Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chicken, Broccoli, and Artichoke Divan

(Sorry folks, I know I promised you a new post every day ‘til Thanksgiving, but we got to my parents house last night much later than planned. Please excuse the delay and have a very happy Thanksgiving!)

Stan and I are in Ohio for Thanksgiving this year. We’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends, eating traditional favorites, and watching the Ohio State-Michigan game. (Go Bucks!) What we’re not looking forward to are the freezing cold temperatures. I mean c’mon, we live in the South for a reason!

There is, however, one good thing about colder temps, and that is the seeming necessity of rich, hearty, comfort foods. These are the foods with cheese sauces and all other kinds of decadent goodness that would make you feel guilty at any other time of year. Yet somehow when the weather gets frigid, there’s nothing better than a bubbling casserole.

Today I offer you an updated take on the classic chicken (or turkey) divan. In this casserole-like version, bite-sized chunks of chicken are mixed with fresh broccoli, tangy artichokes, and a creamy cheese sauce. The whole mixture is then baked in the oven until bubbling and golden brown. Served over egg noodles or rice, this chicken, broccoli, and artichoke divan is winter dinner perfection.

One Year Ago: Brandied Cranberries

Chicken, Broccoli, and Artichoke Divan
Adapted from Kitchen Life by Art Smith

2 cups broccoli florets ( I used a little more)
2 T. vegetable oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small celery rib, chopped
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated, divided
1 T. Dijon mustard
9 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
Hot sauce, to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli, rinse it under ice cold water, then drain it again. Pat the broccoli completely dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.

Add the butter to the skillet. When it melts, add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour and stir well to coat. Stir in the broth and milk, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheddar and the mustard. When the cheese has melted, stir in the chicken, broccoli, and artichokes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheddar and the Parmesan..

Bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

1 comment:

  1. This is a classic w/ a comfort twist. Love the casserole. So easy to take to someone you love.



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