Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicken Divan

On Tuesday night, my mother made one of my all-time favorite dishes:  chicken divan. We had two friends over, and all the men were gone to a "men's only church dinner" at a pizza place. Here's a photo of it, pre-baking. Not a complicated dish, but such flavor!
Basically, it's boiled chicken breasts and broccoli flowerets.  Mother used 6 breasts and a large package of broccoli.
 The chicken sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 tbls milk
3 tbls cooking sherry
generous amounts of cheddar cheese, grated into the sauce and on top of the dish (about a cup)
Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
She also sprinkled paprika on top.
The flavor of the sauce is what makes this dish. We had it with sweet potatoes, garden-fresh cukes and a massive tomato slice.
I think I could eat this plate weekly for a year, before tiring of it. Thanks to mother's dear friend, Sally Williford, for giving us this recipe years ago.
And I've been wondering about that word, "divan." What does it mean, in the context of a dish of chicken? I looked it up on my handy-dandy World Book Dictionary. No definition fit this context. I'm wondering, was it originally "chicken divine," as in "fabulously wonderful chicken fit for the gods"? In French pronunciation, the word that we say "dee-vine" is pronounced "deh-vah." Well, kind of. You don't really pronounce the final "n." It's rather nasal, almost "ang," but not quite. Perhaps over time, the chicken divine morphed into chicken divan?


  1. Yum! My mom makes this, too. She puts curry in it. We all love it. Well, Bill doesn't because he says he's been to too many fundraising dinners featuring chicken. What a delicious looking plate and pretty dishes, too!

  2. named Divan after the hotel in which it was created.


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