A Squared: Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Mom and me in the beginning
Happy Mother's Day to the best mom a girl could ask for!  I'm so lucky to have grown up with a mom that was so patient, understanding, generous, and creative-- and to now be able to call her one of my closest confidantes.  I know a lot of girls who can't say that about their moms, so I feel very blessed to be able say it about mine.  Thanks for all you do, Mom and have a wonderful day!  Hopefully, Dad and the girls have something special planned for you.



As a little ode to my mom (and since I can't be there to celebrate Mother's Day with her), our Sunday/Mother's Day dinner is dedicated to her!  Mom's Chicken Divan was one of my favorite meals that she made for my family when I was growing up.  Mom was never much of a casserole cook (and neither am I-- go figure), but this recipe has always been one of her "go to's" for birthday dinners, for potlucks or as a meal for friends in need, and always when I would come home to visit during college breaks or for a weekend when I was living in Boston.

This is actually my first go round making it for my little family and I, of course, decided to change up the recipe a little.  As I have gotten older and more health conscious with my own cooking I have done everything that I can to not cook with canned cream of whatever soups.  It can be a big challenge, especially when you are trying to fix a classic holiday dish like a green bean casserole or to recreate a family recipe like this one, which is probably why I haven't attempted it until now.  This recipe calls for cream of chicken soup and I have included that in Mom's original recipe below, but I have also included a recipe for the substitute that I discovered on Pinterest.  I honestly couldn't taste the difference except that it was considerably less salty.  Also, my husband really liked the meal (he even went back for seconds), but suggested that maybe it needed "a little kick."  I think next time I will add a few dashes of hot pepper sauce to the sauce mixture. 

Mom's Chicken Divan

  • 2 10-oz. packages frozen broccoli
  • 2 cups sliced cooked chicken (approximately 3 breasts)
  • 2 cups cream of chicken soup **See below for the homemade substitute that I used.
  • 1 cup mayonnaise *I used the reduced fat kind.
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 T. dijon mustard, optional *This is my addition. Mom doesn't include mustard in her recipe.
  • 1/2 shredded cheese *Cheddar, Swiss, or Gruyere would work best.  I used cheddar tonight.
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs *I used panko
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • Cooked rice, for serving *To keep it healthier, I served it with brown rice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook broccoli, drain, and arrange in a 12" x 9" baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray.  Arrange the sliced chicken on top.  Combine the soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, and mustard and pour over the top of the chicken.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter and sprinkle over the top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly.  You can also broil for an additional 3-5 minutes to get the topping nice and brown.  Serve with rice.

This recipe is also a great one to make ahead and freeze until you are ready to serve.  Enjoy!

**Cream Soup Substitute Recipe:

Basic White Sauce (thick)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or oil
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1-1/4 cup liquid, milk, or stock
Melt butter or oil in saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Add liquid slowly, stirring with wire whisk to prevent lumps. Cook until thick. Makes 1 cup or 1 can of condensed soup.

For Tomato Soup: Use tomato juice for the liquid. Add dashes of garlic, onion powder, basil and oregano.

For Cream of Chicken Soup: Use chicken broth for half the liquid. Add 1/4 t. poultry seasoning or sage.

For Cream of Mushroom/celery/chive soup: Saute 1/4 C chopped mushrooms, celery or chives and 1 T minced onion in butter before adding flour.

Soup substitute recipe courtesy of A Frugal Simple Life


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