I did not grow up in a household of people who liked to cook. I can imagine I will be elaborating on that in a later post (sorry mom!) so I will not say much more on that for now. I bring this up because I would like to mention there were a couple exceptions to our home's no-cooking tendencies. My dad liked to make steamed broccoli. He would steam an entire package of chopped fresh broccoli and put about a cup or two of shredded cheddar cheese on top and let it melt all over. I would eat so much broccoli. I would pile it up on my plate, sometimes eating the whole thing. When I would go to other people's houses for dinner, I noticed most people only ate a couple little trees each. Weird.
I also like chicken. Who doesn't (besides you vegetarians)? It was at a friend's house sometime around the 9th grade that I first learned of a casserole that was essentially a mix of what had become my favorite thing to eat for dinner: chicken, cheese and broccoli (along with some other delicious ingredients that only made it better). This classic casserole is called chicken divan. This is one of the first recipes I ever asked someone for after devouring it for dinner. I made it, I liked it, and I made it again. It was a pleasant surprise to me that I could simply follow a recipe and make something delicious. It was at that point I realized cooking is not hard; it simply takes patience. This recipe is so easy. I like to serve it over brown rice, but if you eat it by itself, it is another dish that you can eat on a low-carb diet. I think there are several variations of this recipe floating around, but this one is pretty much the most basic one you can make.
Why Change a Good Thing Chicken Divan:
Makes a 9" x 13" casserole dish
2 10oz packages of frozen or fresh broccoli (chopped and steamed)
4 or 5 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded - about 6 or 7 C)
2 10oz cans cream of mushroom soup (condensed)
2 1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 C bread crumbs (not seasoned)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 C mayonnaise
1 tsp curry powder (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large mixing bowl, combine the soup, lemon juice, 1 1/2 C shredded cheese, mayo, and curry powder (optional). Mix well.
Spread chopped broccoli down as the bottom layer in the glass casserole dish.
Next, layer the chicken on top of the broccoli.
Pour the soup mixture over the top of the two layers.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs over the top.
Cover the dish with foil, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes (or until cheese starts to bubble.