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Easy Chicken Divan- For Now and Later

I think I have mentioned before how much I love casseroles.  If not, now you know.  I love casseroles.  They are warm, creamy, great comfort food and often an entire meal in one dish.  Chicken divan is a great casserole that pleases most people.  It is chicken, broccoli, creamy sauce and cheese; what’s not to like?  We are a family of four.  This recipe can easily feed us twice so I often make one to eat now and one for the freezer.

On this particular occasion I am making both for the freezer.  My husband and I will be traveling and my in-laws and my mom are sharing the responsibility of watching our girls while we are away.  Thank you family!  While the grandparents are completely capable of handling everything themselves, I like to try and make it as easy as possible for them.  Plus, I’m a control freak.  So, I make meals that I can put in the freezer.  They can thaw them, throw them in the oven and they are good to go.  This easy chicken divan fits the bill perfectly.

I buy disposable, oven proof baking dishes.  Two 8×8 pans work great for dividing the recipe (and they easily fit in my freezer).  Spray with nonstick cooking spray then…

Divide up the frozen broccoli
Cut and layer the chicken on top
Spread the sauce over
Top with cheese

Then I put a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the casseroles.  After that I rip off a piece of aluminum foil.  With a Sharpie I write down all the instructions and any additional information.  Then I put the foil on the pan, pop it into the freezer, let the grandparents know it is there and we are good to go.fullsizerender-52

Unfortunately, I am unable to show you a picture of this creamy deliciousness after it is cooked because I won’t be here when it is eaten.  But just know, it is really good and really easy.  You buy broccoli, you buy chicken and the rest of the ingredients you probably have in your house already.  The only thing you have to “make” is the sauce.  Below is a picture of what you will need to complete the dishimg_6059

*GREAT TIP– Notice my tiny little bottle of wine.  Now, I do drink but I don’t always want to open a whole bottle of wine just because I am cooking a dish that calls for wine.  And, I know there are several people out there that love to cook but do not enjoy drinking.  These little bottles are a perfect solution.  You can buy them in the grocery store and they come in a 4 pack.  You can get both red and white wine.  Keep them in the pantry and when a recipe calls for wine you will be prepared.

Ok, just a couple more things about this casserole.  I often make half of the recipe and Campbell’s has a can of “Cream of Chicken & Mushroom” soup.  So, I don’t need to worry about opening two different cans and wasting half of each.  That combo can is perfect for this dish.

And finally, I am making this with small children in mind.  You can definitely turn this into a fancier dish.  Use fresh broccoli and steam it a little.  Use whole chicken breasts so everyone gets that perfect portion.  I am cutting everything now so I don’t have to cut it later after I scoop it on my kids’ plates.  This is the family version of something that could be quite nice.

Now, let’s get on to the actual recipe, shall we…

Easy Chicken Divan

Serves 8

20 oz Frozen Chopped Broccoli
1½ – 2 lbs skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts or Tenders, cut into pieces
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
¼ c Mayonnaise (or just a heaping soup spoonful)
½ c White Wine
Juice of ½ a lemon
Heavy splash of Milk
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1½ c shredded Colby Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 350

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
Layer frozen broccoli in the bottom of the dish
Top with chicken pieces
To make the sauce, stir together both cans of soup, mayonnaise, wine, lemon juice, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl until smooth
Spread sauce over the top of the chicken
Sprinkle cheese on top

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes – 1 hour until chicken is cooked through and the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Serve over rice and you are in your comfort casserole happy place.

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