Monday, August 13, 2012

Light Chicken Divan

The first time I tried this Chicken Divan recipe, I did not like it.  However, after a friend of mine tried it recently and really enjoyed it, I gave it another chance.  Just one more, to really prove itself.

And I'm glad I did!  This time, I made a couple small changes:  I used white cooking wine instead of cooking sherry, and that made a HUGE difference in the flavor.  I also tasted the sauce before spreading it over the casserole, and was able to season it a little more to my liking.  Lastly, and maybe most importantly, That said, we both really liked this recipe and plan to have it again soon.

Light Chicken Divan

from SkinnyTaste
Serves: 8
Stats:  304 cals per serving

1-1/2 lbs broccoli (3 large heads) chopped
24 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 18 oz cooked)
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp shallots, minced (onions would work too)
4 tbsp flour
1 cup fat free chicken broth
1 cup 2% milk
2 oz white cooking wine
6 oz shredded (reduced-fat) swiss
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
cooking spray

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If you are going to poach the chicken, do so now.  Remove the chicken and let cool.  When cooled, slice chicken into bite sized pieces.  Add the broccoli and blanch 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside.  NOTE:  Drain well.  It's important, unless you want a really watery casserole.  I made that mistake the first time.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

If you are not going to poach the chicken:  Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Using a grill pan or Forman grill, saute chicken on medium-low heat on both sides until browned, and just about cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and transfer chicken to a cutting board. When cooled, slice chicken into bite sized pieces.

Heat a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the butter and oil until melted and then add garlic and shallots. Sprinkle the flour and whisk until smooth. Stir in broth, milk and sherry and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in half of the swiss cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange the broccoli in a casserole dish and pour half of the sauce over the broccoli. Arrange the chicken on top and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle the remaining swiss cheese, grated parmesan and top with breadcrumbs. Spray a little oil on top.

Bake 30 minutes, serve hot.

If you want a crispy top, like shown in the picture, when done baking turn on the broil and let sit under it for a few minutes, until crispy.  Do not let it burn.

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