Day 8- Diving into Gram's Chicken Divan - 12 minutes to a delicious dish for hungry, mungry bikers!
My cousin Pam Skoy Hepworth (cutest new newlywed in the Skoy gang) and her husband Kent document their adventures with Grandma's Chicken Divan after a killer bike ride one evening in Salt Lake City.
1-2 and 1/2 lb. chicken
2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 bunch broccoli
2 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 c. chicken broth (from the above; add milk to make 2 c. if you have less than 2 c. after cooking the chicken (you will))
salt and pepper
2 T. sherry
Simmer chicken in water and salt until cooked through. Remove meat. Save broth for sauce.
Cook broccoli until tender crisp. Drain and layer in a shallow, buttered baking dish. Slice chicken and lay on top of broccoli.
Melt butter, stir in flour and add broth. Cook and stir sauce until thickened. Add salt, pepper and sherry. Cover chicken and broccoli with sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.
Hungry riders – We didn’t take time to make a side dish, we just heaped all that divan on our plates and devoured it! Delicious and perfect for a recovery meal! (Note the cool helmet hairdo--so stylish!)
Jenie's cousin, Pam, here. Last evening my husband Kent and I took a killer ride on our road bikes and before we even finished the ride we both had a huge hunger fit,closely followed by some serious fatigue, both of which can only be satiated by lots and lots of food.
When we finally made it home we immediately headed for the refrigerator and sadly, not much was ready and waiting to be consumed. We had some chicken, so I thought I'd cook that up quick-like. But there was my Grandma's cookbook on the counter, and although I hadn’t planned to cook from her cookbook that night and had already selected several other dishes to cook this month for Jenie's "3o Days of June", I thought maybe I could find something easy that included chicken for a quick supper for two hungry mungry bikers.
I was right! What I found was Chicken Divan. I quickly scanned the recipe and I had the main ingredients: chicken and broccoli. PLUS, the cook time in the oven was only 12 minutes. We could wait 12 minutes! Sold! I yelled to Kent, "grab the camera!" We were going to accomplish two things at once: feeding our hungry selves, and adding to Jenie’s blog.
Admittedly, if we hadn't been trying to photograph the process of this recipe, it would have come together quicker, but it was still quick and easy overall.
Special thanks to Kent, the brilliant food photographer — even in his distracted state of hunger he made it all look Yum!
I guess this post and this meal probably don’t constitute real slow food, but in memory of Grandma and because of Jen’s June campaign, the two chicken breasts in my fridge didn’t end up on the grill (i.e. charred and dry, because sadly, that’s how I grill), instead they turned into something wonderful, flavorful and memorable. A good reminder that slowing down really does make everything better—especially food!
Broccoli - The best part of cooking broccoli is watching it turn this beautiful shade of green. Pretty!
Chicken slices – We only had two chicken breasts, so that’s what went into this dish. There was plenty, even for two famished bikers.
Butter the dish – Note the special buttering placemat. Thanks for making everything look better than reality Babe!
Melting butter - And now for the white sauce. Melt your butter and enjoy the aroma while you’re at it.
Roux – Add the flour.
White sauce – Add broth, salt, pepper and sherry. (Or, as in our case, some white wine because apparently all the sherry in the house is gone, gone, gone.) The wine—and I’m sure the sherry—add a nice flavor to the white sauce and I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding it to all my white sauces from now on. Thanks for the tip Gram!
Divan with sauce -
Add cheese – I didn’t read the recipe very closely, so I didn’t realize we needed Parmesan until about this point. We didn’t have any Parmesan cheese, but fortunately it is my creed that everything is better with cheese, so while we didn’t have Parmesan in the cheese drawer (yes, we have a drawer in the refrigerator dedicated to cheeses of all kinds), we had another lovely hard cheese called Dejong something or other, which is a pungent and flavorful Dutch cheese, and it worked really well too.
Voila – And 12 minutes later here is the finished product. Beautiful!