanting off to the UK and Spain, leaving me with the dog, and the chores, for just over a week on my own. (Don’t get me wrong – it’s been great catching up with episodes of Desperate Housewives and enjoying some peace and quiet!)

It has also left me with the chance to take a day off work just so I can go and collect him from the airport. At least it gets me out of the “bubble”, right?

The flight is due to land in the early afternoon so, with the drive and subsequent stops, on the way back, I thought it would be ideal if I could make something in advance for dinner that I can just reheat and serve when we get home. Luckily, Martha came to my rescue when this recipe popped in to my Facebook feed!

Now, I’d never heard of Chicken Divan before but apparently it’s a chicken casserole usually served with broccoli, almonds, and Mornay sauce that was named after the place of its invention, the Divan Parisienne Restaurant in the New York City Chatham Hotel where it was served as the signature dish in the early twentieth century. So there you go!

I have since seen a few recipes on Pinterest that use Cream of Mushroom Soup but there’s nothing more satisfying than making it all from scratch (time permitting). So, hopefully it tastes great and my efforts will be appreciated!

Note this recipe serves 6 to 8 people – I guess we’ll have plenty of leftovers! 😉


  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (about 5 cups)
  • 680g (1 1/2 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 225g cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 4 tbsps unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons melted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsps unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 255g shredded medium-sharp cheddar (3 cups)
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooked egg noodles or steamed white rice, for serving (or whatever you prefer)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large straight-sided skillet, simmer 1/2 cup water over medium-high heat, then add broccoli and a pinch of salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain well, then transfer to a large bowl; set aside. Wipe out skillet.

  2. Pat chicken dry; season with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken; set aside.
  3. In same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter, then add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Slowly add milk, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 9 minutes. Add 2 cups cheese, Dijon, Worcestershire, cayenne, and sour cream; stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add cheese sauce to bowl with broccoli, followed by chicken and accumulated juices; toss to combine. Transfer to a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, panko, and remaining 1 cup cheese. Sprinkle over broccoli-and-chicken mixture. Bake until bubbly and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, then serve over noodles or rice.