Chicken Divan


According to the top of the clipping, this recipe is from 1956. Food has changed a lot in the last 58 years: people are encouraged to eat “heart-healthy”, to “get their 5”, and to substitute, substitute, substitute. Fad diets have taken over the horizon, and many people now define themselves not by who they are, but by what they do not eat. To quote Jesse, the little boy from the Simpsons episode “Lisa the Tree-Hugger”: “I’m a level 5 vegan – I won’t eat anything that casts a shadow.” For the times, they are a-changin’.

This old but good recipe would probably chill some modern health activists to the bone. 1/4 cup of butter? 1/2 cup of heavy cream?! Heresy! Chaos! Run for your well-toned carefully balanced lives!!! I’ve been reading this interesting webpage on the Illustrated History of Heart Disease. While I feel that some of the information presented has been carefully curated to support the author’s point of view, I did learn a few things about the background of modern eating practices that I wasn’t aware of. Check out the link and form your own opinion; as for me and my house, we shall eat butter (specifically, delicious grass-fed Kerrygold Irish butter), and enjoy our lives.


  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, trimmed and cut into 4-inch spears
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled and whipped until it holds stiff peaks
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • Lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin


Preheat the broiler.


In a large pot, cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, and drain.


In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat.


Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.


Add the chicken broth, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.


Fold in the well-whipped cream, sherry, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.


In a 2-quart dish, arrange the broccoli and pour half of the sauce over it.


Layer the chicken on top of the broccoli.


Stir 1/4 cup of the Parmesan into the remaining sauce, and pour it over the chicken.


Top the casserole with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Place the casserole in the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.


Serves 6.

Click here for a print-friendly version.


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