Wee Cook Wednesday: Chicken Divan (“Chicken Stuff”)

When I was in junior high, I was into what could best be called “experimental cooking.”  I eschewed cookbooks, preferring to mix and match whatever was in the cupboard to put dinner together. One of my concoctions (the precise ingredient list I’ll spare you here) involved pork chops, curry, apple sauce, and brown rice. Dad took one bite, then turned to me and said, “Someday, my dear, your husband is going to have to thank me for this … Thanks to you, I have a cast iron stomach!”

Eventually — when my father’s caustic commentary finally got through to me — I turned to my mom’s recipe file, and learned to cook some of the tried-and-true dishes that my family loves so much. Kids enjoy helping me with this: pulling apart the chicken, arranging the meat and broccoli in the dish, stirring the sauce, sprinkling the cheese. Add rice and corn bread, and you’ve got a winner!

Chicken Stuff

1 large head of broccoli, trimmed and cut into “trees”
3 chicken breasts, cooked and meat pulled off bones
1 large can cream of chicken soup (or 2 small ones)
1 c mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin (optional)
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C Italian bread crumbs
1 Tbls margarine, melted

Steam broccoli for 3 minutes, cool. Arrange in bottom of greased 9×13 pan. Put chicken bits on top of broccoli. Combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and spices; pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine bread crumbs and margarine in small bowl, sprinkle over cheese. Bake 350 for 30 minutes. Serve over white rice. (You may substitute 2-10 oz packages of broccoli cuts for the fresh broccoli spears, and chicken thighs, deboned, for the chicken breasts.)

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